With the rising popularity of Korean culture through music and drama series, I’m sure you have all been curious about making your own Korean food as seen in your favorite tv shows or sometimes even in the music videos of your favorite Hallyu artists too. Do you know there are some dishes you can even cook at home? Here’s a few kitchen essentials to make your own Korean meals.
Pressure Rice Cookers – Like any other Asian cuisine, rice or “bap” is a big part in making Korean dishes. Some of the easier meals to make is Kimbap and Bibimbap, and the main ingredient for both? You guessed it, rice. A Rice cooker is a must have if you want to start your Korean cuisine journey. It can be used for a lot of other things aside from cooking rice too, making porridge, fluffy sponge cakes, or ggalbi jim (beef stew), so it is certainly a purchase you will not regret.
Stainless Steel Mesh Strainer – Soup is an essential in any Korean meal. It is one of the most common banchan/s (side dishes) served every time you eat in a Korean home or restaurant. Most soups in Korea are made with either seafood or beef and root crops like ginger. scallions and ginseng. In making broth, a stainless-steel mesh strainer will be your best tool, you can use it to blanch your vegetables or seafood in, you can also use it to strain the anchovies or ginger in the stock before mixing in your main ingredients.
Kimchi Container – A Korean meal is not complete with the nation’s favorite banchan, kimchi. There are probably a hundred different types of kimchi from radish, cucumber to the famous napa cabbage. Kimchi is usually made in big batches since they can be stored for a couple of months, this is why kimchi containers exist – they are tightly covered containers allowing the kimchi to ferment properly and keep the smell inside the container at the same time.
Mandoline – Vegetables are another main ingredient in Korean cooking and are usually either chopped in smaller pieces or are thinly sliced equally, so the mandoline is definitely a kitchen must have. It makes slicing vegetables mixed in a lot of Korean dishes such as jjapchae, bibimbap, kimbap and radish or cucumber kimchi. This will save you a huge amount of time and effort, compared to manually chopping them yourself.
Korean Stone Bowl (Dolsot) – Another item that is considered a treasure in the Korean kitchen is the Dolsot or Stone Bowl. Dolsot is commonly used to make kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew), ssamgyetang and bibimbap. These pots are super versatile, the can be used in the oven, stovetop, broiler and even in the microwave. They are also known for their durability, dolsot is usually passed on from generation to generation together with halmeoni’s recipes.
Kitchen Shears – Making Korean dishes require a lot of cutting, may it be meat, noodles or kimchi. This is a task a regular scissor can’t do, and it will not be hygienic to do so either. You’ll notice in most Korean restaurants and samgyupsal places, they use kitchen shears to cut up the meat in vegetables they put in the grill or kimchi. They are sharp enough to cut up thin chicken bones or tendons and are far more durable than thin basic scissors.
To summarize, you can make some of the most famous Korean dishes in the comfort of your own home just by having these useful household items. Now you can taste the food that you can only see on tv before.