Author Archives: Korean Tofu House

Korean Food on The Rise in The US

Stimulating American Taste

In many parts of the US, Americans are loving the spicy, sour, and all-around elements of Korean cuisine. In many places you are bound to see quick-serve restaurants meeting this demand. Korean cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines inspiring authentic and fusion dishes; for example, Korean flavors can fuse with Mexican. The Asian cuisine is surely becoming a global flavor

Gochujang

Gochujang and kimchi are two of the most popular Korean ingredients and are often used together. Gochujang is a fermented chile paste – spicy, tangy, savory, smoky, and sweet, all together. It is more deep and earthy than other chile pastes. Gochujang is versatile, can go into different dishes, because it can be used as a side sauce or in actual recipes, like marinades and soups.

Kimchi

Kimchi, a staple traditional Korean cuisine, is a side dish of fermented cabbage seasoned with chilies and salt and others. It can be eaten cold by itself or hot as a component in dishes like soup, or rice. After eating something heavy or greasy, Koreans eat kimchi to refresh the palate and balance taste. It is also a probiotic and helps with digestion. Kimchi has many flavor profiles but is basically sour. It stimulates the senses and, when combined with savory items like vegetables and rice, creates an immediate craving for more.

In the US, most Korean-inspired dishes use gochujang, kimchi, or both, but there are other ingredients in the cuisine that are starting to interest American palates. One is glass noodles, a main component in japchae, consisting of sweet potato noodles that are thinly shredded and stir-fried with sesame oil, soy sauce, and vegetables. Sesame oil and seeds are also a popular addition, bringing a subtle hint of nuttiness and smoky flavor to dishes. Then there’s plum extract, used as a substitute for sugar.

Interest in Korean food is not slowing down in the US, in fact, it is picking up well. America is ready and wants new, exciting, flavorful options that countries like Korea have to offer.

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Korean Food in University District

If you’re around UW Seattle, visit the Korean Tofu House. We’ve got your favorites on our menu – all the Korean classics you love.

Korea’s Fermented Garlic: An Immunity-Booster

Unlocking The Power of Garlic

The amazing nutritional powerhouse, known as garlic, is well-celebrated for its antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It contains beneficial compounds found to reduce inflammation, offer antioxidant benefits, and strengthen our immune system.

However, one highly delicious Korean food known as Manuel Jjangachi (pickled garlic) has garlic as just one of its ingredients. It also contains honey, which is an antioxidant booster and helps the body fight disease. When garlic and honey are used together, they are a powerful combination against colds and the flu, plus can just be an everyday health maintenance food.

Did you know that though garlic and honey by themselves alone are a great combination, yet can be made exponentially greater by the process of fermentation? When fermented, the immune-boosting properties of garlic, via its chief component, allicin, is significantly increased.

Allicin is a compound produced when garlic is crushed or chopped. It’s known for its antioxidant effect and anti-inflammatory benefits. In fact, when taking allicin supplements, it can help in several health problems like heart disease and cancer. Likewise, it has also been the alternative medicine in the protection from atherosclerosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Many Korean dishes such as stews and side dishes have garlic. It’s a crucial part of Korean cuisine.

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Great Garlic Flavored Foods in University District Seattle

Unlock the power of garlic when you order our popular selections at Korean Tofu House. Come by and try our recipes. Find us at UW area.

Korea’s Bibimbap: Regional and National to Global

The Many Looks, Many Flavors of Bibimbap

It’s just a bowl of rice mixed with pork or beef and some assorted veggies – an all time favorite of Koreans. That’s the Bibimbap. Across all generations and all ages, the bibimbap is beloved in Korea. Now it has swept the world. It’s delicious, appealing, filling and nutritious. It comes in endless variations and restaurants the world over have been creative in preparing and presenting this dish.

Some might consider bibimbap a fast food dish as all ingredients are mixed together after tossing and stirring and then enjoyed. If it’s a fast food item then it’s very different from all the other quick meals served around. The dish offers many nutritional benefits with its rice, meat and assorted vegetables. Also, bibimbap represents Korea’s long-held belief in harmony, created by oseak – the five cardinal colors of traditional Korean art. The meal is thoroughly prepared; it can be served cooled or as a hot dish, in a golden yugi, a Korean brassware, or a heavy-duty dolsot, a stone pot.

Bibimbap was first called goldongban during the 16th to 20th century, meaning “rice made by mixing various types of food”. It’s also called hwaban, meaning “flower to bloom on top of rice.” The colorful mix could be found many regions throughout Korea and recreated in various types of these specialty bowls found today. For example, there’s bibimbap to-go, available in many countries outside Korea. You find them anywhere from convenience stores to gourmet restaurants. Bibimbap is also featured in many international in-flight meals. However, if you prefer fine dining and want genuine Korean tastes, you can have gang-doen-jang bibimbap or soybean paste sauce.

Here are some of the best known regional versions that’s got global recognition.

Jeonju bibimbap is regarded as the most representative example of bibimbap. It’s fried beef and thin garnish strips of cooked egg whites and yolks. The broth from a beef brisket is used to cook the rice, garnished with the tartare and egg on top, its signature feature. Another is Heot-jesatbap, served during ancestral rites. The region of Andong is best known for this scrumptious meal, typically made with the three colors of namul, jeon (coated and pan-fried fish and vegetables) and guk (soup) from the table for ritual services. Since it is served in remembrance of one’s ancestors, the main spices of Korean cuisine, such as spring onion, garlic and red pepper powder, are not used. The ritual dish is served with a variety of jeon and sanjeok (skewers).

Unlike other bibimbaps, diners may adjust the flavor of individual servings. Tongyeong bibimbap is from a coastal community of the same name, with an abundance of fresh seafood. Namul and vegetables are served on steamed rice and then mixed with shrimp, clams, and mussels blanched in boiling water and seasoned with sauce. Jinju bibimbap is a unique local food of Jinju in Gyeongsangnam-do. It is served with vegetables like cooked fern brakes and bean sprouts on top of steamed rice. Minced beef and jang guk (clear soybean soup) is mixed in a bowl and served garnished with cheongpo (mung bean jelly), yukhoe (beef tartare), and red pepper sauce.

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