Meet the colorful and fascinating fermented Dishes


Column_October1_Why I Love

Upper left: / Lower left: a picture of  various dried vegetables in the bowls and 'Discover health in natural food' is written on it./ Right:

In autumn, the season of harvest, our dining table also turns colorful. Like leaves in late autumn, Korean dishes look rich and abundant. Korean traditional dishes are made with ingredients prepared over a long period of time, and they are deeply flavorful and healthy as well. Let’s find out about the color of food ingredients suitable for the autumn season.

AhnOk Hwa Korean Food Gallery - Medicinal Fermentation Food

 As you walk along narrow countryside paths, you will see many unexpected things. Anokhwa Food Gallery will be one of them. Specializing in course menu, this restaurant serves medicinal food and uses extracts fermented for more than 3 years. As soon as you walk into the gallery, you will notice several hundred crocks containing various extracts in the courtyard. At the entrance, it has an exhibition of various fermented seasonings and fermented liquor.

Left: a few long bottles containing  various kinds of extracts like ginseng. / Right: There are lots of crocks at the garden of AhnOk Hwa Korean Food Gallery.

Each menu has a description with words such as star, moon, sun, and love. The dishes are made of unfamiliar food ingredients, but the taste of the food is excellent. You can get to know detailed descriptions about the ingredients, cooking method, and medicinal effects.

Left: a small plate of seasoned dandelion. / Middle: a plate of giant angelica leaf wrap in radish. / Right: a small plate of candied ginseng berry.

Address: 51-12, Seokdong-ro, Sindun-myeon, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Website: Click here (Korean only)

Onghwa Sanbang - Medicinal Fermentation Food

Onghwa Sanbang is situated at a place overlooking Namhangang River. It is an environment-friendly building made of red clay with a floor-heating system. It specializes in medicinal food.

Left: a lot of crocks at the garden of  Onghwa Sanbang. / Right:  a kind of room in Onghwa Sanbang, the style of sitting on the floor with a big window which through you can see the beautiful Namhangang River

This restaurant uses wild herbal plant extract obtained by fermenting wild medicinal plants (azalea, dandelion, knotweed, wormwood, acacia flower, and kudzu sprouts) harvested each season. Onghwa Sanbang serves a 9-course menu, and the decorated dishes are colorfully attractive. Unlike other Korean dishes, the main menu is a vegetable dish —Chrysanthemum Salad. The course consists of dishes that are good for the health and richly flavorful due to the use of fermented extract. Seated near the window, you can enjoy food while appreciating the beautiful scenery of Namhangang River.

Left: a photo of seasoned siberian chrysanthemum./ Middle: a photo of bellflower leaf wraps/ Right: a photo of steamed pumpkin with glutinous millet.

Address: 363, Gangnam-ro, Gangha-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

Gungtteul - delicious fermentation dishes

Gungtteul (meaning royal palace courtyard) is named as such because it is located at the royal palace site of the Baekje Dynasty. The restaurant boasts of menus made of natural fermented extract and seasonal homegrown vegetables. The building consists of anchae (“women’s quarters”), sarangchae (“men’s quarters”), haengnangchae (“servants’ quarters”), and byeolchae (“annex quarters”). As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you can see a wide vegetable garden and a platform for crocks containing sauces and condiments.

Left: lots of crocks at the garden of Gungtteul/ Middle: an entrance of  Gungtteul made with roof tiles.

While waiting for your food, the restaurant serves cool mushroom tea whose soft flavor spreads in your mouth. The menu features main dishes made of pork, dried pollack, and bulgogi, which look similar to regular Korean food restaurants but made with fermented seasonings such as vinegar, apricot extract, and bellflower root extract aged for a long time, so the flavor of the dishes is soft instead of overpowering.

Left: a photo of dried pollack made of Chinese plum./ Middle: a cup of organic healthy tea. / Right: a plate of salad made of fermented extract.

Address: 38, Gungpyeonghacheon-gil, Docheok-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Contact: +82-31-766-0987

Bongnyeongsa - Temple Food

Temple food is not for simple consumption but is part of the process of self-control and discipline as well. In other words, it is the process of emptying our minds through alms bowl meal. Just like the long history of Buddhist temples, female monks have long been making an effort to preserve the tradition of temple food.

Left: monks are drawing face paintings to kids as one of Temple Food Festival programs./ Right: lots of monks standing in line in front of the main Buddhist sanctuary

The color of temple food looks very elegant and pure. Now, instead of simply succeeding the tradition, the monks are offering lectures and education on temple food in order to communicate with the outside world and to transmit healthy food to the public. In particular, through lectures held every year, visitors can try dishes made of various fermented liquids and experience the ceremony through temple stay.

Left: a photo of a snow white rice cake made of fermented yuzu extract./ Middle: a photo of giant angelica leaf wrap in radish. / Right: a photo of konjac salad made of fermented goji berry extract.

Address: 236-54, Changnyong-daero, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Website: Click here