Bursting with flavors and spices, Korean food has many charms — one being that it is healthy. Koreans believe that “food is medicine”, and when it comes to their cuisine, that saying is not far from the truth. Korean culinary creations can provide both physical and mental healing because it is considered one of the healthiest cuisines and, in the case of hansik or traditional food, it is served in a way that aims to bring people together. For ages, Korean food has been prepared and presented in a special way that reflects different aspects of Korean culture: it is colorful, features strong, rich flavors, and requires a lot of patience.
Kimchi, a Korean side dish made of fermented vegetables. (Photo: Unsplash)
But what differentiates Korean cuisine from other cuisines around the world is the ingredients that embody the lifestyle and traditions of past generations and their creativity in preservation. This can be seen in the traditional Korean sauces that are the essential building blocks of the cuisine: doenjang, a fermented paste typically made of soybeans and salt; gochujang, a chili paste; ssamjang, a type of spicy dipping sauce; and of course, the heart of the Korean kitchen, bap (steamed white rice) and kimchi, a pair that can serve as an entire, complete meal.
With the Korean wave (hallyu) spreading across the world, the east Asian nation’s tasty, addictive dishes are gaining popularity, causing Asian markets and online stores that provide Korean ingredients to stock up as more and more people seek to satisfy their curiosity by preparing some of the Korean food that flashes across their screens.
Enjoying Korean bites in Jordan
Korean food and snacks, along with ingredients, are available in Jordan at Asian markets, in both online and brick-and-mortar stores. If you want to try and cook yourself a delicious Korean meal, you might want to try Asia Market, near the Second Circle, or the online shop Esol.n on Instagram, where you can find everything you need, from spices to vegetables, noodles , and unique sauces. These stores also offer a variety of Korean snacks for munching while watching a K-drama.
Bibimbap, a Korean dish made with rice, vegetables, and meat. (Photo: Pixabay)
Jordanians can also enjoy Korean food at a number of popular restaurants, such as the healthy Korean fusion restaurant Bibim on Rainbow Street or. K-town in downtown Amman.
Try your hand at Korean cooking
Cooking Korean food might look easy, but it is not as simple as it seems. However, do not be daunted! Preparing a Korean meal is an opportunity to enjoy a new experience and learn hands-on, about Korea’s culture and history. If you like to spend time in the kitchen, this experience will also teach you new ways of handling ingredients.
As is the case for all global cuisines, some Korean meals are easier to cook than others. Gimbap offers a good introduction to the techniques: it consists of rice and vegetables rolled in seaweed. Another good option for those just starting out is the popular Japchae, sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables and meat.
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