Chungdam Restaurant


 Korean Food is casually represented by BULGOGI and KIMCHI. In fact, however, Koreans are proud of their diet, quite varied and full of nutrition. It is richly endowed with fermented foods, vegetables and grains, soups, teas, liquors, confectionery and soft drinks. KIMCHI and DOENJANG paste made of soybeans are the best-known examples of Korean fermented foods, and these have recently become highly valued for their disease-prevention effects. Korea boasts hundreds of vegetable and wild green dishes. The Korean meal is almost always accompanied by a big bowl of hot soup or stew, and the classic meal contains a variety of vegetables. Korean foods are seldom deep-fried like Chinese food; they are usually boiled or blanched, broiled, stir-fried, steamed, or pan-fried with vegetable oil.

 For centries, the Koreans have eaten the products of the sea, the field, and the mountain because of the features of Korean peninsula and a distinguish climate makes Korean food more abundant. Korean foods are very special, exotic, and particular. The most distingushing feature of the Korean food is the spiceness. The basic seasonings-red pepper, green onion, soy sauce, bean paste, garlic, ginger, sesame, mustard, vinegar, wine have been combined in various ways to enhance Korean foods.

 Korean food has various side dishes. Favorite side dishes are bean paste soup, broiled beef, fish, cabbage KIMCHI, and steamed vegetables. THE FULL COURSE KOREAN MEAL is called HANJUNGSHIK. It is composed of grilled fish, steamed short ribs, and other meat and vegetable dishes with steamed rice, soup, and KIMCHI.

 KIMCHI is the best known Korean food. It is vegetable dish, highly seasoned with pepper, garlic, etc. It is served with every kind of Korean meals and it stimulates the appetite like pickles. Large quantities of KIMCHI are usually made in late fall or early winter for the winter. the making at this time is called KIMJANG. KIMCHI contains amounts of good nutrition such as vitamin C, and fiber.

 Meat dishes is one of the famous dish to Westerners. BULGOGI is generally called KOREAN BARBECUE. It is marinated in a sauce made with soy sauce, garlic, sugar, sesame oil, and other seasonings, and cooked over a fire in front of table. For the other special food, GALBI, the short ribs of beef or pork is also good. The recipe is similar to BULGOGI

 Soups, GUK and JJIGAE in Korean vary in taste and potency. Through the history, the soup culture was developed because of the famine or cold weather. When our ancestors were short of food, they made soup with small amount of vegetables and beef bones. Also the hot soup could play a role in protecting the cold. MAEUNTANG is spicy, hot seafood soup that includes white fish, vegetables, soybean curd, red pepper powder. DOENJANG-GUK is a fermented soybean paste soup with baby clams in its broth. For the soups, there are other kinds of soups such as MIYOK-GUK, KIMCHI-JJIGUE.  Vegetable dish is also popular in Korea. We, Korean traditionally eat more vegetables with rice in main meal than meats and the vegetable dishes are various in kinds and tastes. Korean call dishes made with only vegetables NAMUL. There are two kinds of which are SAEMGCJE, cold and raw NAMUL and SAEMGCJE, warm and steamed NAMUL.

 Traditional Korean table settings are classified into the 3 CHOP, 5 CHOP, 7 CHOP, 9 CHOP, 12 CHOP setting according to the number of side dishes served except rice, soup, and KIMCHI. The average family takes three or four side dishes. When a family has celebrations or party, a dozen or more delightful dishes are served. Korean food is shared by diners in one table, except rice and soup. All the dishes but hot soups are set at one time on a low table at which diners sit to eat. Chopstick and spoons are used for eating. Different from Japanese and Chinese, Korean use more thin chopstick made by metal, not wood.


Boiled Rice (Bop)Boiled Rice (Bop)
There are many ways to cook rice and many ingredients which may be added to it. Barley, beans, chestnut, millet, or other grains are often added for better taste and nutritional values.

