Did you know that we have a ton of awesome Korean recipes and stories that need a new home in your kitchen? And we’ve got even more for our kimchi and pajeon enthusiast friends: handy explainers, crucial techniques and in-depth guides about our favorite gochujang-infused treats. Take a deep dive into our colorful Korean food section for dishes from award-winning chefs and cookbook writers, and freshen up your repertoire from this food-obsessed country. Here are a few of our recent favorites:
Along with bibim guksu, this is one of my favorite things to eat in the summer. Made from buckwheat, these noodles are springy and chewy — a completely different texture than the soft somyun vermicelli noodles typically used in Korean soups. I like to add loads of vinegar and mustard to the ice-cold broth here, often so much that it makes me suck in my cheeks and gives me a severe case of “mustard nose.”
Often referred to as “army-base stew,” budae jjigae is a story of desperation and ingenuity born out of necessity during the Korean War. During that tumultuous time, impoverished Koreans were forced to use leftover U.S. army rations for sustenance, sometimes even foraging through trash piles in the process. Ever since, and in far happier times, this spicy stew bobbing with Uncle Sam’s finest — Spam, hot dogs and processed American cheese—has remained in Korea’s culinary orbit.
Traditionally referred to as tong dak, the recipe typically calls for a whole chicken, and you are served half a fried chicken along with pancakes, pickled daikon, and various dipping sauces. When developing this recipe for my food truck, I wanted to make it a little easier to consume on the streets, so I stuck to chicken drumsticks, which are more in line with the American conception of fried chicken.
Both Korean and Chinese restaurants have a version of this Korean-Chinese dish, with the Korean version being saucier and the Chinese version being drier. Consider yourself warned: The black bean sauce is very messy, and even the most elegant diner will be hard-pressed to stay clean. For even cooking and a nice presentation, cut all the vegetables into half-inch dice. Note: Do not substitute Chinese black bean sauce here, as it is completely different.
There are two things that I always want when I’m at a Korean pub: One is Korean fried chicken and the other is kimchi fried rice. It is the ultimate bar food and is great with a cold beer or a bottle of chilled soju. The spicy flavor of this quintessential fried rice melds perfectly with the sweetness of the twice-fried pork belly and the creamy texture of the fried egg yolk. It’s the best thing to make with surplus rice and kimchi. If you don’t have pork belly, I suggest using bacon, hot dogs or even Spam.