When the weather warms up in Korea, and winter makes way for spring, locals bid farewell to hearty soups and stews and say hello to lighter, brighter Korean ingredients and nutritious recipe ideas.
Here are some fresh Korean ingredients you probably didn’t know:
A favourite springtime delicacy in Korea is the king crab. Caught off the east coast of Korea, these mighty, meaty crabs are steamed whole and then broken into pieces. Diners can crack the shells and scoop out the sweet, juicy crabmeat – it may be messy, but boy is it worth it! The crab roe is then mixed with steamed rice for a rich, luxurious addition to the meal.
Koreans also go crazy for octopus during spring, with the local jukkumi the pick of the bunch. Try this tender octopus grilled and served with gochujang chilli paste or in shabu-shabu soup.
When spring arrives in Korea, wild greens pop up all over the country. Healthy, vitamin-packed options include bitter mugwort, wild chives, spinach and sesame leaf (pictured). Discover five Korean vegetarian dishes that are perfect for spring.
One of the best ways to beat the heat, but still feel satisfied, is to whip up a cold soup or flavour-packed salad. Mul naeng myun is a cool noodle soup, brimming with roast pork, hardboiled eggs and a spicy mustard dressing. Or try japchae, a classic Korean salad of sweet potato noodles stir-fried with vegetables, sesame and soy.
A favourite year-round in Korea, bibimbap gets a spring makeover courtesy of leafy greens, thistles and bracken (ferns).
For more springtime inspiration, discover authentic Korean recipes on Asian Inspirations or learn why Korean food is heavily vegetarian.
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