Korean Life: Basic Ingredients for Korean Cooking {Vlog}

by Ellie Betzen | from scratch, mostly in


Welcome to the Korean life!  Yes, it's still me.  And no, my blog didn't suddenly turn into a Korean pride forum, though it could be if that's what floats your boat! :)

Basic ingredients for Korean cooking

So let me explain a bit in case you are confused...Just recently, it dawned upon me that I'm actually really appreciative of my Korean heritage.  Like, I went from being ashamed of my background, to that crazy girl you hear screaming, "Omgnesssss you like that KPop actress?!  Me too!  Hmmm I could reaalllllyyy devour some uber spicy chicken thighs right now.  Where's the kimchi?  We should start saving up to visit Seoul"  Okay okay.  That last line is actually Greg's because he's the planner in our relationship.  I don't plan.  Ever.  Unless it's an important party or special occasion for a loved one.

But before we go any further, let's return to that moment of enlightenment I had a while ago. It's apparent that Korean culture is becoming widely accepted by a great number of people throughout the US and other parts of the world.  I think this is partially due to all the restaurants popping up left and right!  All you can eat bbq, tofu this, tofu that, side dishes galore, are just some examples of what's been catching everyone's attention. 

I know that many people want to save money and be healthy while indulging in Korean food, and what better way to accomplish that but by making it yourself?  However!  Koreans and non-Koreans alike seem to lack confidence in this style of cooking and some even possess an aversion to it--kind of like I used to be.  To me, Korean cooking was boooring until I really learned to appreciate it. 

So in an attempt to help others become more familiar with our culture, I will do my best to calm your fears about Korean food (if you haven't tried it because it looks scary), while inspiring you to make it at home!  It will be fun to see how far Korean cuisine will go in the coming years.  :) 

Anyway, here are some reasons why I think Korean food is bomb diggity and why you should give it a chance.

Why Korean Food is Bomb

  • More gluten free options and medium to little consumption of white flour. (Exception: soy sauce is a staple but contains gluten; you can use other options like tamari!  This concise post explains the difference between tamari & soy sauce)
  • Vegetarian & vegan friendly.
  • Huge variety of non-meat protein, although we do love our meat, hah!
  • Many low-fat options, and lots of healthy fats included in every meal.
  • Fish is a huge component of the Korean diet, which contributes omega 3s and healthy fats as well.
  • A lot of Korean dishes are made with health in mind, not just taste.
  • Soup is served with almost every main meal, and the liquid helps you to be more in tune with your hunger/fullness.

Basic Staple Ingredients in a Korean Kitchen

This is a video on the most basic things you would need in your pantry or fridge.  I hope seeing them "live" is somewhat helpful to you! 

From now on whenever I post about Korean dishes, you will find them on the new menu tab titled "Korean Life".


If you know about Korean food or have made it before, is there something else we need to add to this post?

What are your favorite Korean dishes or restaurants? 

Which style/type of cuisine are you intimidated to make?

-It used to be Indian food but it's not as bad after having taken the romantic dinner course with Greg at the Gourmandise.