Korean food is definitely one of the most mouth-watering food. So if you’re planning to explore all about Korean food, learn these Korean cooking verbs 동사 dongsa.
Samgyeopsal (Grilled Pork Belly), Fried Chicken, and Kimchi-jjigae (Kimchi Stew) are just a few of the most popular Korean food all over the world. What’s not to love about Korean cuisine? With their tasteful dishes that have a cultural significance, you really can’t put your chopsticks down.
Their way of praying food is a fusion of modern and traditional Korean cooking styles. This is why many people, especially those who are under the spell of 한류 (Hallyu) or the Korean wave, want to learn how to prepare Korean dishes. In this lesson, you will learn Korean cooking verbs. The Korean words that you will learn have a romanization and English translation to guide you. So, sit back and read to learn.
Korean food has a long history that explains why Korean cuisine is really diverse. If you trace the native Korean history, it is well known that China formerly utilized Korea as a gateway to Japan. As a result, Korea has acquired many of the customs, ingredients, and cooking traditions that originated in both Japanese and Chinese.
The kitchen or 부엌 (pronounced as bueok) is the heart of every home, and that is the case most especially for Southeast Asian countries. Today’s post will walk you through the common Korean verbs related to cooking, as it is impossible not to find yourself in a situation where you will not be asked about cooking styles. While there are literally tons of Korean words that you can use, we will only focus on the non-technical ones or those that are very much common. If you are up for that, let the learning begin!
Cooking or 요리 (yoli) is a fantastic hobby, and it has the capacity to bring people together. Somehow, eating with family and close friends can seriously make every dish extra special and memorable, which is one of the reasons why Korea prides itself on its Samgyeopsal. Samgyeopsal is not just about the yummy marinated pork belly dinner that you can taste, but it is also about sharing and cooking it with the people close to your heart. While waiting for the meat to be cooked, Koreans talk with each other making the idea of eating also a bonding time.
If you are planning to visit Korea, you might be surprised by how sumptuous the Korean dishes are. Perhaps, you will get to understand why many are doing the meokbang challenge centered on Korean food. From spicy kimchi, mouth-watering bulgogi, bibimbap, and japchae, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Korean cuisine. If you plan to cook any of their recipes, then learning the Korean cooking verbs can seriously help you out. Let’s get to learn more about that below.
Have you seen a typical dining table of Koreans? It mostly looks like that they have a feast every day because of the lots of foods on the table ranging from the main dishes and side dishes. But, it can also be noodle dishes that are really popular and common among Koreans, especially instant noodles.
Korean Cuisine is diverse. You can find different ingredients like chili pepper, soy sauce, green onions, sesame oil, and of course, Kimchi which makes Korean food really tasty. Aside from this, the methods of cooking are also a big factor in making delicious Korean food. These cooking methods are used to create a spicy, savory, and sweet taste.
Korea’s Geography Plays A Big Factor In Their Food Culture
Despite its diversity, few individuals can accurately identify what distinguishes Korean cuisine from other types of cuisine. However, the influence of Korea’s location, climate, and even culture can be credited to the distinctiveness of Korean food.
Korea is also surrounded by water; it is no surprise that you can easily get raw fish fresh from the sea. This is also the reason behind the abundance of fish-based dishes in Korean cuisine. If you are wondering where their vegetables came from, it is also part of their history. There are lots of fertile lands in Korea that were developed by the major rivers like the Han River, Nakdong River, and Geum River.
Because of geography, Koreans have developed dishes that are distinct to a certain region. But, because of modernization, some of these dishes were not able to make it until these times. On the other hand, some traditional Korean dishes and cooking methods are still preserved until this modern day.
Korea’s Climate Also Gave Birth To Different Seasonal Ingredients
Korea has four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall). Because of these, they have different plants in every season that is used for their food. One great example is rice. It is rare not to find a rice bowl at a typical Korean dining table. But, rice can only be grown in one season so, Korean farmers should really work hard to plant and harvest enough to make a living.
Because of this type of climate in Korea, they use the fermentation method to prolong their food until the land is ready to be planted again. Thanks to this method, we can enjoy our favorite Kimchi. Even though today’s popular Korean meals are spicy, some of the first versions of 김치 Kimchi were not. Koreans were only introduced to the red chili pepper during Europe, Asia, and Africa during the spice trade era. This element would become a mainstay in Korean cuisine.
Common Korean Food
If you enter a Korean restaurant, what is your go-to Korean food? It is impossible to enter a Korean restaurant without being full because once you enter, a feast awaits. Before we learn about different Korean cooking verbs, let us first learn some all-time Korean food. If you want a more comprehensive list, you can check this blog out.
삼겹살 (Samgyeopsal) or Grilled Pork Belly is definitely one of the most popular Korean food. This is perfect for enjoying yourself with your friends. Di you know that it is also called “Soul Food” because it brings comfort when you’re down? Well, why not see it for yourself.
If there’s the grilled pork belly, Koreans also have the beef barbeque 불고기 (Bulgogi). Tender portions of meat, such as sirloin, are used in bulgogi.
Another OG Korean food that many people love is the 비빔밥 (Bibimbap) or mixed rice with vegetables. What’s interesting about this is ingredients vary depending on the region it originated.
This Korean dish that has an interesting history is also one of the people’s favorites. 잡채 (Japchae) or Glass Noodle Stir Fry is noodles blended with various vegetables. Glass noodles are made from mung beans or sweet potato 가지, and when cooked, they become transparent like glass.
Galbijjim is a traditional Korean dish consisting mostly of braised beef short ribs that are marinated in soy sauce, ginger, green onion, minced garlic, and sesame oil. It is mostly served in celebrations and important occasions.
