Korean cooking

Cooking Fever in Korea 한국에서의 요리 열풍

Entertainment program related with cooking are currently popular in Korea. ‘한식대첩(Korean food competition)’ and ‘마스터쉐프코리아’ (Master Chef Korea)’ arose popularity and many issues. Especially, ‘냉장고를 부탁해’ on JTBC has been winning the popularity. ‘냉장고를 부탁해 (Ask you my fridge)’ is a kind of variety show where chefs compete to make a special dish in 15 minutes only with the ingredients taken from the guest’s fridge. Korean chefs who feature in this show include 홍석천(Seokcheon Hong), 최현석(Hyeonseok Choi), 샘 김(Sam Kim), 김 풍(Pung Kim) with one Bulgarian chef, 미카엘 아쉬미노프, who has lived in Korea for over 12 years and runs his own restaurant in Seoul.

The chefs try to make a delicious and looking-good dish only for the guest after they listen to what kind of food the guest prefers and the guest’s personal life style as well. The guest – the owner of the fridge has to decide which dish is the most delicious. Despite the pressure the chefs would feel throughout making the special dish in just 15 minutes, the guests would feel impressed by the beautiful and extremely delicious food which was made only for them. This show has been portrayed to the audience not only as a show of competition but a show where it gives a big pleasure to them. We can catch out some expressions related with cooking in the show. Almost expressions in recipe use the command verbs.

차가운 물에 씻어라. Rinse it in cold water.

양파를 얇게 잘라라. Slice onion thinly.

당근을 strip 모양으로 잘라라. Cut carrots into strips.

익을 때까지 볶아라. Stir fry it until they soften.

야채와 양념을 섞어라. Mix the vegetables and sauce.

설탕 1 스푼을 넣어라. Add 1 tsp of sugar.

중간 불에 15분 동안 익혀라. Cook it for 15 mins over medium heat.

씻다(to rinse) à 씻어라 볶다(to stir) à 볶아라
섞다(to mix) à 섞어라 넣다(to add/put)  à 넣어라
자르다(to cut/slice) à자르어라à 잘라라 익히다(to cook)   à 익히어라à 익혀라

As you seen from the examples, -어라/아라/해라 is an ending form of imperative sentence. Just try to catch out some expressions from the Korean cooking show or Korean food recipe.

(Sarah Yong, Korean Language Teacher)

Cooking expressions in Korean

If you have been to SLS Korean cooking/ Cultural workshop which was held earlier this year, you might have heard of some Korean expressions talking about cooking. Since Korean foods have many steps to prepare ingredients prior to main cooking session, we need to know some essential expressions regarding the preparation stage as well as the main stages of cooking.

For BBQ, 굽다 is used as ‘grill/bake’. For example, “갈비를 구워 주세요 galbi reul gu wue ju se yo” means “Please grill some Galbi (i.e. beef rib)”.  For stir frying when you make some Korean side dishes, we say 볶다. If you want to say “Please stir fry this potato.”, you can say “이 감자를 볶아 주세요. I gamja reul bokka juseyo.”

Here are some important expressions regarding Korean cooking:

끓이다: to boil. When you make Korean soups.

부치다: to Pay fry. When you make Korean seafood pancakes.

삶다: to steam/ boil. When you make Korean Namul dishes.

절이다: to marinade vegetables. When you make Kimchi, it’s essential.


Ashley Jang (Korean teacher)

Series 1 of Korean Food : Japchae (잡채) Recipe

The picture referenced from http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/09/23/2010092300228.html



Japchae is one of the best Korean traditional foods have been still loved for every Korean regardless of gender and age. The dish is often served in Korean traditional Holidays such as Lunar New Year, Chuseok (추석/ kind of Korean Thanksgiving Day) and even someone’s birthday.

Japchae is a healthy and delicious food made with chewy cellophane noodle from sweet potato starch. 잡채 (Japchae) literally means a mix of chopped vegetables but modernized Japchae is a cooked noodle mixed up with many kinds of cokked vegetables and meat. Japchae is also very good dish for vegetarian if you make it without meat. You may choose the kind of vegetables you prefer. Japchae is a very colorful, tasty and highly nutritious food.

Let’s have a look at ingredients and how to cook it now!



200g japchae sweet noodles

1 onion, finely sliced

1 carrot, finely julienned

1 green or yellow capsicum, julienned

6~10 shitake mushrooms, soaked until soft and sliced into 5mm

Cooked spinach

100g lean beef, cut into thin strips (around 5~7mm)

Soy sauce

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

Sesame seeds

Vegetable oil

Pepper and salt


How to cook

1.Preparing beef

Marinate the sliced thin beef with 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil.

(If you want to remove the bad smell of meat, add a pinch of ginger power.)

Place it for 15 minutes.

Stir-fry them with vegetable oil in a pan over high heat until cooked through.

Put it on the platter.


2. Preparing shitake mushroom

Marinate the sliced mushroom with 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil.

Place it for 15 minutes.

Stir-fry them with vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.

Put it on the platter.


3. Preparing spinach

Put your spinach in a pot of boiling water and blanch it slightly for around 30 seconds.

Do not overcook.

Then rinse it in cold water 2~3 times and squeeze it lightly.

Chop it in half or into 5~7cm long.

Mix it with a pinch of salt, sesame oil, sesame seeds and pepper.

Put it on the platter.


4. Preparing carrots and onions

Cut carrots into strips and stir-fry it until they soften.

Add a pinch of salt. Just season to taste.

Put it on the platter.

Cook sliced onions with the same way.


5. Preparing capsicums.

Julienne capsicums into 5mm. It doesn’t need to be precooked.


6.Preparing noodles

Cook the noodle in plenty of boiling water for around 5 minutes.

When it is cooked thoroughly, it will look translucent.

If you are not sure of it, just taste it J. But do not overcook.

Rinse in cold water and drain well.

Cut the noodles into around 15cm.


7. Making Sauce

Mix 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Add a pinch of pepper.


8. Mix every ingredient.

Put the noodles into a big bowl.

Add stir-fried beef, marinated shitake mushroom and precooked all vegetables.

Mix all ingredients smoothly with premade sauce.

Depending on your taste, control the amount of soy sauce or sugar.


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January 2018
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