In my opinion, Korean food is one of the healthiest cuisine on earth, mainly because they don’t utilize too much oil. Most of their dishes are either fermented or fresh, so it’s considered one of the healthiest. Korea does offer unhealthy foods as well, such as bulgogi, galbi, and dwae ji gogi, but there’s not that many compared to its counterpart.
Korean foods may upset your stomach, if you indulge in it too much, due to its fermentation and vast amount of salt. Since the Koreans have perfected the art of preserving food, most side dishes are pickled, fermented and/or salted with spices, resulting in a form of a digestive aid. So, if you aren’t used to eating it, you shouldn’t eat too much of it.
Even though most korean banchans (side dishes) are heavily salted, its portion is well controlled with small plates, so there shouldn’t be any issues with sodium control. Research shows that salty and pickled foods are not generally healthy and one should eat no more than 5 grams of sodium per day.
The type of food I usually recommend people trying out Korean food for the first time are galbi (ribs), dwae ji gogi (pork) or bulgogi (beef or pork), as shown below, but they’re not the healthiest. They are, however, very tasty. Not to mention they’re healthier than a regular cheeseburger.
Usually, traditional Korean meals are served with numerous banchan (side dishes) with a bowl of rice. One of the most famous banchan you will see in Korea will be kimchi. Traditionally, even meats are served on small plates as banchans. If you ask for a traditional Korean meal set, below is what you’ll get from a Korean restaurant.
Above four images are traditional typical Korean home style meals. You usually get a bowl of rice with numerous side dishes that are either made from seafood or vegetables, along with meat, that’s to be shared with others. These meals usually don’t even touch 500 calories range and are considered obesity fighting food. They’re not only very nutritious, but is also full of good bacteria.
Koreans do eat live seafood as well. For example, a live sea cucumbers and octopus. Yes, fresh and living. I’ve tried the food shown above, but I can’t really say I like it. Since they add no seasoning, it makes it even worse. Most of Korean’s seafood dishes are an acquired taste, because they are fresh with no seasoning at all.
Korean cuisine includes noodles as well, but it’s not too common in the household. People usually dine outside for noodles. However, when served at home, it’s filled with vegetables and rarely contain meat.
So, what are you waiting for? Instead of trying the generic Korean food menus as shown in the above four images, go try out a full traditional meal set with your friends and family.