I can say that I started discovering Korean food only 2 years ago, but since then it’s been a MUST to eat it at least once a month!
I would like to introduce you to this exciting cuisine and recommend you some Korean places in Dubai as well as my favourite dishes!
WHAT IS KOREAN FOOD?
Korean food is some of the healthiest on earth, with an emphasis on vegetables, meats simply cooked and without much oil, and a “near-obsession” with the fermented vegetable kimchi, which can be a strange taste for non-Koreans.
Starting with ritual bowls of rice and soup, the main meal is built around numerous shared side dishes selected to complement each other. The number of side dishes may vary from two to a dozen or more but everyday meals will include at least a few. All dishes are served at once to share, rather than in courses.
Another cornerstone of Korean food is rice, which forms the backbone of almost every meal, although is sometimes replaced with noodles.
The Koreans have perfected the art of preserving food, so many side dishes are picked, fermented or salted and many are as well spicy.
Kimchi, Korea’s famous spicy cabbage, which has over a hundred varieties using different vegetables, is a constant of every meal. It is adored for its sour tangy crunch as well as being a digestive aid.
Other popular spices and sauces include: sesame and sesame oil, chilli pepper paste (kochujang), soybean paste (daenjang), garlic, ginger and chilli pepper flakes. Korean food tends to be intensely flavoured, spicy and pungent.
Traditional restaurants often feature charcoal grills in the middle of the table – a type of indoor barbecue. Paper-thin slices of marinated meat (bulgogi – literally “fire meat”) or beef ribs (kalbi) are grilled, cut into pieces, and wrapped in lettuce leaves with garlic, chilli and soybean paste. They’re eaten in one bite as it’s considered the height of rudeness to bite into a lettuce parcel.
Koreans also place great importance on the role of food as medicine, using exotic ingredients such as dried persimmon, red dates (jujube), pine seeds, chestnut, gingko, tangerine and ginseng in their cooking and also in specially brewed teas. **
MY TOP 5 KOREAN DISHES
Japchae (sweet potato noodles)
This classic Korean noodle dish combines translucent sweet potato noodles with lots of stir-fried vegetables and a sweet-savory sauce. I normally order it with beef!
It’s light, flavourful and just perfect!
Made with kimchi and other ingredients, such as scallions, onions, diced tofu, pork, and seafood. (Pork and seafood are generally not used in the same recipe.) It is one of the most common jjigae in Korea.
Like many other Korean dishes, kimchi jjigae is usually eaten communally from the center of the table if more than two people are served. It is accompanied by banchan (side dishes) and rice. It is usually cooked and served boiling hot in a stone pot.
Bibimbap (rice, vegetables & beef)
A delicious mix of rice, beef and vegetables cooked with garlic and sesame oil, topped with an egg yolk and gochujang (Korean chilli paste).
The ingredients are cooked individually then beautifully arranged in a stone bowl called a dolsot, which is heated until the rice turns golden and crispy on the bottom. You mix everything together when you eat it.
Buchimgae (seafood pancake)
Known as a pancake, refers broadly to any type of pan-fried ingredients soaked in egg or a batter mixed with other ingredients.
More specifically, it is a dish made by pan-frying a thick batter mixed with egg and other ingredients until a thin flat pancake is formed. You will always find the seafood pancake with small prawns and scallions.
MY TOP KOREAN RESTAURANT IN DUBAI
It’s a very casual and old style Korean restaurant located in Karama.
The place is run by an old Korean woman that you normally will find seating at the entrance and managing the show!
The staff is very friendly, fast and efficient.
You can seat in the typical floor tables or normal dinning tables.
The best is the food and the price.
They start with the typical small sharing dishes (my favourite is the kimchi tofu) and very fast they bring all the food. I always go for the dishes I mentioned before, but everything looks very good!
Check out as well the Tripadvisor listing: Korean restaurants in Dubai.
Zomato listing here
And one more article in What’s On.