Monday, July 7, 2008

Korean Cooking 101 - Ingredients

I was asked to do a run down of the most used Korean ingredients, so I thought I would oblige. There were a few items that I just realized that I didn't take a picture of, but I'll add them later when I get the chance. I'm sure you've noticed by now that the MOST important items (at least on this blog) are the following...

_MG_5980 IMG_4140
Gook Ganjang - If you can see on the bottom it says "Traditional Korean Soy Sauce (for soup)" and that's the best description of it. It's basically a light soy sauce that is used to flavor broth. You should most definitely buy a Korean brand because it is very different from other “light” soy sauces that might be out there.  I prefer the one on the right, though I buy the one on the left time to time to change things up a little.

Sesame oil - I just buy whatever is on sale.

_MG_5978 IMG_4133
Dwen jang - aka soy bean paste is used for a lot of different types of soups. I alternate brands all the time, but these are a couple that I remain loyal to.

_MG_5979 IMG_4130
Gochu jang - aka red pepper paste (on this blog) - aka hot bean paste is exactly that. It's paste made from red peppers and I prefer the one made by Haitai though this last time I bought the one on the right because it says it’s Made in Korea.  =P

_MG_5987 IMG_4138 
This is what I refer to as “cooking wine” on my blog – I tend to buy whatever is on sale because to me, they all taste the same.

Corn Syrup

Soy Sauce

Red pepper oil

Fish Sauce - There are a lot of Korean brands of fish sauce, but personally I like using the Vietnamese Three Crabs brand.

Gga-nari fish sauce

Red pepper powder - My MIL brought us this from Korea.

Honey Powder


Dried Shrimp

_MG_5950 IMG_4127

Miyuk - dried seaweed (plant?) whatever.  I’m currently using the one on the right.  It says it’s for “babies” so all the seaweed is precut.  I like it because it saves me a step!

Shrimp Jut - Salted Shrimp

Honey Powder.


Korean Pancake Mix


Soft Tofu AKA SoonDooBoo – I prefer the ones inside the cups instead of the tubes because they tend to be less watery.  Soondooboo is already so watery so this helps.


Bean Sprouts AKA Kongnamool

Book-uh – Dried Pollack – This is the brand I’m currently using.  My MIL sent it from Korea, so I have no idea if they sell it here.


Ojinguh Che – Dried Cuttlefish


IMG_4388   IMG_4391
Salt – When I’m just *salting* stuff, I use regular Kosher salt.  But when it comes to cooking and using in the recipes, I will use sea salt.


Tofu – I always buy this one by Pulmuone.  I love that it has *two cups* and each cup is perfect for one jjigae.  The blue one is for jjigaes and the orange one is firmer and can be used to fry.

As of now, this is the basic run down of my cabinet. =P I'm sure I'm missing some things, but I will add them as I think of it. Hope this helps~


  1. Is Mirin the same as cooking wine/sake?

  2. I am so happy that I came across your site. I found, but it is all in Korean and it takes me forever to read through the recipes (I can't read Korean well). I will definitely be looking forward to learning to cook new things as well as finding variations to things I already know how to make!
    Thanks so much!

  3. Do you think there is anything you can use as a substitute for gook ganjang?

  4. Actually mirin is not the same as sake - mirin is sweetened sake. It is definitely a different taste. But if you prefer one over the other, it doesn't really matter which you use.

  5. Hi - Can you tell us what 'buchoo' is exactly? I know it's a vegetable but need to know the name it would be listed as in a store.

  6. I thank you very much for this list. It was a god sent when shopping at the Kmart. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to try a recipe and knowing that you have to run out and buy all these ingredients that you may never use again (i.e. saffron) LOL.

    Well having your list and the numerous recipes forced me to finally make a trip to the Kmart and also allowed me to try various recipes on your blog knowing that should I need something I can just go into the refrigerator or cupboard for it. I can say one thing; you run out of Gochu Jang pretty fast (knew I should have gotten the bigger size).

    Again, thank you, 선생닝. (had to look that up) :)

  7. I don't really own much of anything above but I love Korean food. Just haven't ventured out at home except for Korean rubs for barbecues and kimchi. Time to fill the pantry I guess.



Related Posts with Thumbnails
Bookmark and Share