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Love K-dramas? Here Are 4 Korean Dishes You Must Try

Love K-dramas? Here Are 4 Korean Dishes You Must Try

With the new wave of Korean cuisine coming in hot in India, here’s your guide to popular K-food

Love for everything Korean - from movies to shows and music - has propelled a wave in India
Love for everything Korean - from movies to shows and music - has propelled a wave in India Shutterstock

Let’s talk about the ‘K’ in the room. By now, all of us have been asked to do at least one of the following by our friends, family or the internet: listen to K-pop music, watch K-dramas or eat Korean food. It’s time we address this new wave of Hallyu that has only grown stronger in the pandemic lockdown. Shows like Crash Landing on You have taken India by storm with exaggerated drama, wild plot twists and notebook love stories. Quite a few Indians now prefer to spend their Saturday nights with a warm cup of Ramyun noodles, a pair of chopsticks and a bubbly K-drama on the screen. 

Korean cuisine has become immensely popular in India
Korean cuisine has become immensely popular in India Shutterstock

There has been a steep rise in the consumption of Korean food in the last half-decade or so. This dramatic increase can be correlated to the influx of K-culture that was established with a little help from the lockdown, which allowed the people to cross the proverbial borders and explore movies and television shows. The viewership of K-dramas leapt to a shocking 370% in 2020 which lead to the consequent increase in the import of Korean noodles which gladly rose to 200% in 2021. The Korean fad was here to stay!

Here are a few Korean dishes that rode on the K-wave and have now established themselves firmly in India:

Tteokbokki in Korean spicy sauce
Tteokbokki in Korean spicy sauce Shutterstock

Tteokbokki: Korea’s favourite street food and one of the simplest of dishes, tteokbokki is made up of spicy rice cakes in gochujang (Korean red chilli pepper paste) and soy sauce. Although the original recipe is about a hundred years old, the spicy red sauce tteokbokki came into being in 1953, back when the Korean war ended. Tteokbokki carts and stalls are found on almost every street in Korea. Now, it is available in Korean restaurants in India as well.

Kimchi soup with tofu and pork
Kimchi soup with tofu and pork Shutterstock

Kimchi-jjigae: A common stew in Korean cuisine, Kimchi-jjigae or kimchi stew is made with aged kimchi along with scallions, onions, and diced dubu and pork or seafood. As for kimchi, it is the Korean version of a pickle and constitutes fermented vegetables like Korean radish and napa cabbage. Kimchi-jjigae is usually served with a bowl of rice and is loved for its sweet and savoury taste.

Rice with vegetables and meat
Rice with vegetables and meat Shutterstock

Bibimbap: A rice-based dish, Bibimbap can be broken down into ‘bibim’, which means ‘mixing rice’ and ‘bap’, which refers to rice. Rice topped with an assortment of vegetables and meat, Bibimbap usually goes with soy sauce, gochujang or kimchi. Egg yolk is another primary ingredient that makes up this simple yet delicious dish. 

Jajangmyeon is Korean Noodle with black sauce
Jajangmyeon is Korean Noodle with black sauce Shutterstock

Jajangmyeon: A popular Korean-Chinese dish, this noodle dish is often featured in K-dramas. You might’ve seen your favourite character ordering jajangmyeon after a long day. Noodles dipped in black bean sauce, Jajangmyeon, are popular in Korean households and are usually prepared during a celebration. Very recently, jajangmyeon has been associated with Black Day, celebrated on April 14th. It is eaten by single people with their friends to mark the absence of a romantic relationship in their lives. 

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