Korean culinary series
- Korean Cooking for Indian Homes: Episode 1
Date: Wednesday, 23 December 2020 | Time: 6.00 p.m. IST
With approximately 5000 years of culinary history, the cultural importance of food in Korea, extends well beyond nourishment. When friends and colleagues greet each other in the morning, they ask, “Did you eat breakfast?”. This is considered as much of a greeting as it is an inquiry.
Korean traditional cuisine or Hansik represents the metaphysical view of Koreans – the theory of yin and yang (representing earth and heaven respectively) and the interaction between the two resulting in dynamic energies represented by the five elements that make up the universe (i.e., water, fire, wood, metal and earth). The traditional Korean table consists of dishes of five colours, namely, green, red, yellow, white, and black, which represent the five elements and also the five tastes of spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. It is believed that a combination of dishes with these colours provides nutritional balance. A good example is bibimbap, which is rice mixed with assorted vegetables of different colours, egg and gochujang (red pepper paste).
Main cooking techniques used by Koreans are grilling, boiling, pan-frying and steaming which do not use much so make the food healthy and easily digestible.
Basics for Korean Cooking
Now beginning to gain worldwide reputation as a representative food of Korea, kimchi has been praised for its anti-carcinogenic properties and nutritional value. Kimchi can be eaten fresh but is normally consumed after fermenting it for several days. Made with vegetables and a variety of seasoning ingredients, kimchi was an important source of vitamins in the winter, when fresh vegetables were unavailable and at a time when storage methods were not well-developed. There are over three hundred varieties of kimchi, but when it was first made, it required a very simple recipe of salting and storing Napa cabbage in a ceramic container for fermentation.
Gochujang (Red Pepper Paste)
Gochujang is a traditional Korean condiment made by fermenting a mixture of chili pepper powder with other ingredients. This red pepper paste is used for stews, soups, fried food, salads, grilled food, and namul (wild greens). It is also used in making fried red pepper paste sauce for side dishes, and can be served with raw fish or mixed noodles.
Doenjang & Ganjang (Soybean Paste) (Soy Sauce)
Made of fermented soybeans which are divided into solid and liquid parts to respectively form doenjang and ganjang, these are two of the most important items of traditional Korean food.
Doenjang is usually used in cooking stews and also served as a condiment for ssam (leaf wraps), or namul (wild greens) and jang-tteok (wheat flour pancakes).
Ganjang is used variously depending on the cooking method and also used as an accompaniment for fried food.
Where to buy your Korean ingredients:
• Seoul Store, Shop No.43 & 44, Ground Floor, 96, Kaveri Complex, Nungambakkam High Road, Chennai
• Commercial Plaza, 1 & 2, Temple Green, Sriperumbudur, Chennai
• 2/185, East Coast Road, Sakthi Vinayakar Nagar, Injambakkam, Chennai
• New 74, Old 58, 2nd Main Road, Near Grand Sweets, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai
• Kim's Mart, LG 59, DT Mega Mall, DLF, Phase-1, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
• Seela Korean Food Mart, LG-14, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road Gurgaon
• Epicure Food & Wine, Lower Ground Floor, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
• Ichiba Food Store, LG-4, South Point Mall, Sector 53, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
• BG Food Mart, 1A, Arjun Nagar, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi
For Episode 1 in our Korean culinary series - Korean Cooking for Indian Homes, tune in to https://www.inkocentre.org/Korean_Culinary_Series.phps on Wednesday, 23 December 2020 at 6.00 p.m. IST.