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 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, 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.
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.