I had never tried Korean food before coming to Korea. I had never gone to a Korean restaurant or cooked any Korean food at home. But, Brazilian food isn’t easy to come by in Korea, so I had to adapt to an entirely new food culture very quickly. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few safe and simple recipes so that you can start making Korean food at home.
Stir-Fried Egg Rice (계란볶음밥)
This is probably one of my favorite simple Korean recipes. It’s super easy to make and tastes really good. Plus, depending on the seasoning you use, it probably won’t be too different from the food in your home country. It’s so basic, I think most countries have dishes with similar flavors. Do you like rice? Do you like eggs? Then this one is for you.
You will need:
- 200g of rice
- Two large eggs
- Green onions
- 4-5 tablespoons of canola oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Sesame seeds
Finely chop the green onions. Then, heat a skillet or frying pan and pour in the canola oil and add the green onions. Stir a little bit and then add the eggs. You want to make roughly scrambled eggs.
After they are done, put everything on one side of the pan and add the soy sauce. Next, add cooked rice to the pan. Mix the rice into your scrambled eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste and finish with sesame seeds.
If you want to add a little bit of a twist from your home country, you can add in any other seasonings or ingredients you like. Here in Korea, they often add an extra fried egg or raw egg yolk on top.
And just like that, you have cooked your first Korean meal!
Chicken Porridge 닭죽
I’m all about lightly flavored foods with a clean taste. So, naturally, I love pretty much any type of porridge. One of my favorite memories here in Korea was when my friends and I combined the ingredients we had in our rooms and we cooked chicken porridge. Eating such a delicious meal with people I was close to on that drizzling day makes me very affectionate towards this dish and I am here to share it with you.
You can cook it in a traditional way, using ginseng chicken stock, or use the chicken stock seasoning you prefer. The good thing is that this recipe is very adaptable so even if you are not used to the taste of Korean cuisine, you can easily adjust it to your palate.
You will need:
- 150-200g of glutinous rice (찹쌀)
- 1 to 1-½ cups pulled chicken
- 6 to 8 cups of chicken stock
- 1 Celery stalk
- 1 small carrot
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- Finely chopped green onions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Onion to taste
- Sesame seeds (optional)
First, chop the carrot, onion, and celery stalk into small chunks. Then, heat a saucepan and add the sesame oil. After it is hot, you want to add the washed, uncooked rice and cook it for about three minutes while stirring. Then, add the onion followed by the carrot. Let everything cook until the grains are slightly translucent around the edges. It takes about two to three minutes.
Add the chicken stock to the saucepan. Let it cook for about 30 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally so it cooks evenly and doesn’t burn.
After the rice is cooked and the stock has thickened, add the pulled chicken and season it with salt and pepper to taste. If you want to, you can add some sesame seeds to the top (black ones are better for presentation).
Kimchi Pancake 김치전
Kimchi pancakes are amazing! It tastes really good and is extremely easy to make. The only reason why I put it last is that kimchi is not to everyone’s tastes. So be careful if you can’t handle spice or if your stomach gets upset very easily. Still, since it is not really that hot, you can start eating it to increase your tolerance bit by bit. Or you can just eat it simply because it is delicious.
You will need:
- 230g of kimchi chopped into small pieces
- 3 green onions, also chopped
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup of water
- 4 tablespoons of canola oil
Combine everything in a bowl and mix well with a spoon until everything is incorporated. Heat a non-stick frying pan or skillet, add two tablespoons of canola oil, and swirl it over the pan’s surface.
Put the batter into the pan and press it flat with the back of a spoon or spatula, making a circle. Cook until the side is a golden brown crisp. It takes about five minutes. Then, flip the pancake and repeat the process with the other side down.
Enjoy These Simple Korean Recipes!
And just like that, with these simple Korean recipes, you are already cooking and eating authentic Korean food. There are so many varieties of these dishes so feel free to take the base recipes and adjust them as you wish. There are so many more dishes you could cook that are just as easy and tasty!
Want to get a little bit more adventurous on your Korean cooking journey? Click Here to read about how you can make stir-fried webfoot octopus at home!