Hansik is Nature Earth is the source of life for man. Thus, the healthiest nourishment for man Is earthâ€™s natural foods, weathered by the sun, rain, and wind. Hansik uses pure, naturally grown ingredients from the mountains and rivers. It is a culinary heritage that evolved over thousands of years, Based on the idea of oneness between man and nature.
Scene of a 60th Wedding Anniversary This 18C painting by an unknown artist depicts the 60th wedding anniversary of an aged couple. The couple renews their vows. The descendants, dressed in formal attire, sit before the parents and are served with individual tables.
Slow …… aged over time Hansik is the ultimate slow food. The age-old practice of naturally fermenting food gives a deep and complex flavor to foods such as kimchi and jang (fermented sauce). The mellow, aged taste of jang is produced as the soybean breaks down, ferments, and matures. Three major fermented sauces – soy sauce (ganjang), soybean paste (doenjang), and red pepper paste (gochujang) – form the basis of hansik seasoning. The taste of kimchi comes from ripening, not cooking, fresh vegetables. Fermentation is a lengthy, artisanal process, yet the resulting taste is a gift from nature that is certainly worth the wait.
Earthen Jars Earthen jars for ageing ganjang, doenjang, gochujang, and kimchi are placed in a sunny spot, usually in the east side of the backyard. The specially-fired clay jars allow the sauces and kimchi to breathe and ferment properly.
[ Jang ] the essence of hansik In fall, soybean is boiled, mashed, and shaped into blocks (meju). The meju blocks are dried until spring when it is washed, soaked in brine, and fermented. After 40 to 60 days, the solids and liquid are separated: the liquid is brewed and strained to make soy sauce (ganjang), and the solids are aged to make soybean paste (doenjang). Red pepper paste (gochujang) is separately made in March or April by mixing powdered meju with glutinous rice, wheat flour, barley, or sweet potato.
[ Kimchi ] the science of fermentation There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi depending on region and season. The most common one is baechu kimchi which is made with nappa cabbage, white radish, red pepper, scallion, garlic, and salted fish. Kimchi is flavorful and rich in vitamins and minerals. It also contains a number of lactic acid bacteria which helps fight cancer growth and obesity, promotes a youthful complexion, and boosts the bodyâ€™s immune system.
[ Guk ] brimming with flavor Guk (thin soup) is made by simmering vegetables, fish or meat with seasoning in a generous amount of water until the broth is infused with the flavors of the ingredients. Thus, guk is enjoyed for the flavor of the broth. There are basically three types of guk: clear meat broth (jangguk) made with sliced vegetable or meat and seasoned with soy sauce or salt; bean paste soup (tojangguk) made with vegetables and soybean or red pepper paste; and meat soup (gomguk) made by slowly simmering meat until tender.
[ Tang ] thick savory soup Whereas thin, clear guk soup is intended as an accompaniment to rice, tang soups are so rich and thick that it takes over as the main dish. In fact, most of the time, the bowl of rice disappears all together into the thick soup. The most well-known tang soups are galbitang (beef rib soup), seolleongtang (ox bone soup), and samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup).
Rustic …… the feel of home Hansik is unpretentious and humble. With its roots in peasant cookery, hansik consists of a wide range of hearty soups and stews that satisfy the stomach and comfort the soul. The Korean meal is considered to be complete only when there is a soupy dish to complement the dry dishes. The Korean word eumshik (food) comprises of the character ‘eum (飮)’ which means ‘drink,’ and ‘shik (食)’which means ‘eat.’ Depending on the consistency, soups are divided into guk (thin soup) or tang (thick soup). Nothing warms the soul like hot soup that brings back memories of home.
Traditional Cast Iron Cauldron Gamasot is a heavy cast iron cauldron used for cooking soup or rice. It is fired with wood and retains heat for a long time, making it ideal for brewing delicious guk and tang.
Vitalizing …… with seasonal ingredients Spring is the season of new life, when nature generously provides us with fragrant vegetables and herbs. The mountains and fields are covered with a variety of different namul (wild-greens, herbs and sprouts) and young vegetables that are harvested for cooking. Fresh vegetables, and namul are rich with vitamin A, B, and especially C. The Korean meal, which is predominantly made up of seasonal vegetable and namul dishes, is filled with nature’s vitality.
fatsia shoots Nature’s wondrous energy enables tender sprouts and buds to shoot up in spring. Consuming the petals, leaves, and roots of wild plants is the equivalent of consuming the vital energy of nature.
[ Ssam ] a scrumptious mouthful Any leafy vegetable can be used for ssam (vegetable wrap), including lettuce, perilla leaves, and napa cabbage leaves. Ssam is eaten by mounding rice, meat or fresh fish, red pepper or soybean paste on a fresh vegetable leaf and wrapping it up. The different flavors burst inside the mouth, and the combination of soft, chewy, crunchy textures makes for an epicurean delight.
