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Korean Food
Yoshimi Yoshimura

We sometimes eat Kimchi (pickled Chinese cabbage), bibimbap (vegetables and meat on rice), chijimi (Korean pancake made by flour, eggs, leek, pork, cabbage, and sesame oil) and other Korean delicacies. These are popular Korean foods in Japan. Perhaps the most famous Korean food is a Kimchi. So I will focus on Kimchi
Here in Japan I had a chance to have Korean friends and they cooked some Korean foods which I didn’t know. Surprisingly some of them are very similar to Japanese traditional foods. Here is s brief introduction to some of my favorite Korean delicacies, as extracted from various websites on the internet.


Kimchi

Kimchi in Japan
We can buy Kimchi in the supermarket. We can get both Kimchi made in Korea and Japan. Normally Kimchi made in Japan is much milder than Korean Kimchi.

Origin of Kimchi
“Since human beings began cultivating, they have enjoyed vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. However, the cold winter, when cultivation was practically unavailable, led naturally to the development of a storage method- pickling. As a kind of pickled vegetables, Kimchi was first made popular in Korea around the 7th century.”
Adapted from english.tour2korea.com

Use of Hot Red Pepper Powder
“At the earliest stage, Kimchi was just salted vegetable, but during the 12th century they saw the appearance of a new type of Kimchi with some spices and seasonings, and in the 18th century, hot red pepper finally became one of the major spices for Kimchi. In particular, thanks to the introduction of Chinese cabbages in the 19th century, they witnessed the same type of Kimchi as we know it today.”
Adapted from english.tour2korea.com
http://english.tour2korea.com/05food/Introduction/ddt_kimchi01.asp?kosm=m5_1&konum=subm2_1

Kimchi Nutrition
“Kimchi has different kinds of nutrients based on materals and the level of fermentation. Usually, the materials used in making Kimchi have few calories and low levels of sugar, but contain high amounts of fibers, diverse vitamins (especially vitamins A and C), and minerals (such as calcium and iron). The nutrients produced during fermentation (lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid) help protect against cancer and germs.” Adapted from lifeinkorea.com
http://www.lifeinkorea.com/culture/kimchi/kimchi.cfm?xURL=nutrition



Tteokbokki (Stir Fried Rice Cake)

“Long tteok (Japanese Mochi = rice cakes) are stir-fried with carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and cucumbers and stewed in a gochujang (red pepper paste) based sauce. It is very popular and can be purchased from street vendors.”
Adapted from lifeinkorea.com
http://www.lifeinkorea.com/cgi-bin/Food.cfm?Subject=rice#Tteokbokki



Gimbap (Rice Wrapped in Seaweed)

“Gimbap (usually spelled Kimbap) is Korea's most popular and nutritious convenience meal. It looks like a Japanese Makizushi. You can find it sold everywhere: schoolchildren's lunch boxes, street venders, and convenience stores. A layer of cooked rice is spread over a square piece of gim (dried laver). Various ingredients (including ham, sausage, spinach, cucumber, carrots, and radishes) are thinly sliced and placed on top. The idea was borrowed from the Japanese during the colonial period, but Korean Gimbap is slightly different.”
Adapted from lifeinkorea.com
http://www.lifeinkorea.com/cgi-bin/Food.cfm?Subject=rice#Gimbap




Sundubu-jjigae (Raw Bean Curd Stew)

“This dish is made from boiled raw bean curd. other ingredients include cooked opened clams, clam water, chopped poke, chopped kimchi, sliced Welsh onion, and sauce in a small Korean traditional style pot.”
From lifeinkorea.com
http://www.lifeinkorea.com/cgi-bin/Food.cfm?Subject=stew#Sundubu-jjigae

Soju (Korean liquor)
If you want to taste Korean liquor, try Soju.
“Soju is the most popular traditional Korean liquor among the general public. Soju was originally brewed from grains; today is mass-produced mainly from sweet potatoes. Soju means "burnt wine" in Korean.”
From asiafood.org
http://www.asiafood.org/koreanwines.cfm

This page tells us about Soju and Korean culture:
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/7577/51886

This page shows us various Korean foods:
http://www.lifeinkorea.com/cgi-bin/menu.cfm

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