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Korean Food. Rice, soup and a side dish. Topography of Korea. Locate in the Korean Peninsula with limited arable land. Northeastern mountainous Eastern part of Korea is mountainous and hilly. Western part of Korea is plain.

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Korean Food

Rice, soup and a side dish


Topography of Korea

  • Locate in the Korean Peninsula with limited arable land.
  • Northeastern mountainous
  • Eastern part of Korea is mountainous and hilly.
  • Western part of Korea is plain.
  • Most of The Major rivers flow into the Yellow sea and Southern Sea.
  • Cold and dry in winter
  • Hot Humid in summer
  • Dwa: Humid continental, Hot Summer
  • Cfa: Humid subtropical, without dry season, Hot summer.
  • In South Korea: Buddhism and confucianism are the major religions and others include Christian, Shamanism (belief in natural and ancestral spirits), and national Korean religion Chundo Kyo (Tonghak-a mixture of confucian, taoist, and Buddhist concepts)
  • In North Korea, all religions beliefs other than the national ideology of Marxism and Self-Reliance are suppressed.

Rice is the staple food

1) Can neither be underdone nor overcooked and mushy

2) Short-grain varieties are preferred, both regular and glutinous type

3) Millet and barely are used sometimes

4) Noodles: made of wheat, buckwheat, mung beans

characteristics of korean cuisine
Characteristics of Korean Cuisine
  • Seasonings are the soul: garlic, ginger root, black pepper, chili peppers, scallions, toasted sesame in the form of oil or crushed seeds flavor all dishes, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot mustard, fermented chili paste are added to dishes
  • Ginseng tea (flavored with cinnamon), rice tea (pouring warm water over toasted, grounded rice or by simmering water in the pot in which was cooked)
  • Breakfast and dinner are the main meals that soup, rice, eggs, meat or fish or vegetables, Kimchi and dipping sauces; Lunch is typically noodles served with broth of beef, chicken, or fish and garnished with shellfish, meat, or vegetables
  • Health promotion food: bean paste soup, beef turnip soup, lemon with honey in hot water, game hen soup; For pregnant women, seaweed soup, beef and rice are thought to build strength. (seaweed soup served 3 times a day for 7 weeks after the birth of a child to restore strength).

Frequency of crops used in a Korean cooking book

Sesame (oil) 12

Bean 11

Rice 10

Wheat 3

Red bean 2

Black pea 1

Sorghum 1

Millet 1

Frequency of meat used in a cooking book

Beef 13

Egg 11

Pork 8

Chicken 7


Frequency of vegetables herbs used in a cooking book

Red pepper 34

Garlic 28

Black pepper 7

Ginseng 5

Honey 2

Cinnamon 1

Carrot 14

Bean sprout 6

Potatoes 5

Chinese cabbage 4

Green mustard 3


Frequency of sea food in a cook book

Dry anchovy 9

Clam 6

Shrimp 5

Seaweed 4

Pollack 4

Ear shell 3

Mussel 3

Mackerel 2

Crab 2

Tangle 2

Cutlass fish 1

Catfish 1

Carp 1

Laver 1


Major Sauces

Fermented soybeans Block

  • Toen-Jang (Soy bean paste)
  • Gochu-Jang (Red pepper paste)
  • Gan-Jang (Soy bean sauce)

Gan-Jang (soy bean sauce)

  • Clean the fermented soybean block with fresh water.
  • dry the soy bean block under the sun.
  • Put the soy bean block into Clay Pot and Pour the Salt water into the Pot.
  • Put charcoals and dry red pepper, and Mature it for two months
  • Separate the soy bean block from the pot
  • Boil and cool the sauce
  • Mature it for more several months

Toen-Jang (soy bean paste)

  • Crush the soy bean blocks after finishing to make the soy bean sauce.
  • Put some salt on the crushed soy beans.
  • Put the crushed soy bean blocks into the clay pot
  • Scatter some salt on the top of crushed soy beans.
  • Mature it under the sun for several months

Gochu-Jang (red pepper paste)

  • Mix the Glutinous rice powder with malt.
  • Boil the malt and the G-rice with medium fire (stirring)
  • Repeat the second step until it is matured and purified.
  • Mix the crushed soy beans into it and boil again
  • With boiling, mix the red pepper powder into it.
  • Put it into the clay pot and mature it under the sun

What is Kim chi?

