Have you ever tried local cuisines in Indian or South Korean?
Indian food and Korean food are two diverse and popular cuisines in Asia as well as all over the world.
Do you think that one type of cuisine will be better than the other?
Let’s find the answer in this article.
What is special about Indian food?
Indian food is a diverse cuisine with a rich history and culture.
They have many choices for food, from meat-based, seafood dishes, to vegan options with the highest percentage of the population being vegetarians.
One way that makes Indian food different from other types of cuisines is that it has a huge variety of spices which give each dish its own distinct flavor.
Some common condiments that you can find in any Indian household are chili pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, or garam masala.
All are usually dried and ground into powder form.
Curries, chicken tikka masala, rice, or naan bread are some signature dishes when it comes to Indian cuisine.
There are plenty of recipes for curries across the country, ranging from mild to very spicy, using meat like chicken or lamb, seafood like shrimp or fish, or just being made from lentils.
They also tend to use coconut milk and butter in many recipes to achieve a creamy texture of their saucy dishes.
What is special about Korean food?
Korean food is a really popular cuisine that many people enjoy, not only in Korea but also in many Asian or European countries.
One thing that makes Korean food special is that almost all recipes use fermented foods such as kimchi (fermented cabbage), soy sauce (fermented soybeans), or other pickled vegetables.
Koreans have a special love for pickles and every house often has plenty of jars of fermented veggies to serve along with other foods in every meal.
Korean food is also relatively spicy because they tend to use a lot of chili powder or chili paste which adds a vibrant red hue and hot flavor to their dishes.
Rice is a staple in Korean cuisine.
This grain can be simply steamed and served as a dish in their daily meals, or mixed with other ingredients in sushi, bibimbap, or kimbap recipes.
Seaweed is also another popular ingredient in this country.
It can be sold in the instant form that can be eaten directly with rice or even as a snack, or substitute vegetables for soups or salads.
Seaweed is packed with many health benefits, so it is favored by people of all ages in Korea.
Regarding their meat, pork, beef, and chicken are favorite options, which can be fried or grilled to eat with kimchi.
What are the differences between Korean food and Indian food?
When it comes to comparing Korean food and Indian food, there are plenty of differences that set one cuisine apart from the other.
Below are the typical differences between these two Asian cuisines:
Indians use more spices than Koreans
In Indian cooking, people tend to use a lot of dried spices, such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, chili pepper, or cardamom.
This provides Indian food with a pungent and bolder flavor than Korean food, which is often seasoned with fewer spices.
However, it doesn’t mean that Korean food is bland.
Koreans also use a lot of chili paste or powder to add a spicy kick to their dishes.
Soy sauce and fish sauce are popular in Korean cuisine, not in Indian cuisine
Another difference between Indian food and Korean food is that soy sauce and fish sauce are used in Korean cuisine as popular condiments.
On the other hand, these ingredients are not likely to appear in Indian cuisine.
They tend to use the aforementioned spices to season their food.
Rice, noodles, and seaweed are staples in Korean cuisine, while Indians enjoy naan bread and lentils
Although rice is popular in both cuisines, it seems like an integral part of Korean cuisine more than in Indian cuisine.
The reason is Indians can serve their meal without rice, but with naan bread or lentil soups instead.
Meanwhile, rice is one of the main dishes in every Korean meal.
Noodles are also widely consumed in Korea, but often for breakfast, brunch, or snacks.
Their cuisine also features seaweed, a kind of algae growing in the sea.
Fermenting is a traditional way of processing food in Korea
The popular cooking methods are also different between these two countries.
In Korea, fermenting is a traditional way to process and preserve food, especially vegetables like cabbage, daikon, radish, or cucumber.
They enjoy grilled meat or soups as well.
In India, most dishes are slow-cooked to make curries, or grilled in a tandoori oven.
Koreans consume a lot of pork and beef, which are forbidden in many parts of India
Their meat options also vary, in which Koreans prefer pork and beef and Indians eat chicken and lamb.
Since there are many religions in Indian and each of them often has its own diet restriction, pork and beef are forbidden according to Muslim and Hindu communities.
Indians eat with their hands whereas Koreans use spoons and chopsticks
The last difference between Korean cuisine and Indian cuisine is how indigenous people eat their food.
Indians enjoy eating food with their hands.
However, only right hands are used, and only fingers instead of the palm.
Eating with their left hands is considered rude in Indian cuisine, so keep in mind if you have opportunities to visit this country.
Meanwhile, in Korea, they use spoons to eat rice and soups, and chopsticks to eat noodles and pick up other food like vegetables and meat.
What are the similarities between Korean food and Indian food?
Despite numerous differences between Korean food and Indian food, the two cuisines also share some similarities in their ingredients as well as spiciness:
Indian food and Korean food are spicy
The first thing in common is that both cuisines are reputed for their spicy food.
Indians use more pungent spices, while Koreans use chili powder or paste.
This results in very spicy food from both cuisines.
If you have a chance to visit these countries, don’t forget to ask the cook to adjust the spiciness level to avoid burning your mouth with their food.
Rice is a staple in both cuisines
Another similarity is that rice is a staple in Indian cuisine and Korean cuisine.
It is not a surprise because rice is the main and popular crop in many Asian countries, including India and Korea.
Rice is usually steamed to enjoy with other savory dishes, or fried with different ingredients and spices for a more colorful and flavorful dish.
Indian food and Korean food make use of fresh ingredients from different food groups
The last thing that both cuisines share with each other is that they both have diverse ingredients.
You can have different kinds of meat, seafood, vegetables, spices, and herbs in either India or Korea.
This creates countless options for you to choose from Indian food and Korean food.
Which one is better?
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The answer to this question is not so simple.
Comparing the two cuisines would be like comparing apples and oranges because Indian food differs from Korean food in many ways, such as flavor profile, use of spices, cooking methods, etc…
They offer a variety of delicious dishes with many health benefits.
So trying both and let us know which type of cuisine between Korean food and Indian food you enjoy more.