Korean Seasoning, Condiments, and Spices.
When making food, we use a variety of ingredients to give each food its own unique flavor with creating a unique taste.
It can be divided into seasoning, condiments, and spices.
The word Yangnyeon(Korean condiments) combines two Chinese characters: Yak(medicine) and nyeom(thinking). This means it is thought to be as good as medicine for one’s health.
The condiments are salty, sweet, sour, spicy and bitter, which are the basic flavors, and include salt, soy sauce (thick paste), red pepper paste, soybean paste, vinegar, and sugar.
Among a lot of condiments, we will focus on 8-condiments that are unique to Korea.
1. Ganjang(Soy Sause)
There are two different kinds of soy sayce: Guk-soy sauce and Jin-soy sauce.
Guk-soy sauce used as a soup soy sauce in the house is very salty shortly after soaking, so it is used to season the soup with light colors.
There is no deep taste of amino acids due to not enough decomposition of the fermented soybean paste, but as the content of amino acids changes as they gradually ferment, the salty taste decreases and the sugar and alcohol increase.
Jin-soy sauce has a stronger scent and dark color. Jin-soy sauce is used to season the soup with snacks, rice cakes, seasoned vegetable, seasonings and soups for flavor and color by thickening in color and increasing sweetness.
2. Doenjang(Soybean Paste)
Soybean paste is made from soybeans and the remaining leftover after removing soy sauce is removed. It is a very important fermented food in Korean food.
Soybean paste has long been loved as the main source of protein in our traditional dietary life, which is prone to protein shortages, due to mainly rice and vegetables.
In the past, soybean paste was made in a traditional way. When fermented after 40 to 60 days, the fermented soybean paste was removed and the soup was made into soy sauce, and the remaining lump was put in another pot and sprinkled with salt to make soybean paste.
The types of soybean paste will vary depending on the ingredients, ageing time, and ageing method.
3. Gochujang(Chili Paste)
It is the Korean unique fermented food made by mixing glutinous rice with red pepper powder, malt, fermented soybean powder and salt, and is nutritious, and capsaicin, a spicy ingredient, stimulates appetite and promotes digestion.
Gochujang is usually made in March or April before the weather gets hot, and depending on the ingredients, it is divided into glutinous rice Chili Paste paste, rice Chili Paste, barley Chili Paste, flour Chili Paste, red bean paste, etc.
Since ancient times, our ancestors used different Chili Paste depending on the purpose of the food. Glutinous rice Chili Paste was used to make the color of the food and flour Chili Paste was made for stew or soup, and barley Chili Paste was used for ssamjang in summer.
Garlic, one of the most popular condiments in Korean food, is the best health food in the world. If you grill the garlic, the spicy taste decreases and the sweetness increases, so even children can eat it.
Ginger is an important food item used not only in Korea but also in other countries like indispensable thing.
With its unique savory taste and aroma, it is used in tea and dessert as well as ingredients of various spices and sauces, and has various effects such as warming the body, enhancing the appetite and helping to absorb digestion.
6. Green Onion
Green onions, which are highly utilized, are one of the most popular condiments in Korean food, effective in strengthening immunity and controlling cholesterol in the body.
7. Sesame Oil and Perilla Oil
Sesame oil is an oil that roasted and squeezed out of sesame seeds and is used everywhere regardless of ingredients or recipes. Especially when you mix vegetables or mix bibimbap or adding meat seasoning, the taste improves even better, and the savory taste and aroma are strong, so it is usually added to raw food.
Perilla oil is an oil that roasted and squeezed out of perilla seeds and is used mostly for stir-frying vegetables or when baking seaweed. Both sesame oil and Perilla oil are high in unsaturated fatty acids and are low in smoke point, so they are not used for frying purposes.
8. Red Chili Powder
Remove the red pepper’s stalks, cut the bellies, remove the seeds, and wipe them clean with a dishcloth, dry and grind. Grinding varies depending on the application. Fine powder is used for red pepper paste and condiments, medium powder for kimchi and radish kimchi, and thick powder for commonly eaten in summer, such as green kimchi or young radish kimchi.
If left in the air, the substance will evaporate slowly, weakening its efficacy. The main nutrients in chili peppers are vitamins A and B.