While every Filipino household would always have suka and toyo;
Oyster sauce and rice wine for Chinese;
Sake and mirin for Japanese,
Of course, Koreans also have their own favorite seasonings.
Have you tried cooking Korean food? I cook Korean dishes every time I’m craving for a hearty meal or when I am “influenced” by K-dramas. Yes, Kim Bok Ju made me crave for kimchi bokkumbap! There was even a time when I was so desperate to taste that spicy ddeokbokki and that salty-sweet omurice that I had to immediately get the recipe and cook it. Back in the days, Korean restaurants were hard to find so, I had to make them from scratch.
So, here’s Korea’s top three favorite ingredients that every K-cook’s got to keep in the fridge, especially when the craving calls and when the tummy calls for mommy!
- Gochujang (고추장)
Yes, Gochujang (고추장) is that spicy red paste included in almost every Korean dish! You can make chige (stew) with this; ddeokbokki, bibimbap, or even as a dip for your gogi (meat)! You can get this for less than 200 pesos, depending on the size, and you can make a lot of Korean dishes with this. Now, store it in your fridge!
- Sesame Oil
That savory smell of sesame is the secret to almost every fragrant Korean dish. Mostly, cooks use this for kimbap but you can also add this to your kimchi bokkumbap. Sesame Oil is also used as a sauce and marinade for meat- added with garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. Korean side dishes like sigeumchi namul (spinach) and sukju namul muchim (mung bean sprouts) are also seasoned with salt and sesame oil after blanching. So, now you know!
- Kimchi (김치)
Personally, anything I eat with kimchi makes the food “Korean” to me. Kimchi, because it is fermented, doesn’t go bad easily. You can store it for months and still use it to make a lot of Korean dishes. Fun fact, the older the kimchi, the sour it gets.
Boiling kimchi and gochujang together would make you kimchi chige (stew). This combination can also be the soup base for any of your favorite Korean stews. Kimchi can also be a side dish, a filling for your kimbap and you can even make pasta sauce with it!
These are just a few from a number of Korean ingredients but, I hope you can start working with these on your next dish!
*images taken from Google.
Written by Krew Member Max Chua