South Korea is a country that takes extraordinary pride in their cuisine, and rightfully so, because most of the dishes are absolutely scrumptious.

On top of that, within Korean cuisine, many of the dishes have been prepared and eaten in virtually the same exact way for hundreds if not thousands of years. Korean food is wholly intertwined with its history and culture.

Before we get started, let me just explain one of the most important things about any Korean meal, something called banchan. Translated into English it would mean side dishes, and each Korean feast is served with a wide variety of banchan.

The relationship between a Korean main dish and banchan is similar to that of a hamburger with French fries, yet it’s an even tighter bond. The most common banchan is Korea’s omnipresent chili pickled napa cabbage known as kimchi, but there are also hundreds of other items.

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