Soup (GooK, Tahng)Soup (GooK, Tahng)
A Korean table is never complete without a soup. Vegetables, meat, fish and shellfish, seaweed, and even boiled cow bones and intestines are used to make soup.

Porridge (Jook)Porridge (Jook)
Sometimes a delicacy, porridge has been served as a restorative food to recovering patients in Korea for hundreds of years. Pine nuts, red beans, pumpkin, abalone, ginseng, chicken, vegetables, mushrooms and bean sprouts are the most popular ingredients.

Stew and Casseroles (Tzigae and Jungol)Stew and Casseroles (Tzigae and Jungol)
Less watery and containing more substances to chew than soup, these dishes are one of the main parts of a meal. Soybean paste stew is one of the popular stews. JEONGOL is usually cooked in a casserole dish on a fire at the dining table. Beef, mushrooms, shrimp, octopus, tripe, noodles and vegetables are favored ingredients for JEONGOL.

Broiled and Barbecued dishes (Gui)Broiled and Barbecued dishes (Gui)
Various meat and Fishes, often vegetables are cooked directly on a grill. BULGOGI (thin-sliced marinated beef) and GALBI (marinated beef ribs) are well-known examples of GUI (broiled).

Smothered and Simmered dishes (Tzim and Jorim)Smothered and Simmered dishes (Tzim and Jorim)
Tzim is a time-honored technique that preserves food for weeks. Meat and fish whit soy sauce and other seasonings are smothered in an earthenware pot over low heat until the ingredients become tender and tasty. JORIM is similar to TZIM. Meat, fishes or vegetables are glazed in soy sauce or red pepper paste and simmered at low heat.

Pan-fried and Pancakes (Jeon)Pan-fried and Pancakes (Jeon)
Mushrooms, zucchini, fish fillets, oysters, or green peppers with ground meat filling are thinly coated with flour, dipped in a beaten egg, and then pan-fried. There are also pancake-type jeon: mung bean powder, wheat flour or grated potato is used to make a batter, and green onion, kimchi, or chopped pork are stirred in, then pan-fried.

Raw fish (Hweh)Raw fish (Hweh)
Sliced raw fish is becoming popular around the world. Tuna, croaker, flatfish, oysters, skate, sea cucumber, abalone, sea urchin, and squid are popular in Korea (some restaurants even serve raw beef). Sesame leaves or lettuces are common garnishes, and choices of thin-sliced ginger, mustard or red pepper paste sauce provide pungency.

Corned and Fermented food (Jutgal)Corned and Fermented food (Jutgal)
Fish, clams, shrimp, oysters, fish roe, or selected fish organs are the main ingredients of JUTGAL, which is very salty. A pungent side dish in itself with steamed rice, it is sometimes added to kIMCHI or used to season other dishes.

Vegitable dishes (Namul)Vegitable dishes (Namul)
The Korean diet includes hundreds of vegetables and wild green dishes called namul, and Korean marketplaces show a huge variety of unusual greens. Namul is usually parboiled or stir-fried and seasoned with combinations of salt, soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, garlic and green onion.


The Korean word for seasonings, YANGNYOM, comes from the Chinese word for remedy.
Many plants and herbs used to prepare daily meals are also used in Chinese herbal medicine.
Koreans use spices not only for their taste but also for health reasons. Many seasonings can contribute to balanced nutrition. The Korean diet has lately come to be regarded as almost ideal from a health point of view, for which much of the credit must be given to its seasonings.
In the past, every Korean household would make their own soy sauce (GANJANG)), soybean paste (DOENJANG) and red pepper paste (GOCHUJANG). These three are the most important seasonings in the Korean diet, so preparing them well is an important annual task along with making KIMCHI.
Each Korean household would keep a series of large and small crocks or earthenware jars in their backyards to contain soy sauce, soybean paste, red pepper paste, salt and various types of KIMCHI.
Today, ready-made traditional seasonings are available in markets, yet many households particularly in the countryside still keep the old practice.