There are always certain foods that taste better on a specific day, such as ice cream commonly best enjoyed on a warm, sunny day; hot chocolate when it snows; and a cold refreshing slice of watermelon on a hot afternoon in your backyard. Whether it's the difference in seasons, one's mood, or the occasion; some things are better enjoyed at one point than the other. In particular, these Korean foods might be best enjoyed on a rainy and gloomy day to make you feel cozy and leave your stomach and heart warm!
Is it just me or do hot soups and stews taste so much better on cold days? These three Korean stews will sure enough bring warmth to your day and soul.
This famous stew is just what it sounds like, straightly made from kimchi! Commonly known for being served in a stone pot, it is said that using ripe kimchi is better for a stronger taste. All other ingredients are up to one's preferences.
Budae jjigae, also known as Army Base stew, has been around since the end of the Korean War. It was first made in Uijeongbu, a city in Gyeonggi Province, which was near many U.S. army bases. This delicious stew was often made from the surplus food items found nearby with the main ingredients being composed of processed meats.
This spicy chicken stew is a relative of the delicious beef stew (yukgaejang). Many prefer this stew in the summer, which can sound odd to many, but it’s widely eaten in order to fight the heat. Many see this dish as a way of heat controlling heat, cooling their body and leaving one full. Dakgaejang is like the Western idea of chicken noodle soup, but of course with the addition of spiciness.
Of course, every meal has to have a drink in order to not leave your mouth feeling dry! As well as foods, many drinks just seem to give a finer taste to a dish, both combining to make one ideal meal.
Just like the name says, this tea is made up from dried chrysanthemum flowers, then steeped in honey for months. After brewing in hot water, adding honey and sugar is up to your preference. This tea is light and sweet, and besides the taste, it is highly aesthetic! Many may find themselves reluctant to devour this tea in favor of pictures, but it’s just right for the cold weather.
Makgeolli is a Korean rice wine with a low alcohol content of 6-8% made from rice, yeast and water. It’s traditionally drank in small bowls, and has a sweet, sour and bitter taste. The wine is very popular among farm owners and villagers, but growing in demand among many cities across Korea.
As the heart of Korea, this is a must-know! Soju is one of the most popular drinks found in many restaurants, and even seen in K-dramas. With an alcohol content of 20%, it’s traditionally made from a blend of rice and grains; though between the 1960s and the 1990s, using rice was banned due to a rice shortage. As a substitute, it was made from sweet potatoes and wheat. Many say the taste is as a watered-down vodka. It is typically served in small shot glasses, and as tradition says, one should never serve themselves.
- Other Comfort Foods
Everyone has a certain food or snack that makes them feel more at ease during certain times in their lives. Whether one is under stress, not in the best mood, or at a time when a craving just needs to be taken care of; these foods are simple to find and are available for any time of the day, week and year, making them perfect for any occasion!
Mandu is the dumpling cuisine of Korea. These can also be steamed, pan-fried or deep fried like any other style of dumpling.These are well-known and can be found anywhere in Korea, from convenience stores, grocery stores, and even on the streets among all the delicious foods. For international foodies, it’s recommended to visit a nearby Asian market for a frozen option, or if you’re feeling fancy, visit your favorite Korean restaurants, and don't be afraid to try these delicious dumplings!
Jeon (Korean Pancakes)
Although like the name says, these pancakes are not the typical western pancakes with the addition of syrup. Korean pancakes include ingredients of your choice, are then soaked or mixed in egg, and finally, pan-fried. They are typically thin, and many from the West may see this as similar to gyeran-mari.
A must-try in Korean cuisine, tteokbokki (or stir-fried rice cakes) is made up of rice cakes and the addition of any ingredients your heart desires. The most commonly-used pairings are: fish cakes, cheese, green onions, scallions, eggs and sausage. This dish is known to be spicy, and the addition of cheese to help reduce this spiciness it makes it perfect for anyone with a lower spice tolerance! Rice cakes are known to have a chewy texture and rice taste, just as the name indicates.
As the seasons change, many around the world are trying to adapt to the coming of new temperatures and weather. Finding yourself in a cold, gloomy, and rainy day is surely to occur, bringing calmness to some or a slump to others. These dishes are perfect for any mood and day, so treat yourself to these savory foods! As the saying goes, after every storm comes a rainbow, and these Korean foods will speed the process of rainbows into your life, turning it into your perfect day!
Written by Andrea Villarreal