Korean culture and food is no stranger to most countries, be it in the West or East. Here in Malaysia, the Korean Fried Chicken trend has been taking over the cities by storm. Pretty much every single person I know has at least tried these popular Korean dishes once – Kimchi, Korean BBQ, Bibimbap, Bulgogi, Kimbab. I bet you’ve tried all of them before as well.
Unlike Chinese cuisine where the wok is commonly used, and the control of fire is extremely important to get your dish perfect, in Korean cuisine, it’s a lot more forgiving. You don’t necessarily have to cook the ingredients in strict sequence, it’s ok to marinate everything beforehand and just stir fry them altogether until cooked.
So here I’m going to introduce you to 3 essential ingredients to create 10 simple Korean recipes which you can easily make at home.
1. Gochujang 고추장
Gochu literally means chilli. If you thought that every type of chilli out there taste the same, think again. Korean chilli has a unique, somewhat citrusy flavour of its own. Gochujang is basically fermented red chilli paste made mainly from chili powder, glutinous rice, salt and a few other ingredients. It’s easily available in most supermarkets in the Asian/ Korean section.
But if you are curious on how it’s actually made, watch how to make it here:
Gochujang Roasted Chicken: https://www.leannebrown.com/gochujang-roast-chicken/
Gochujang Stir Fry Octopus/ Squid : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR9d9gFu11E
Spicy Korean Chicken Stew: https://mykoreankitchen.com/spicy-korean-chicken-stew/
For our vegan friends, here’s a really yummy Gochujang Mac & Cheese video recipe by PurelyB which is a real hit in our family:
2. Doenjang 된장
Doenjang on other other hand is another key ingredient in Korean cuisine. This fermented soy bean paste can be used to make soups, stews, salad dressings and sauces. It’s pretty salty on its own so you definitely would have to dilute it depending on what you’ll be using it for.
Bored of balsamic vinegar dressings? Here’s my take on a Doenjang salad dressing:
- 1 Tablespoon Korean Doenjang
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon honey
- 1 Teaspoon water
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Combine Doenjang, vinegar, honey and water. Sprinkle sesame oil and seeds on top. Ideally served a little chilled.
Here’s also a super easy Doenjang soup recipe from Korean Bapsang:
3. Miyeok 미역
Miyeok is simple dried seaweed. Seaweed is packed with calsium, iron and iodine and is so nutritious for the body. In Korea, seaweed soup is often served to mothers after they have given birth as it helps with post natal recovery.
I love having seaweed in my pantry because as a working mother, this is one of those ingredients that is so simple and quick to cook for the family. I usually just make soup with it, but you can also use seaweed to make cold salads as well. A bowl of brown rice with leftover seaweed soup is really so comforting and warming for the body. Seaweed soup for the soul!
Do try out some of these healthy Recipes here:
Seaweed soup: https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/miyeokguk
Cold Seaweed Salad: https://www.koreanbapsang.com/miyeok-muchim-seaweed-salad/
Hope you enjoy making some of these Korean recipes!