Taste Of Korean Food

I have done some studies on Korean food and here are my findings from Korean food experts.

When asked about the taste of their food, Korean eagerly recite the phrase “Hanguk umsikun sackom, dalkom, maekom hago olkun, tchahtchal, ssubssul, kkosohan masida” – Korean food is pleasantly sour, sweet, hot, burning hot, salt, bitter and nutty.

Sourness derives mainly from grain vinegar, herbs, and certain fruits. From honey, grain syrup (before sugar was widely used in Korea), and fruits like pears and jujube comes its sweetness (dolkom).

Sweet and spicy hotness (maekom) gives the food its aggressive exuberance originating from Korean hot peppers. “Deliciously burning hot” (olkunham) is the ultimate expression of delight for Korean hot pepper (afioionados), signifying a spiciness so explosive it can make the diner breaks into a sweat.

Soy sauce or other salty seasoning gives the right touch of salt (tchabtchalham).

The agreeable bitterness (ssubssulham) comes from ginger, ginseng, berries, seeds and certain vegetable and herbs

Nuttiness (kkosoham) comes from a variety of indigenous nuts and seeds including pine nuts, chestnuts, walnuts, gingko nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.

These combinations of food taste have certainly made Korean dish very unique and delicious.
Korean cooking is characterized by thick, warming soups and stews, pickled vegetable (Kim Chi) and a fondness for beef.

The following recipe is one of Korean best known and best loved of Korean’s native dishes.

Stir Fried Korean Beef Strips (Kogi Bokkeum)


350g to 450g lean tender flank or sirloin steak.

Bulgogi Marinade:

1. Ground black pepper or dried red pepper flakes or ground red pepper to taste.

2. 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce.

3. 2 tablespoons sul (Korean rice wine).

4. 1 tablespoon sesame oil.

5. 1 tablespoon sugar.

6. 1 green onion (scallion, thinly sliced).

7. 2 large cloves garlic, crushed.

8. 3 cm fresh ginger-peeled and finely chopped or grated.


1. Cut the meat across the grain into pieces ¾ cm thick then into 5x 2 1/2 cm pieces.

2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add the beef strips and mix well to coat all sided. Cover and marinate for 2 hours.

3. Heat wok over high temperature and pour in 2 tablespoons of oil.

4. Add the marinated beef strips along with 2 tablespoons of bulgogi marinade.

5. Stir-fry quickly about 2 minutes until the meat is browned on both sides. Do not overcook.

6. Garnish the dish with some toasted white sesame seeds.

7. Serve together with hot steamed rice and other Korean dishes such as Kim Chi and soup.