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Fermented pastes are the foundation of many dishes in Korean cuisine. Rich, deep, and savory, they are are much thicker than sauces and incredibly distinctive, satisfying, and delicious.
Korean cuisine has relied on rice for thousands of years, but also makes extensive use of barley and other cereals.
Milled ingredients have been ground, crushed, soaked, pulverized, liquified or somehow processed in a mill. Most Korean neighborhoods have a local mill where these tasks can be easily carried out and these ingredients are very common in Korean cooking.
Korean noodles and rice cakes are made from some form of dough, but the cakes are not baked like you might expect. When used in other dishes, rice cakes can also be called "rice noodles."
Vegetables are eaten at every Korean meal, and fruits are used as natural sweeteners and marinades.
Korea is a mountainous country, and has a long history of foraging herbs, plants, and vegetables that traditionally grow naturally in the mountains.
Koreans love mushrooms, which are often foraged in the wild and can be used as a meat substitute in many Korean dishes.
Many Korean dishes feature edible root vegetables, which are easy to grow in almost any climate.
The part of a plant that's underground, including rhizomes.
Korean cuisine uses meat in moderation, and always with vegetables.
Korea is a peninsula and surrounded by water, so Korean cuisine uses a lot of seafood: fish, cephalopods, shellfish, and sea vegetables.
Seasonings improve flavour by adding salt, and condiments are used to complement dishes. Both can be added at the table by the diner, or used in cooking by the chef.
Korean cuisine uses these liberally, often combining them together.
Many Korean dishes are well-known for their spiciness, which almost always comes from some form of chili pepper.
Sweeteners traditionally came from fruits and syrups, rather than granulated sugar.
Tofu is bean curd pressed into soft white blocks. It's been used in Korean cooking for more than a thousand years.
Using dairy products as ingredients is a relatively recent technique in Korean cuisine.
Technically a Fungi, in Korean cuisine yeasts are traditionally used in baking, cooking, and making alcohol.
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