[ Namul ] healthy and aromatic Namul is a dish prepared by seasoning wild herbs, roots, sprouts, or vegetables - either fresh or parboiled. There are two types of methods for preparing namul : one is to season and stir-fry, and the other is to mixing fresh vegetables with seasonings. The most commonly used seasoning for namul are soy sauce, crushed sesame seeds, chopped scallion, and minced garlic. A few drops of sesame oil is added as a finishing touch for a heavenly aroma that lingers on the palate.
[ Jeon ] artful cookery To make jeon, ingredients are first thinly sliced, or minced and hand-shaped. Then the pieces are individually coated with flour, dipped in egg batter, and cooked over low heat on a lightly oiled pan. Many different ingredients can be used including meat, fish, shellfish, and vegetables. Jeon is always part of festive meals, and frequently served as a side dish for alcoholic beverages. The most popular jeons include nokdu-jeon (stone-ground mungbean jeon), pajeon (scallion jeon), and kimchi-jeon. Jeon is always included in the ceremonial meal offered during ancestral memorial rites (jesa).
[ Jjim ] a special dish for festive days Jjim (braised dishes) are steamed or braised dishes made with seasoned fish, shellfish, meat or vegetables. Whenever there is a celebration in the family, a formal meal is prepared for the guests and served on large four-legged tables called â€˜gyojasang.â€™ A gyojasang meal always includes a jjim dish. Galbijjim (braised short ribs), agwijjim (braised monkfish), and jeonbokjjim (braised abalone) are the most popular jjims in such ceremonial meals.
Labor of Love …… in every bite Hansik is prepared with great care and attention. Ingredients are always finely diced or shredded, then seasoned and mixed by hand. Taste is determined by the deft feel and skill of experienced hands. In Korea, we call this the ‘work of mother’s fingertips,’ which is the secret ingredient behind the flavorful and easy-to-consume hansik dishes. Holiday and birthday regulars, such as galbijjim (braised short ribs) or jeon (pan-fried dishes), are prime examples.
Pan-fried Jeon In hansik, pan-frying is preferred over deep-frying. Jeon is representative of this culinary method. Various ingredients are slowly pan-fried until golden brown and crispy.
Harmonious Balance …… microcosm in a bowl Korean cuisine is characterized by the balance and fusion of Five Cardinal Colors of blue(靑), red(赤), yellow(黃), black(黑), and white(白). These five colors, called obangsaek, also represent different spatial and seasonal elements, as well as the Five Tastes - spicy, sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The balance and fusion of these five colors and flavors signifies how man needs to draw on the five cosmic energies in the universe. Two dishes that best represent this philosophy are bibmbap (rice mixed with beef and vegetables) and ogokbap (five grain rice).
Five Cardinal Colors Hansik emphasizes balance between the Five Tastes and Colors that signify cosmic elements. Distinct ingredients are integrated to create a harmonious combination of flavors.
[ Bibimbap ] a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors In bibimbap, sautĂŠed vegetables (namul) and beef are artfully arranged on rice, and everything is mixed together with a few drops of sesame oil. The variety of ingredients makes bibimbap a nutritionally balanced meal in itself. Bibimbap, which combines five colors and flavors, is one of the most well known hansik dishes in the world. The name varies according to the characteristics of different regional versions.
[ Ogokbap ] a mix of five grains Ogokbap, or Five Grains Rice, consists of glutinous rice, glutinous millet, sweet red beans, glutinous sorghum, and black beans. As a dish symbolic of a long life, ogokbap was traditionally prepared and eaten on the day of the first full moon of the lunar year. This multigrain dish also expresses the wish for a good harvest, and thus, included all the grains that the farmer would plant.
Hansik Table Setting and Dining Etiquette • The hansik table setting : The traditional hansik table setting (bansang) includes rice and side dishes (banchan) that are served together. Boiled rice or grain (bap) is the main dish whichis accompanied by side dishes (banchan) of prepared vegetables, meat, fish, etc. • Spoon and chopsticks : The spoon is used for soup and rice, and chopsticks are used for the side dishes. The proper way to use chopsticks is by holding them between the thumb and middle finger. It is improper to hold the spoon and chopsticks together. • Soups and stews : Hot soups and stews should be eaten slowly without making noise. Small amounts of soupy dishes such as water kimchi or stews are ladled into individual bowls.
Korean Table Setting The rice bowl is placed on the left and the soup bowl on the right. The Korean table setting, or bansang, is basically for a single person. If the table is to set for two persons, the dishes are placed differently for convenience of dining.
• Noodle soups : Care should be taken to eat noodle soup dishes without making too much noise. Garnishes or seasonings should not be picked out andeaten separately. • Desserts : Korean confectionary (hangwa) or rice cakes (tteok) are usually served with punch or tea at the end of a meal. The saucer and cup should be held together, and the tea or punch should be quietly sipped from the cup. • Although hansik should be fully enjoyed, it is bad manners to play with the chopsticks or use it for any other purpose than eating. Hansik is to be consumed with a feeling of gratitude to those who toiled to prepare the meal.
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