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Korean meal is generally consisted of rice and side dishes. Since the peninsula is surrounded by water and 70% of the land is mountainous, various kinds of vegetables and abundant marine products have been foodstuffs for Koreans from long time ago.

One of the main characteristics is that there are lots of fermented foods in Korea. Fermented foods are good for our health and helpful to prevent adult diseases. They occupy 80% to 90% of Korean servings as usual. All kinds of Jang(Korean spice) and Kimchi, and Jutgal(salted fish) are the instances of the fermented foods.

Korean food also well represents the characteristics of the different seasons and regions. In the spring, people tend to eat various kinds of Namul (wild vegetables) enjoying the fresh flavor and taste. In the summer, the foods that can strengthen our bodies fatigued with the hot weather like Samgyetang is popular among Koreans. In the fall, the harvest time, there are abundant foods to eat. Chestnut and rice cakes made with newly harvested rice are eaten. In the winter, people make and store kimchi. We call it Gimjang. You can easily find the people who sell roast sweet potatoes on the street also.

SamgyetangSamgyetang(Ginseng Chicken Soup)
Samgyetang, a ginseng chicken soup, is the most common and famous health food eaten on bongnal (the hottest period in summer). It is believed to cool the body during hot and humid days. A chicken, just enough for a single serving, is stuffed with ginseng, garlic, jujube and glutinous rice. Samgyetang is not only a seasonal food but also the best medicine for hot summer.

Seolleongtang is beef and bone soup. It is made by boiling beef and bones in water for a long time. The meat is drained and thin-sliced and then it is seasoned with green onions, black pepper and salt. It looks milky white because it is boiled with many bones. Koreans season a dish with many kind of Jang like ganjang(soy sauce), gochujang(red pepper paste), doenjang(soybean paste). Since Korea stands on the basis of agriculture, making seasonings with grain has been well-developed. Ganjang, gochujang, doenjang are all made by that way.

* For more information :
- http://www.prkorea.com/english/e_intro/e_introto3_1.htm
- http://food.prkorea.com