Healthy and Delicious Korean Food

How often is it that you eat something that is both completely satisfying and nourishing? That is why I love Korean food: It fills me up, and it makes me strong. Besides, it is delicious. By “completely satisfying,” I mean that your appetite was sated; you could not eat another bite. A slice of watermelon can be completely satisfying — if a meal was eaten not long before. That meal might have consisted of lots of greasy, salty, low-nourishment food.

When was the last time you ate an entire meal that filled you up without damaging your heart with salt and fat or loading you up with empty carbohydrates? If you are honest about it, you will probably have to admit that it has been a long time.

Korean food is flavorful, colorful, and meaty, but it also nourishes the body like few other cuisines. Eating Korean barbeque can be a real eye-opener because you wrap each morsel of meat in antioxidant-rich leaves and spiced up with tiny slices of garlic. On the side you always get probiotic Kimchi, rich in lactic acid, and usually hot green chili peppers full of vitamin C. The best side dish might be “myul-chi” which is a kind of anchovi dried out. It is full of calcium, protein, omega fish oil — and it tastes salty. It’s like eating beef jerky that is actually good for you.

One more word about kimchi: This stuff is amazingly good for you, and they make all kinds of kimchi. It’s not just the cabbage. Koreans seem to be able to ferment just about anything. A word of advice on kimchi if you are not accustomed to it: It is exotic and strange at first, but by the second time you eat it, you will not want to live without it. In fact, some Korean people say that they can’t live without kimchi — and they are only half-joking.

One big difference you will notice between Korean food and Western food is the dessert. Typically, you will be given a cup of cold and refreshing cinnamon tea, along with a plate of fruit. This cleans the palate, but it is also full of nutritious goodness because of the fruit. The heaviest dessert you will ever get in a Korean restaurant is “pat ping su” — a kind of crushed ice with red beans and sugary stuff in it. The sugar is not good for you, but at least it does not clog your arteries like cheesecake.