Grab These Ingredients And Make These Korean Recipes
Special ingredients from other countries are no longer that hard to find.
Our obsession with anything Korean hasn't wavered yet! The K-pop phenomenon has only gotten more and more popular and it doesn't look like it will be waning any time soon.
If you love everything Korean, including their flavorful and delicious food, then you must be wondering what dishes you can make. From the bibimbap rice meals to the jjambong recipes that sear your taste buds with every sip, you know that the few places you get these dishes are at a Korean restaurant.
We say there's no need to spend too much for one Korean meal of satisfaction. Instead, make your favorite Korean dishes from scratch. You not only get to eat what you want, but you can also add in a little extra of your favorite ingredients to the mix to make it a customized dish just for you.
If you know a Korean grocery store near you, lucky you! You won't have to look far to get your ingredients.
If you're worried, however, that you may not be able to find the ingredients you need or have to hunt down the location of the nearest Korean grocery store just to get its specialized ingredients, don't worry. For the rest of us who don't have easy access to a Korean grocer, we have scoured the grocery and supermarket shelves of our favorite supermarkets just to find the right ingredients to make your Korean meal at home come true.
Take a look at these ingredients and recipes, choose the recipe you want to make, and let us tell you where you can find these specialized Korean ingredients in your supermarket. (We promise; it's easier to find than you think.)
1 Kimchi: Kimchi Rice Recipes
There are many ways to make fried rice but we have a special fondness for this spiced version from Korea. Kimchi is the unique ingredient in this recipe and it's what gives it that distinct color and flavor that nothing else can give it. Kimchi is basically salt pickled and then fermented napa cabbage or a Baguio pechay made spicy with some Asian ground red pepper as it soaked up all the flavors from the aromatics and ground chili.
If you love the tangy, spicy fermented vegetable, this fried rice recipe takes the cabbage and its pickling juice plus a few other ingredients to create a one-bowl meal that won't have you looking for anything else.
Kimchi is fantastic served as a side dish for your homemade Korean barbecue spread but it's just as delicious when added to fried rice as with these recipes, stuffed into dumplings for mandu, or stirred into delicious soups and stews, too.
Where to Find It: Chiller or refrigerated section of major supermarkets
2 Glass Noodles: Japchae Recipes
It's called "glass" because these grayish-green noodles turn translucent when cooked, and these noodles are essential to Korean noodle cooking, especially if you love japchae. Also spelled as chapchae, this recipe is basically the Korean version of our pancit guisado recipe but using this special glass-like noodle that is not unlike our sotanghon or bihon. It's made from sweet potato starch instead of mung bean (monggo) or rice or corn flour.
You can use these noodles for just about any recipe that also calls for sotanghon or bihon.
Where to Find It: Asian or international section or the noodles section of major supermarkets
3 Red Chili Pepper Flakes: Jjambong Recipes
Known as gochugaru, this is the equivalent to the ground cayenne pepper or the fried red pepper flakes we usually find in bottles for sprinkling on our food. In Korea, this kind of spicy pepper flakes is not just used as a condiment, but these are used as full-fledged ingredients in their dishes such as in this spicy seafood noodles recipe called jjambong or this easy kimchi ramen recipe made spicy and flavorful, Korean style.
Use it as you would dried chili flakes for that dash of heat or add to ground meat for a subtle but fruity kick as in this beef longganisa recipe.
Where to Find It: Asian or international section or the spices section of major supermarkets
4 Sesame oil: Kimbap Recipes
There was a time when sesame oil was as rare as nori, the seaweed sheets used to make different kinds of sushi and other Asian rice rolls. Not anymore! Bottles of this earthy, nutty, and highly aromatic oil from the sesame seeds is as available to the masses as coconut and olive oils. For kimbap, however, the oil is used to season the rice instead of seasoned rice vinegar which you would normally use when making a Japanese sushi. The ingredient swap is telling, and it's what makes these rolls different from those from its Asian neighbor.
Where to Find It: cooking oil section or the Asian and international sections of major supermarkets
5 Red Pepper Paste: Korean Fried Chicken Recipes
Probably the most popular of Korea's ingredients, gochuchang or red pepper paste is the main flavoring ingredient for many Korean recipes. While the soy-garlic is the most known dressing for the twice-cooked Korean fried chicken that has become so popular, these wings are nothing in comparison to the more flavorful Korean sauce that is tossed with these spicy double-fried Korean fried chicken.
What's great about this ingredient is that it's so easy to add to recipes. It's a paste so it easily incorporates into marinades, sauces, and even stirred into soups and stews.
Where to Find It: Asian or international section of major supermarkets
Whether you're a fan of Korean pop culture or just love the flavors and ingredients that are associated with Korea, let these Korean ingredients and recipes be your guide to having a great meal. What's great about ingredients is that once you have it, you can make so many recipes and even create new dishes and flavors using the ingredients.
Love eating out at the unlimited Korean barbecue joints? You'll want to know all about them with these useful articles: