5 Korean Dishes to welcome the Lunar New Year
Countdown to Seollal 2016 has already begun, and nothing is busier in preparing for it than the Koreans. Welcoming the Lunar New Year is such a big deal among Koreans that people take breaks from their usual busy lives to reconnect with loved ones and spend quality time with them. Some even travel at great lengths just to be with family and friends so they can all together welcome the New Year. Food is of course an essential part of the Lunar New Year celebrations, so for your convenience we have a compiled a list of Korean dishes that are traditionally served during Seollal:
1. Ddeokguk (rice cake soup)
Tteokguk (tteok means rice cake; guk means soup) is a traditional dish served during the New Year that all Koreans know. This soup with slices of rice cakes is served in beef broth and is made with garaetteok, a long, cylindrical and unsweetened variety of rice cake that is eventually cut into oval shapes. Koreans believe that the oval-shaped rice cake will bring prosperity to everyone during the New Year and that eating it means that people would have grown a year older and wiser.
2. Modeumjeon (pan-fried zucchini, shrimp and fish in egg batter)
Jeon refers to any battered food that has been pan-fried in Korean cuisine. There are usually two types of jeon: the first are those that are shaped like a pancake where the main ingredients are all mixed together in a flour mixture and then fried to make everything crisp. The other type involves pan-frying each of the ingredients such as vegetables, fish, mushrooms, and shrimp, among others, to enhance the flavour and tenderness of the overall dish. A combination of these ingredients is what is referred to as modumjeon.
3. Galbijim (braised short ribs)
Another irresistible dish that you can cook to welcome the New Year is galbijim. The meat or ribs for this dish are not seared before being braised. The ribs are parboiled to remove the excess blood and fat; ingredients such pine nuts, chest nuts, or basically any nut that you prefer can be added for extra taste and garnishing.
4. Manduguk (Korean dumpling soup)
This is a traditional version of tteokguk where dumplings are put in the beef broth instead of rice cake slices. This dish originated from North Korea and became a staple when the lands remained arid and unsuitable to grow rice and other crops. This is another flavourful dish because the savoury dumplings and warm broth complement well to provide a simple yet tasty hint of sweetness and saltiness.
5. Japchae (starch noodles with vegetables)
Japchae , which means mixed vegetables when translated to English, is starch or glass noodles that are just chewy and balanced given this dish’s variety of ingredients. Noodles are believed to symbolize longevity, which explains why Koreans don’t even hesitate to eat platefuls of japchae when welcoming the New Year. Again, you are free to add mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, carrots, and other ingredients that you prefer
Do you know of any other dishes that Koreans serve when celebrating the Lunar New Year? We would love to know them all through the comments section below. Also, it’s never too late to contact us at Korean BBQ Online so we can assist you in preparing for the most delicious and memorable New Year’s Eve celebration ever!