  • Kim Chi is a sidedish of fermented vegetables and continues to be an essential part of any Korean meal.
  • There are more than two hundred types of Kim chi.
  • Pickled vegetable with red chili pepper fermented anchovies or shrimp paste, ginger, garlic, and green onions.

Origin of Kim Chi

  • The first record regarding Kim chi is found during the Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C. - 668 A.D.).
  • Kim chi existed by the latter part of the Koryo period (918 - 1392).
  • was introduced in 1616 by Japanese merchant.
  • Grinded redchili pepper powder quickly became popular ingredients

Red chili pepper


Why Kim chi is so important to Korean

  • Kim chi has played a role as an important source of nutrients in fermented vegetables during the long winter months.
  • The well fermented Kim chi has more lactic acid bacteria than yogurt. This bacteria is good for the intestines.
  • Amino acids are produced by breaking down protein in pickled and fermented fish paste and oysters. Researchers have found that Kim chi contains 17 different kinds of amino acids.

How to make Kim Chi

  • After cleaning the cabbages, cut them into 2 or 4 pieces
  • Prepare salted water with a ratio of 2.5 cups of salt to 10 cups of water, then soak the cabbages in it for 6-8 hours.
  • Prepare salted water with a ratio of 2.5 cups of salt to 10 cups of water, then soak the cabbages in it for 6-8 hours.
  • Cut dropwort, green onions, and radishes into lengths of 5 cm, then chop the garlic and ginger.
  • Prepare fish paste and add red chili pepper to it with sticky rice paste
  • Wash oysters in salt water.
  • Mix the ingredients from steps 4, 5, and 6
  • Put the mixture inside of each leaf then store in a Kim chi pot. On the top, cover cabbage with a leaf and sprinkle some salt. Then place a heavy stone on top to compress it

Where to store Kim chi

  • Clay pots are usually used to preserve its contents from spoiling by circulating air through them.
  • Crockery is made with a method of oxidation in which it is burnt through air and flame together. The pots can keep Kim chi fresh for a long time.
regional variations of food
Regional variations of food
  • In northern provinces, the long winter and and short summer developed a taste of food of is less salty and less spicy compared to the southern provinces
  • The taste of foods gets more salty and spicy as you go down to the southern provinces. They tend to use more seasonings and salt-fermented seafood in the south


  • Seoul itself does not produce many kinds of food resources.
  • foods are seasonedmoderately.
  • Seoul foods tend to be fancier and their presentation shows more formality.


  • both rice farming and dry-field farming are actively done
  • With plenty of seafoods from the west coast and mountain greens from the eastern mountain area.
  • Similar to that of Seoul, the taste is either not too strong or mild. Also, seasonings are not used much.


  • major items of agriculture are grains and vegetables.
  • Foods do not use many seasonings.
  • chicken, oyster or clams are used instead of beef, and for seasonings, soybean paste is widely used.


  • From the old times, Jeolla province was well known for its vast variety of produce and foods. grains from the fertile Honam field
  • There are so many side dishes displayed on the traditional Jeolla table setting.
  • Raw or salt-fermented Seafoods are well developed. Bean sprouts, prepared in uniquely Jeolla style, and hot pepper soybean paste are widely used in a variety of recipes


  • Foods from Jeju mainly made with saltwater fish, vegetables, and seaweed, and are usually seasoned with soybean paste
  • few seasonings are used. And usually, small numbers of ingredients are required to make dishes native to Jeju.
  • The taste of the food is generally a bit salty
  • there is no need to prepare Kimchi for the winter


  • With its good fishing grounds in the east and south coasts, Gyeongsang produces plenty of seafoods.
  • people eat fish so much and raw fish strips and other seafood are considered the best food
  • The foods are not fancy, but simple
  • Hot and Salty
  • Noodles are widely enjoyed


  • The 1,000 m-high Taebaek mountain ranges lie from the north to the south of Gangwondo
  • In coastal region, a variety of seafood dishes are well developed
  • In Mountain region, dry farming products such as potatoes, corns, wheat, and barley are widely used as staple food items


  • Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries- Agricultural Census 1990
  • FAOSTAT, World Bank World Development indicators 2002