Korean cuisine as a
national cuisine known today has evolved
through centuries of social and political
change. Originating from ancient
agricultural and nomadic traditions in
southern Manchuria and the Korean peninsula,
Korean cuisine has evolved through a complex
interaction of the natural environment and
different cultural trends.
Korean cuisine is largely based upon rice,
vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean
meals are noted for the number of side
dishes (banchan) that accompany steam-cooked
short-grain rice. Kimchi is served often,
sometimes at every meal. Commonly used
ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang
(fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt,
garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and gochujang
(fermented red chili paste).
Ingredients and dishes vary by province.
Many regional dishes have become national,
and dishes that were once regional have
proliferated in different variations across
the country. The Korean royal court cuisine
once brought all of the unique regional
specialties together for the royal family.
Meals are regulated by Korean cultural