|PSY's Wiki Korea Introducing Unique Facets of Korean Culture|
Banchan refers to small side dishes served along with cooked rice. The most well-known side dish of all Korean side dishes is kimchi. Banchans are meant to be shared and are placed at the middle of the table while rice and soup are served individually. For reasons of hygiene and changing lifestyles, some serve guests with an individual plate for them to take whatever side dishes they like.
Samgyeopsal is the most popular cut of pork in Korea. Thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat are deliciously cooked on a grill. Samgyeopsal literally means three layers of fat and flesh. In the West, this cut of pork meat is much less popular than the pork shoulder or leg, so it is often discarded or processed into bacon.
Yasik refers to late-night meals or snacks and in Korea, there are many yasik delivery services available. Simply make a phone call and your favorite yasik snack will be delivered right in front of your doorstep in just thirty minutes or less. The most popular yasik items include jokbal (pig’s feet cooked in soysauce), chicken, pizza, tteokbokki¸ ramyeon noodles and dumplings.
At a large-scale fish market in Korea, customers can buy fish on the first floor and then bring it to the second floor or nearby restaurants to be cut into fresh, raw fish ready for consumption. The top fish markets in Korea are the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, Incheon Soraepogu, and Busan Jagalchi Market.
Bungeo-ppang is a fish-shaped snack that is commonly sold by street food vendors. It is made by pouring a thin batter into a fish-shaped iron mold, after which red bean paste is added, and then more batter is poured on top to complete the shape. It is a cheap snack especially enjoyed during winter. Unlike the name suggests (bungeo, meaning carp; ppang, meaning bread), there is no fish inside the snack. Recently, a wider variety of bungeo-ppang has become available, including those with sweet potato filling, choux cream, or ice cream.
Pajeon is a pancake-like Korean dish made from a combination of egg batter, wheat flour, green onions, and a variety of seafood. It is also referred to as a Korean-style pizza as it can be topped with various ingredients other than spring onions. Pajeon can also be made with kimchi, squid, carrots or other vegetables.
Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish. It is served as a bowl of warm rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables, meat, eggs, and gochujang (red pepper paste). Bibimbap varieties differ by region and ingredients used, but the most well-known are Jeonju Bibimbap and Jinju Bibimbap. With the recent westernization of food culture, some restaurants also offer fusion-style bibimbaps.
Surasang refers to the Korean royal court cuisine traditionally consumed at the courts during the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties. The word sura is of Mongolian origin, meaning food. It was introduced in Korea during the reign of Wonjong (24th king of Goryeo, 1219-1274) in the late Goryeo era. Surasang is a set of three tables served twice a day, at around 10am the morning and around 5pm in the afternoon.
Tteokbokki is a popular Korean snack food commonly purchased from street vendors. It is a braised dish of slender pieces of rice cakes in gochujang (red chili paste) sauce. The dish can be hot enough to make some people sweat so it usually comes with a serving of fish cake soup. To make tteokbokki, sliced pieces of rice cakes are boiled in a sauce made of gochujang, sugar, and starch syrup until the sauce reaches a rather thick consistency. In some regions, various ingredients such as ketchup, pepper, or mustard can be added for a unique flavor. Other versions can be created by adding unusual ingredients like cheese, gopchang (tripe), or jajang sauce. Though tteokbokki is a signature street food, it has recently been hailed for its nutritional and culinary value, thanks to efforts made to globalize Korean cuisine.