Author Archives: Korean Tofu House

Give It Up for Ginger: by UW Korean Restaurant

Health-Promoting Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has always been considered an essential cooking ingredient in Korean cuisine. Called Saenggang, it is another vegetable commonly used alongside garlic. It is typically used in marinade sauce, in Kimchi or in some Korean tea.

Different countries use ginger differently. Some Asian cuisines have their ginger pickled, grated, shredded, grounded into paste, or brewed as tea, in Korea ginger is made into kimchi. It is either finely minced or just juiced to avoid the fibrous texture and added to the ingredients of a spicy paste just before the fermenting process. In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally used mainly in sweet foods such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps, parkin, ginger biscuits, and speculaas.

Gingerol is the active component of fresh ginger. It is chemically related of capsaicin and piperine which give chilli peppers and black pepper their spiciness. It is normally found as a pungent yellow oil, hence, its unique fragrance and flavor. However, when cooked, ginger transformed into the less pungent zingerone.

Gingerol has been investigated in some studies and found to have medicinal values. For example, it seems to be effective in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been studied for its effect on cancer tumors in the bowel, breast, ovaries, the pancreas, among other tissues, with positive results.

Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea, especially that associated with morning sickness; likewise, also on nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, caution or a doctor’s advice must be sought in ingesting large amounts of ginger in whatever form owing to the risk to the fetus of the pregnant mother.

Owing to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle soreness. It may be effective at reducing the daily progress of muscle pain if it doesn’t do so immediately. Against arthritis, a study showed that a combination of topically-applied ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in these patients. Also, ginger has been shown to help patients with chronic indigestion, may significantly relieve premenstrual syndrome pain, lower the bad cholesterol levels, and even blood sugar levels.

Good Ginger in Your Diet

With these beneficial effects of the lowly ginger, it is good to enjoy dishes that include the flavors and aroma of this root crop, such as found in many of our selections at Korean Tofu House. Know more about how ginger enhances many other Korean dishes and improves your health issues.

Amazing Anchovies: by UW Korean Restaurant

Small In Size, Big in Flavors

Anchovy is one of Korea’s most essential food ingredient, especially in Korean stews and soups. Fresh or raw anchovies are used to make pickled or fermented fish, while the dry variety are made into broth, as a side dish, or more often as a snack. Cooking anchovies depend much on their size. The bigger ones, called Dasi-myulchi are for broth; the small ones, Bokkeum-myulchi, are side dishes.

There are more than 100 different species of anchovies foraging in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. The small, saltwater fish swim in large schools, making them very easy to catch in large quantities. Fishing for anchovies is very popular in the Mediterranean, hence, it has become a major part of European, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines.

The taste of the fish may not be pleasant to most people but the little salty fish has found its way in pizzas, pastas, salads, sandwiches, and in tomato sauce. The nutritional value of anchovies is well studied. They are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Known as the King of Calcium, anchovies also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Anchovies are a good source also of vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, C, B12, B6, A, E and K. They also contain fatty acids and cholesterol.

Due to the large amounts of polyunsaturated fats they contain, notably Omega 3 fatty acids, anchovies are healthy for the heart, reducing bad cholesterol and their buildup in the arteries leading to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Rich also in protein, anchovies benefit the functioning and efficiency of cell metabolism and connective tissue repair and regrowth. The King of Calcium also helps in building strong bones, preventing the risk of osteoporosis, fighting bone degradation, and helping teeth from weakening.

The low calorie count of anchovies make them ideal for weight loss purposes. Their omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E content and the mineral selenium promote healthy skin – enabling smooth complexion, preventing breakouts and early wrinkles, and protecting against sunburn. The high levels of vitamin A in anchovies have been linked to reduced appearance of macular degeneration, as well as cataracts.

Know that the strong flavors of anchovies may mean you only have to use a little in your cooking. Besides, the high levels of sodium in them are a contributory risk factor; so just be moderate in consumption.

Enjoying in Healthy Moderation

Know more about anchovies from your favorite UW Korean restaurant. Little wonder why the little fish are a regular ingredient in a lot of Korean and other Asian dishes. For flavor and health benefits, anchovies deliver the goods.

Ingredients That Characterize Korean Cuisine

What are the Top Korean Essentials?

If you are bent in turning your own kitchen into a cooking haven dedicated to Korean cuisine, these are the top ingredients you cannot do without.

Let’s start with condiments. Soy sauce (jinganjang) is the most common and absolutely essential for barbeque marinades, jorim and bokkeum. Soy sauce can do also. There are many varieties in the market and you can opt for the low-sodium brand, if you wish; just check the label. In addition to soy sauce, there’s kochujang or red chili pepper paste, used for marinades, bokkeum and fresh vegetable sauces. No substitutes for this, please.

Also look for daenjang, or Korean soybean paste, a classic fermented seasoning used in dips, soups, stews and many more. Korean fish sauce is typically used in varieties of kimchi to accelerate the fermentation process. Korean rice vinegar is not as sour as regular white vinegar but more flavorful.

There are spices, of course. Spices are a staple of Korean cuisine. Have ginger and garlic and kochukaru. This is Korean chili pepper powder with a unique sweet flavor that’s entirely Korean. Going to vegetables, no Korean meal is complete without scallions or green onions. Napa cabbage is usually for kimchi, while perilla leaves are used in a pickled side dish, in stir fry and as a wrap. Grains is huge in Korean diet. From grains come rice, rice wine and noodles. Sesame oil (Chamgireum) is widely used in side dishes, rice dishes, BBQ and in dipping sauce. It adds a nutty aroma and savory flavor.

Some essential ingredients are dry, such as Korean chili powder/hot pepper flakes (gochujang) made from dried red chilies, roasted sesame seeds usually used as garnish, gim (dried seaweed sheets), dried anchovies, ground black pepper, roasted solar salt that isn’t too salty or sour, and sweeteners, the liquid form as rice or corn syrup Koreans prefer. Of course, don’t miss out on the versatile tofu or bean curd, a major component in Asian, and certainly Korean, cuisine.

Magical Essentials in UW Seattle Korean Restaurant

You see how Korean foods come together using their basic, essential ingredients. Korean Tofu House in UW brings you their classics with the magic of truly Korean essentials.