The Cuisine of Korea refers to the food traditions and practices of the people of Korean Peninsula. Korean cuisine is notable for its many small side dishes, especially kimchi. Typical meals are built around the staple grain of rice and usually include at least one kimchi amongst the side dishes. Ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, gochugaru (pepper flakes), gochujang (fermented red chili paste) and napa cabbage. Korean cuisine can be further divided into national and regional cuisines in addition to that of the Korean diaspora.
Bulgogi (불고기) - beef (and sometimes pork) marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and chilli pepper, cooked on a grill at the table. It is a main course, and is therefore served with rice and side dishes. Bulgogi literally means "fire beef" and is often called "Korean BBQ."
Bibimbap (비빔밥) - (literally meaning mixed rice or mixed meal) - rice topped with vegetables, beef and egg, and served with a dollop of chilli pepper paste. A variation of this dish, dolsot bibimbap, is served in a heated stone bowl, in which a raw egg is cooked against the sides of the bowl.
Kimchi (김치) - vegetables (usually cabbage or white radish) Commonly fermented in a brine of anchovies, ginger, garlic, green onion and chilli pepper. There are infinite varieties (at least as many as there are households), which are served as side dishes.
Galbi (갈비) - ribs, either pork or beef, cooked on a portable gas burner in the centre of the table, and accompanied by rice and various side dishes.
Gimbap (김밥) - (literally seaweed rice) - rice and strips of vegetables, egg, ham and pollock, rolled in laver (seaweed) and sliced. This is a popular snack or child's lunch, similar to Japanese sushi rolls.
Naengmyeon (냉면) - (literally cold noodles) - this summer dish consists of several varieties of thin, hand-made buckwheat noodles, and is served in a large bowl with a tangy iced broth, raw julienned vegetables, and often a boiled egg and/or cold beef.
Gochujang (고추장) - (hot chilli pepper paste) is an indispensable condiment.
Songpyeon (송편) - rice cake served at Chuseok (Mid-Autumn Festival) decorated with sesames, soy beans, and chestnuts.
Pajeon (파전) - a seafood pancake (or egg roll) made with oysters, squid, shrimp, and green onions, often served with chili paste.