Korean Cuisine? Or should I say, the best food on earth? It’s easy to say for me that is definitely the case. Korean cuisine has a wide range, depth, and somewhat odd delicacies. For most of us foreigners who live in a place where Korean food is often very difficult to come by and is very expensive. Not knowing the wide variety of dishes/food that Korean culture has, I only knew of a handful of Korea’s most popular foods; Korean BBQ and Ramen Noodles. While I used to enjoy the beef and shrimp flavors of the cheap TopRamen, I was in quite a shock when saw (and tasted) authentic Korean food. As seen in the pictures above, left to right: Nakkshi (raw Octopus), Pacheon (Korean Pancake), Sashimi (Raw Fish), and lastly Pork Belly (Korean BBQ).
The most notable attribute of Korean food has to be their Banchan, otherwise known as side dishes. I would say that any tasty Korean meal is not complete without a plethora of Banchan. Banchan can consist of different foods, yet generally speaking the sides dishes are usually different types of seasoned or marinaded vegetables (such as Kimchi). Other sides can include other foods such as small pacheon, potatoes, salad and much more. When eating at various restaurants, I began to notice that the more small business; mom and pop shops have the BEST banchan! Not only are they more delicious and but often time you will have more of a variety than at the chain Korean restaurants in Korea.
Sashimi, other wise known as raw fish in Japan is very popular in Korea. Although it is commonly referred to as 회, or as we like to spell it, “hweh”. Personally, this is not my favorite of the many Korean dishes, but sushi lovers would beg to differ. It’s quite easy to understand how Hweh is made to order. A live raw fish, is pulled out of the tanks at the side or front of the restaurant, chopped and served on a large plate in front of you. Hweh may look like Japanese Sashimi, but it is vastly different. They’re using totally different types of fish species with very different textures. Korean Hweh (raw seafood) is a bit more tough in texture, while Sashimi has a buttery-soft melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
These three almost edible pictures are just the surface of what Korea has to offer. From fresh seafood and juicy BBQ meat to gourmet spicy ramen and sweet egg bread. Korean cuisine has a dish that anyone will love.