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A diverse array of foods and dishes can be found throughout Korea. Korea was once primarily an agricultural nation, and Koreans have cultivated rice as their staple food since ancient times. These days Korean cuisine is characterized by a wide variety of meat and fish dishes along with wild greens and vegetables. Various fermented and preserved food, such as kimchi (fermented spicy cabbage), jeotgal (seafood fermented in salt) and doenjang (fermented soy bean paste) are notable for their specific flavor and high nutritional value.

The prominent feature of a Korean table setting is that all dishes are served at the same time. Traditionally, the number of side dishes varied from 3 for the lower classes to 12 for royal families. Table arrangements can vary depending on whether a noodle dish or meat is served. Formal rules have developed for table setting, demonstrating the attention people pay to food and dining. Compared to neighboring China and Japan, a spoon is used more often in Korea, especially when soups are served.
Bap (steamed rice) and Juk (porridge)
Boiled rice is the staple of Korean cuisine. Most people use sticky rice, which sometimes has beans, chestnuts, sorghum, red beans, barley or other cereals added for flavor and nutrition. Juk is thought of as highly nutritious and light. Many varieties of juk exist, for example, juk made of rice, red beans, pumpkin, abalone, ginseng, pine nuts, vegetables, chicken, mushrooms and bean sprouts.
Guk (soup)
Soup is an essential dish when rice is served. Ingredients of different soups include vegetables, meat, fish, shellfish, seaweed, and beef bones.
Jjigae (stew)
Jjigae is similar to guk but is thicker and hardier. The most famous jjigae is made from fermented soy bean paste. Jjigae is usually spicy and served piping hot in a heated stone bowl.
Jjim and Jorim (simmered meat or fish)
Jjim and jorim are similar dishes which are prepared with vegetables and soaked in soy bean sauce, then slowly boiled together over a low flame.
Namul (vegetables or wild greens)
Namul is made from slightly boiled or fried vegetables and wild greens mixed with salt, soy sauce, sesame salt, sesame oil, garlic, onions, and other spices.
Jeotgal (seafood fermented in salt)
Jeotgal is a very salty food made of naturally fermented fish, shellfish, shrimp, oysters, fish roe, intestines and other
Gui (broiled/barbecued dishes)
When cooking gui, marinated meats are barbecued over a charcoal fire. The most popular meats of this type are bulgogi and galbi. There are also many fish dishes which are cooked this way.
Jeon (pan-fried dishes)
Jeon is a kind of pancake made from mushrooms, pumpkin, slices of dried fish, oysters, unripe red peppers, meat or other ingredients which are mixed with salt and black pepper, dipped in flour and egg and fried in oil.
Mandu (dumpling)
Mandu is dumplings stuffed with beef, mushrooms, stir-fried zucchini, and mungbean sprouts. Pork, chicken, or fish is sometimes used instead of beef.
Baechu Kimchi
It is the most popular winter kimchi made by packing the so, the blended stuffing materials, between the layers of salted leaves of uncut, whole cabbage. This particular kimchi varies by region, namely the cold areas of the north and the warmer areas in the south. In the former, this kimchi tastes neither spicy nor hot, but rather insipid.Tthe warmer areas produce kimchi that is saltier, spicier, and juicier.
The process of so is not so widely used in the northern regions. However, spices and seasoning are added to finely shredded radish and then those are put sparsely between the heart of white cabbage. In the southern area, it is common to plaster the so mixed with strong salted seafood juice and glutinous rice paste over the whole cabbage.
Although radishes are available year-round, winter radishes are sweeter and firmer. That is why many preserved side dishes are made of radishes. When you add green leaves of radish, leaf mustards, green onions. or outer leaves of cabbage to kkadugi, it will be all the more delicious.Fermented shrimp is recommended instead of anchovy paste, which will give kkakdugi a darker color and strong scent.
Oysters are great when added to kkadugi, but be sure to consume it as soon as possible because it will go bad easily.
Chonggakmu kimchi (Ponytail Radish Kimchi)
Even though it is made in every region throughout this country, it varies by regions depending on kinds of salted fish juice used, amount of red pepper powder put, and rice porridge added. It is a delicacy kimchi people enjoy most, following tong baechu kimchi, dongchimi, and kkakdugi.
In Chungcheong-do, its taste is adjusted only by salted shrimp juice tasting plain or dongchimi ,the watery radish kimchi, is made. In Kyeongsang-do and Jeolla-do, salted fish juice
kimchi mixed with rice porridge is common. It is made with dongchimi prior to gimjang, so it is eaten earlier than normal baechu kimchi. If you want to make this kimchi later than usual, use less myeolchijeot and rice porridge, and adjust its taste with salted shrimp or salted yellow calcite to make a strong taste. Then cover it with the outer leaves of the cabbage. It is favored by people due to its long-lasting coloration and freshness: it takes a long time to ripen.
Nabak Kimchi
Use Chinese radishes and cabbage and pour a great deal of kimchi stock. The less spicy, the better the taste. It is a year-round kimchi available at all seasons. Fermented fish is not recommendable. Try to sprinkle with salt on the cabbage and radish evenly, otherwise it will be too salty and too late to fix. Other seasoning should be shredded in order to prevent thicker and sticky stock.
Do not use the greener part of green onions but use the washed white part since the greener part has sticky resin of its own. The starch from radish, sugar, and seasoning make the stock thicker and stickier. When preparing stock, use thin cloth as a filter. Do not put hot pepper flakes directly into the stock. Minari (dropwort) can be mixed together but for better color, put it into the Kimchi one night before serving. If you want to save time, boil the stock and cool it and then put 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Source: english.visitkorea.or.kr