Every morning I woke up to a full breakfast table. In preparation for our wedding, DJ's mom got us healthy and strong through food. Also, as many of you know, Korean mothers show their love through force feeding ;) I decided to document my meals each morning, so you can see exactly what a well-balanced home-cooked meal looks like in Korea! I did my best to describe, spell and articulate all of the different dishes. You should know that in Korea, side dishes "banchan" come with every meal and vary greatly. Meaning, there is always a lot of different types of food and flavors on the table. I hope you enjoy this post and learn about some new "super" foods. And, if you go to an authentic Korean restaurant near you, you should be able to try some of these!
Kimchi-jjigae, Wild Rice, Myulchi Bokkeum, Hard Boiled Eggs, Peanuts, Acorns, Apples
Kimchi-jjigae 김치 찌개: Kimchi tofu pork stew is my ultimate favorite Korean dish. Spicy and hot (temperature), I always eat it when I feel a cold coming on, to help break my fever and give me strength. Kimchi is know as a superfood and is listed as one of the world's five "healthiest foods".
Myulchi Bokkeum 멸치볶음: Gochu green pepper and anchovy side dish.
Miyeok guk, Saengseon-gui, Wild Rice, Mixed Greens, Apples, Peanuts, Acorns, Gochu-jangajji, Chonggak Kimchi, Myeongi Namul
Miyeok guk 미역국: Seaweed soup aka Birthday Soup. Miyeok guk is typically eaten after a woman gives birth and always served on birthdays as tradition! Miyeok contains a high amount of calcium and iodine, nutrients that are important for nursing mothers. With a very mild seafood broth, this is one of the few Korean dishes that is not spicy!
Saengseon-gui 생선구이: Roasted whole fish is a classic side dish and accompanies many meals in Korea. This fish is named is "Jogi" in Korean.
Gochu-jangajji 고추장아찌: Korean green pepper pickled side dish.
Chonggak Kimchi 총각김치: Radish kimchi (my favorite kimchi side!) fermented with red chili peppers.
Myeongi Namul 명이나물: Pickled "mountain garlic" leaves, looks similar to spinach but has a stronger, more harsh taste. Many foreigners enjoy the taste, but personally, it is not my favorite flavor.
Kongbiji-jjigae, Nattō, Wild Rice, Duduk-gui, Spinach Omelet, Raw Fruits and Veggies, Yogurt with Aronia Berry
Kongbiji-jjigae 콩비지 찌게: Similar to kimchi jjigae, this stew is made with ground soybeans making a more grainy and thick consistency.
Nattō: Japanese Miso Beans (Soybeans) are not my favorite. They have a very strong flavor hard to describe and this particular side dish was very sticky.
Duduk-gui 더덕구이: Another unique side dish, this one using the bellflower root. Panfried using various spices and red chili peppers. This side dish was kind of stringy, but quickly became on of my new favorites!
Aronia Berry: Almost every day our meal came with a side of yogurt and aronia berries. You can start to notice the tiny white dish it in the other days. The first time I ate them, I just thought they were blueberries. They look very similar. But after recognizing a more bitter taste, I was told they were aronia berries and further taught they are much healthier for you than blueberries. A little more research revealed that aronia berries (chokeberries) have the highest antioxidant capacity among all berries! Another superfood!
Gimbap, Traditional Kimchi, Apples
Gimbap 김밥: Korean style sushi typically made with egg, tofu, veggies, pickled daikon radish. There are other types using bulgogi, crab, tuna, fish cake, spinach, etc. all wrapped in seaweed and seasoned with sesame.
Traditional Kimchi 김치: Kimchi is the name for pickled seasoned vegetables, and in its most traditional form uses Napa cabbage. A staple dish in Korea, it always accompanies a meals and is fermented with red chili peppers (gochugaru) making it full of probiotics for a healthy digestion.
Sagol Kimchi-jjigae, Wild Rice, Raw Salad
Sagol Kimchi-jjigae 사골 김치찌개: Another one of my faves. Well, any variation of Kimchi jjigae (the queen of Korean soups) is at the very top of my list. This kimchi stew was made with bone marrow broth and beef.
Wild Rice: Served with every meal, this recipe can be altered to your taste and dietary needs. Typically our morning rice was made with different brown and black whole grains, beans and nuts mixed right in the rice cooker. A healthier spin on just the basic white rice.
Yeongeun, Wild Rice, Korean Miso Soup, Ojingeochae-muchim, Doenjang, Sigeumchi Kimchi, Raw Fruits and Veggies, Acorns
Yeongeun 연근: Lotus Root, not only is it extremely pretty with its floral pattern, it also has an enjoyable taste. Similar flavor to a mild potato but, in this case, this root veggie can be eaten raw or barely cooked.
Ojingeochae-muchim 오징어채 무침: This is a favorite Korean side dish amongst the locals, shredded dried squid. Seasoned with a spicy sweet sauce, this popular side dish is made to last a LONG time and served with every meal over several days or even weeks.
Doenjang 된장: Bean paste used for dipping raw veggies.
Sigeumchi Kimchi 시금치: Spinach kimchi.
Kkongchi-jorim, Wild Rice, Mumallaengi-muchim, Yeolmu Kimchi, Raw Fruits and Veggies, Yogurt with Aronia Berry
Kkongchi-jorim 꽁치조림: This homemade recipe is similar to Kkongchi-jorim as it used the traditional mackerel pike. A very flavorful fish stew!
Mumallaengi-muchim 무말랭이무침: Another popular side dish, made with dried strips of radish and seasoned with a hot and sweet sauce.
Yeolmu Kimchi 열무김치: Young radish water kimchi, is just another of the many types of Kimchi served as a side with every meal. It is most popular in the summer months in Korea, as it is very light and refreshing. I LOVE it all year long!
Dotorimuk Salad, Sagol-guk, Myeolchibokkeum, Wild Rice, Spring Onion, Raw Gochu
Dotorimuk 도토리묵: This jelly-like tofu is made from acorn starch. It has the most bizarre consistency but not a very strong flavor. Slightly bitter alone, but it is usually topped with a sweet and salty sauce.
Sagol-guk 사골국: Beef bone marrow broth.
Myeolchibokkeum 멸치볶음: Dried anchovy side dish.
Daeha-gui, Saengseon-gui (Whole Fish), Yachae Jeon, Hoemuchim
Daeha-gui 대하구이: Grilled king prawns seasoned with salt.
Yachae Jeon 야채전: Jeon is the korean word for pancake. While we had veggie pancakes yachae jeon, you can "jeon" just about anything. Usually with zucchini, kimchi or mixed seafood. I find it similar to Japanese tempura, but less batter and just lightly pan fried. Pictured: zucchini, lotus root, sweet potato, peppers, perilla leaf, mushrooms.
Hoemuchim 회무침: Hoe (pronounced 'hweh') describes dishes in Korean than contain raw fish. This side is flavored with red chili pepper seasoning.
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