In recent years, the world has been taken over by “Hallyu” or the Korean Wave, thanks to the popularity of K-pop, K-dramas, and movies. While these provided a sneak peek into the culture, one major highlight was the country’s vast and rich food traditions. Words like mukbang, Korean chicken, kimchi, tteokbokki, and bibimbap became everyday speak giving rise to a huge fanbase eager to explore Korean dishes. It was further popularized by food content creators, TikTokers, and YouTubers pushing Korean food into the mainstream. Well, what's the verdict? It is here to stay and fast becoming a part of mainstream ethnic foods just like other popular Asian cuisines. Also makes you wonder, what took it so long?
Gochugaru on the other hand is chili pepper flakes that add a hot and smoky flavor to dishes. It is mainly used in the preparation of homemade kimchi and kimchichigae, which is a kimchi stew.
In the words of New York Food Times columnist Eric Kim, “You need to view the word Kimchi as a verb just like pickling.” Many variations of Kimchi can be created using local and seasonal ingredients available in your part of the world.