In South Korea you can Korean versions of foreign foods easily, but not cooking ingredients. With expenses in Seoul being much higher than in Malaysia, I have been forced to learn how to cook in order to save money. I came here as a kid who knew nothing about cooking but have become quite the amateur chef. I would like to share my personal experiences making Malaysian food in South Korea starting with my chicken culture shock.
My experience buying chicken in Korea began after I had received Malaysian seasoning packets from my family. After such a long wait, I wanted to make the perfect, authentic Malaysian chicken dishes. However, I faced one problem – Korean has so many chicken options.
Too Many Kinds of Chicken
So, I began to wonder – what kind of chicken should you buy in South Korea? A processed one? A fresh one from the market? Back in Malaysia, I used to buy halal chicken online. It came in a packet and all of the bones were removed. Here there are a variety of options such as whole chicken, chicken pieces, boneless, bone in, sauced, seasoned, smoked, and just plain fresh chicken breasts.
I settled on an entire unseasoned bone-in chicken that had been chopped into pieces because it was the cheapest.
To be honest, my first experience purchasing chicken in Korea wasn’t great. Although the chicken had been chopped into pieces, it wasn’t as clean as what I was used to. I needed to wash the chicken multiple times before I felt comfortable cooking with it. Honestly, I was disgusted at first but as time has gone by, I think it was worth it. Although the chicken was small, it was still an entire chicken. I got two wings, two drumsticks, two breasts, and so on. Additionally, thanks to the small size, it took just a short period of time to cook.
However, it is undeniable that the halal chicken I used to buy last time is much more convenient. I just cut it into pieces and cook it without any hesitation. Due to the lack of bones, I didn’t have to worry about cleaning the chicken. However, I found cleaning the chicken kind of fun and relaxing. Plus, the chicken bones made my soup so much more flavorful and delicious. In my personal opinion, eating chicken with the bones was actually much more enjoyable compared to just eating the standard boneless one I was used to. If you are a person who doesn’t cook much, I personally recommend buying a processed one from the supermarket. Fresh ones from the traditional market usually have to be eaten quickly, lasting less than a week.
In conclusion, it all comes down to personal preference. Every variety of chicken offers a unique texture and flavor but the biggest pleasure of all is cooking and eating your own meals. Don’t be afraid to try Korea’s many chicken options and decide what is best for yourself.
If you read this article because you love chicken >>Click Here<< to read all about Korea’s fried chicken culture.