Common Korean Ingredients
|English|| Hangul |
|fish (ready for eating)||생선||saengseon|
|fish in the ocean||물고기||mulgogi|
|lettuce||상추, 양상치||sangchu, yangsangchi|
|red pepper paste||고추장||gochujang|
|salt and pepper||소금과 후추||sogeumgwa huchu|
Common Korean Verbs Related To Cooking
English Translation: to cook
The first Korean cooking verb that we will learn is, of course, 요리하다 to cook. To use this in a sentence, you can say “네가 해 준 요리를 좋아해. (Nega hae jun yorireul joahae.) or I love your cooking.” If you have been invited for a meal, make sure to thank the one who cooked the mealy saying, “잘 먹었습니다 Jal meogeossseupnida. ( I ate well.) (thank you for the meal.).
재료를 준비하다 (Jaeryoreul Junbihada)
English Translation: to prepare ingredients
The next verb and one of the most important parts of cooking are 재료를 준비하다 or to prepare ingredients in English. Preparing the ingredients includes also preparing the utensils and cookware to use as a shallow pan, pot, skillet, and more.
English Translation: to wash/rinse
Washing the ingredients is really important to prevent contamination of food. So, it is important to learn the verb 씻다 (to wash). Washing your hands, meat, and vegetables before cooking is one of the protocols of all restaurants.
English Translation: to boil
If you’re into Korean soup, the word 끓이다 to boil is one of the most important Korean cooking verbs that you should learn. Some Korean soups that are really famous among Korean food lovers are 삼계탕 (Samgyetang), 김치찌개 (Kimchi Jjigae), and 부대찌개 (Budae Jjigae).
English Translation: to stir fry
Are you a fan of 잡채 (Japchae) and other stir-friend Korean food? If you are, the Korean cooking verb that’s perfect for you is 볶다 to stir fry. Stir-frying is a Chinese cooking technique in which ingredients are stirred or tossed in a wok while frying in a tiny amount of very hot oil.
English Translation: to steam
The 찐만두 (Jjinmandu) or Steamed Mandu Dumplings is definitely one of the must-try Korean food. Because of its popularity, you can’t see a Korean restaurant that does not offer 찐만두 (Jjinmandu). Of course, the Korean cooking verb that is best to relate with this food is, of course, 찌다 – to steam.
English Translation: to fry
You’re not a true Korean food lover if you haven’t tasted Korean Fried Chicken. You might think that it’s a normal fried chicken, but Korean made a twist to it. This is why one of the most important Korean cooking verbs that you should learn is 튀기다 (Twigida) – to fry. In fact, there are lots of friend street foods that you can enjoy in Korea, and your Korean food experience will not be complete without trying these street foods.
English Translation: to bake/toast
The next word to learn in our topic Korean cooking verbs is 굽다 (Gupda) or to bake/toast. Most of the baked foods in Korea are for desserts like 떡빵 (Tteok Ppang) or the Gluten-Free Sweet Red Bean Rice Cake and of course, the typical Korean cakes served in birthdays and other occasions.
English Translation: to grill
Samgyeopsal and Bulgogi this is some of the crave-worthy Korean food. It is widely popular not just in Korea but in other countries as well. If you happen to sa a K-drama where they are having a Korean barbeque, you’ll surely be needing to find the nearest Korean barbeque restaurant near you because you’ll surely crave it. So, another must-learn Korean cooking verbs is 굽다 – to grill.
English Translation: to mix
When we talk about the word 섞다 – to mix, there’s this one Korean food that will first come to your mind and that is 비빔밥 (Bibimbap) or the Mixed Rice with Vegetables. This Korean food is also Korean food lovers’ favorite because it shows the true Korean food culture.
What are the things that come to mind whenever you hear about Korean cooking? Is it the mountainous rice bowl, the spicy noodle soups with spring onion, or is it the meats with tons of seasonings and spices? Just thinking about it will most probably leave you salivating as the diverse food that you can find in the country is truly unique and will surprise your taste buds. To help you follow cooking shows and recipes, take note of the verbs in the table below.
|To add salt||간을하다||gan-eulhada|
|To cut into small pieces||잘게 썰다||jalge sseolda|
|To cut into thin slices||얇게 썰다||yalbge sseolda|
|To deep fry||튀기다||twigida|
|To flip over||뒤집다||dwijibda|
|To heat up||데우다||de-uda|
|To peel with ones hand||껍질을 까다||kkeobjil-eul kkada|
|To put in||넣다||neohda|
|To put on||놓다||nohda|
|To stir fry||볶다||bokkda|
Did you find the exact Korean word you need to express the actions inside the kitchen? If we missed anything and you would love to learn the translation for it, then feel free to send a comment down below and we’d love to help you out as soon as we can. After all, our goal is to truly help you communicate with the locals with confidence in the words that you are using. Since Korean is one of the hardest Asian languages out there, it is great that you are finding the time to focus on basic words like the ones in this category.
Talking using cooking words can be useful especially if you are planning to study or work in anything related to the kitchen, cooking, or hospitality in general. Now that you have learned the best words, it would also be a great conversation topic if you are currently a participant in a language exchange program.
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to discover all the best words in the Korean language that you can use related to the subject of cooking. While memorizing everything is not really required, having just a bit of idea can certainly help you understand recipes written in the native Korean language easier and connect with the locals on a new level. You can also use these to impress your Korean friends and let them see how truly interested you are to learn more about their culture through their language.
Want to visit Korea and expand your vocabulary to sound like a native speaker? You can easily do that when you read our previous Korean language posts like the hobbies in Korean and the words related to relationships. You can also discover about the Korean culture and languages by reading here.
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