What the Koreans Consider Their Essential Ingredients

15 Essentials for Korean Cuisine

There are ingredients in Korean cuisine that you find in many of its dishes. There are 15 of these spices, condiments and other ingredients that a true Korean pantry cannot do without. While there are many others, these 15 are essential ones to start with. Korean homes and restaurants make sure they have these to be able to cook the dishes the world has come to know and appreciate.
For condiments, soy sauce is vital. You’ll need soy sauce for a variety of dishes. Other popular condiments in Korean cuisine include kochujang, or Korean chili pepper paste, and daenjang, or Korean soybean paste.

Korean Spices

Spices define Korean cuisine. So you’ll need ginger, garlic, and kochukaru, or Korean chili pepper powder, for your meals to have kick.
For vegetables, there are scallions, or green onions. For plant-based foods, roasted sesame seeds, sesame seed oil (chamgeereum) and gim (dried seaweed sheets).

Grains are huge in all Asian cuisine. This is why rice wine (chungju, mirin), noodles (somyun and/or dangmyun) and rice are key when preparing Korean meals.

There are, of course, the very popular dried anchovies (myulchi) and tofu, for example.
So here are your essential first list of Korean food essentials:

Soy sauce
Sesame seed oil (chamgireum)
Rice wine
Kochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)
Kochugaru (Korean chili pepper powder)
Dwaenjang (Korean soybean paste)
Scallions (green onions)
Rice wine (chungju, mirin)
Dried anchovies (myulchi)
Roasted sesame seeds
Gim (dried seaweed)
Noodles (somyun and/or dangmyun)

If you are serious about starting a Korean pantry where your essentials are stocked and ready for use, consider your first 15 essential Korean ingredients above. Shop at an Asian grocery store, or via online merchant.

Using Essential Ingredients in Bellevue

You’re sure we’re using the most essential ingredients when cooking your favorite Korean classics at Seoul hot Pot in Bellevue.