Banchan is a set of small plates of food that are typically served at restaurants before the main course. Typical dishes are salty and spicy and include spicy fermented kimchi, steamed fish and other small seafood, soups, stews, and spicy pickled or stir fried vegetables seasoned with garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
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Bibimbap, meaning mixed rice, is a famous Korean dish composed of white rice topped with seasoned vegetables, gochujang (chili pepper paste), and an egg. Bibimbap is a delicious dish that is enjoyed by both locals and tourists and great way to introduce Korean food new and curious foodies in Korea.
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Bindaetteok is a fried Korean style pancake and snack that is made with mung beans, green onions, peppers, and kimchi. Other than vegetables, you can often find the pancake stuffed with seafood (haemul) or meat (gogi) such as pork or beef.
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Bulgogi is a dish that consists of well marbled grilled marinated beef, chicken, or pork that is commonly found in barbecue restaurants all over Seoul. The most common preparation is to marinate thin slices of beef, such as sirloin, in soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic.
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Dak galbi is a dish made using diced chicken stir fried in gochujang (chili pepper paste) with vegetables such as sliced cabbage, onions, and scallions. It literally means chicken ribs, but ironically there is no rib meat in the dish. Other ingredients often added to the chicken include sweet potatoes, tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), and rice.
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Galbi, or kalbi, is dish that uses beef or pork short ribs, on the bone or not, marinated in ganjang (Korean soy sauce) known as garlic, and sugar. The type of marinade, which varies by each restaurant, can include sesame oil, rice wine, fruit juice, or even honey.
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Galbitang is a type of guk (Korean soup) in which galbi (beef short ribs) is stewed in water for many hours with ingredients such as daikon and onions. Galbi means "short ribs" while tang is another name for guk, which means "soup." Therefore, galbitang literally means "short ribs soup."
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Gimpap, or kimbap, is a dish where streamed white rice (bap) and other ingredients are rolled in sheets of seaweed (gim) and sliced into smaller pieces. The dish can be found all over Seoul in formal and fast food restaurants, sold by street vendors, and in convenience stores. Though similar to the look of sushi, gimbap does not use rice vinegar but instead sesame oil.
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Hotteok is a popular and sweet filled snack that resembles a pancake. It is typically found on the streets of Seoul during the cold winter months. It is believed to have been brought to Korea by Chinese merchants in the 1800s. Unlike similar Chinese snacks, this dish features a sweet filling instead of a meat filling. Koreans favor the sweet taste over the savory taste.
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Jokbal is a dish of sliced pigs' feet cooked in ganjang (soy sauce), ginger, garlic, rice wine, water, and sugar. The mixture is then brought to a boil. Over time, the meat becomes very tender. The meat is then removed from the bone and cut into slices and enjoyed.
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Kalguksu is a noodle dish consisting of wheat flour noodles mixed with a seafood broth and other ingredients such as scallions, potatoes, and vegetables.
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Kimchi is a traditional spicy fermented cabbage dish served as a side dish or as part of a main dish that can be found on almost any table across Korea. It is estimated that Koreans eat upwards of 18 kilograms (40 pounds) of the dish, per person, per year. Not surprisingly, kimchi is the national dish of Korea.
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Kimchi jjigae is one of the most common jjigae (stew) in Korea which is made using kimchi, tofu, scallions, onions, and sometimes pork or seafood.
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Mandu is a delicious type of dumpling often filled with various meats, tofu, ginger, or vegetables and is usually served with dipping sauces and soy sauce. Mandu is similar to other types of dumplings such as gyoza in Japan, pierogi in Eastern Europe, pelmeni in Siberia, manti in Turkey, and buuz in Mongolia.
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Naengmyeon is a cold dish of thin, long handmade noodles made from the flour and starches of ingredients such as buckwheat, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Naengmyeon, originating from North Korea, literally means "cold noodles."
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Samgyeopsal is a popular barbecue dish similar to uncured bacon that consists of thick and fatty slices of pork belly that is unmarinated and unseasoned. Literally meaning "three layered flesh", samgyeopsal is a thick and fatty cut of meat very similar to bacon.
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Samgyetang is a chicken soup consisting of a whole young chicken in a Korean ginseng broth that is stuffed with glutinous rice, garlic, nuts, and dates. The dish is a type of Korean guk, or soup. The name samgyetang literally means "ginseng chicken soup."
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Seolleongtang is a hearty, milky white soup made by simmering ox bones for hours. When preparing seolleongtang, beef bones, usually from the leg, simmer for hours in a pot. The low and slow method extracts all the flavors, fat, and nutrients from the bones. The result is a milky white broth that is both hearty and comforting. Beef brisket, sliced green onions, and seasonings are often added to the simple broth. These seasonings include salt, pepper, and red pepper. While simple, the soup pairs well with kimchi, banchan, and rice.
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Sundae is a blood sausage dish consisting of boiled or steamed pig's or cow intestines stuffed with ingredients such as noodles, barley, and blood. The dish is similar to black pudding found all across the united Kingdom.
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Tteokbokki, or topokki, one of the most popular street foods in Korea, is made with boiled tteok (rice cakes) mixed in a spicy red chili pepper paste. Tteokbokki is sold by street vendors, known as pojangmacha, all across Seoul and Korea. Tteokbokki is quite possibly the best representation of Korean street food.
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