Korean Hanshik (한식 )/ Cuisine is very well famous for its distinct spices and flavors. Its main base is Korean rice and vegetable. Before you go deeper different kinds of food, you should first get familiar with the basic ingredients that you will find in almost every Korean home.
Soy Sauce (간장)
Koreans love the combination of the sweet and salty taste. Soy sauce is called Ganjang (간장) in Korea. They love it so much that Koreans have three kinds of soy sauce. They have Guk gajang (국 간장) perfect for soup and is saltier, Jin Ganjang (진 간장) the higher grade and most expensive because its healthier, and the most basic is yang ganjang (양조 간장) that you can use in any dish except for soup. They use ganjang to season vegetables, seafood, fried tofu, bibimbap, and more.
Soybean paste (된장)
된장 literally means ‘thick sauce’. It is a fermented soybean paste that is considered as one of the oldest traditional seasonings. Its thick brown sauce is almost the same texture as peanut butter but it tastes saltier than any soy sauce. It makes soup to have a richer flavor. You should definitely try eating Doenjang soup!
Cooking Wine (미림)
To get rid of that unpleasant raw meat smell, Koreans use Mirim (미림). It greatly enhances the dishes and brings out some refreshing sweetness to it. And because it is a ‘wine’ it has alcoholic content that is usually in 14%. that is lower to rice wine so you can mix it with your food.
Korean chili paste(고추장)
Gochujang is very famous as a spicy ingredient. It is mainly used to make any dish spicier with a rich taste. This is the most fundamental ingredient in Korean cuisine because you can mix this to almost any dish from rice to soup. You can also use this to marinate your meat for a quick delicious flavor.
Sesame Oil ( 참기름)
Chamgireum(참기름) is a toasted sesame oil that has a dark red-brown color. Korean sesame oil has a strong aromatic nutty flavor. All sesame oil in a Korean mart is toasted so it tastes different to Japanese and Chinese sesame oil so be careful in buying them!