Korean cuisine offers a wide range of tastes and styles. Traditional food products, such a soybean paste, red pepper paste and kimchi, have a deep history, which can be traced from thousands of years ago. In recent years, the fresh and delicious taste of Korean food is being appreciated worldwide. Among the various ingredients, which make Korean food delectable, the single most important ingredient is devotion. Koreans have traditionally believed that cooking requires true devotion. Additionally, many Korean dishes, such as kimchi, also have particular health benefits, such as preventing cancer. Perhaps this is one reason why people from all over the world come to Korea to savour Korean cuisine.
Kimchi, fermented cabbage leaves, is spicy yet sweet and is rich in seasoning. Kimchi is not only a flavourful dish, but it also has medicinal benefits. It aids in proper digestion and prevents various types of cancers. Koreans traditionally believe that the taste and quality of food depends on its spices and sauces—the essential ingredients to making a delicious meal. Doenjang is a soybean paste has been popular among Koreans for over 2,000 years. The ingredients consist of soybeans, salt and water, which are combined with natural elements, such as sun and wind. It is used in stews or mixed with fresh mountain herbs. Ganjang (“soy sauce”) is made through the same process as soybean paste. Water and salt are added to the soybeans and then fermented for two months. During the fermentation process, amino acids and lactic acids are released, creating soy sauce. Ganjang is used in stews and soups. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for various fried and barbequed foods. Gochujang (“red pepper paste”) is made from dried chillies, salt, water, fermented soybeans and sweet rice powder. These ingredients are mixed thoroughly and then fermented, which enhances the spicy flavour of this sauce. People typically eat rice mixed with this spicy paste and sesame oil. They also use it as a dipping sauce for fresh vegetables. Bibimbap consists of steamed rice mixed with fresh vegetables, herbs, meat, sesame oil and red chilli paste. This is a globally popular dish. Soju is a favourite alcoholic drink among Koreans. It is clear like vodka and is made from distilling a fermented mash of rice or sweet potatoes. Soju goes well with almost everything, but tastes well with barbecued meats and spicy food. Maesilju is a liquor made with plum, and one of Korea’s most popular fruit wines. Small, green plums are matured for at least 5 years. It goes well with bulgogi. Green Tea is a tea is made from tender, young tea leaves. The tea has a mild taste. Insam Tea is a famous Korean tea is made from insam (Korean ginseng) root. Insam is boiled for a long time and then mixed with honey. Insam has many curative effects and is suitable for people with diabetes or high blood pressure.