Four essential Korean sauces

Another aspect of distinctive Korean cooking are the sauces. Korean cooks often have their own twist on a given sauce, whether it's stir frying dried red chili in oil to make the base of a spicy soup to adding ground pears to a meat marinade (it helps tenderize the meat).

But the basic foundations of Korean sauces don't change and most cooks would agree that the most important ones in Korean cooking are Gochujang (fermented red chili pepper paste), Daeng-jang (fermented soy bean paste), Soy sauce, and Sesame oil. Combined with more universal ingredients like vinegar, sugar, salt, ground pepper and various herbs like green onions and garlic, they can make for a universe of flavors. They can range from the simplest (try a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of sesame oil in plain white rice with a fried egg on top - it's delicious) to the complex (gochujang, daengjang in equal parts mixed with finely minced garlic and sliced green onions and a bit of sesame oil creates the perfect sauce to top grilled meat in a lettuce wrap).

At Kimchi Kitchen, these four sauces are on display throughout our menu, whether it's the marinade in our spicy pork or the light sauce in our japchae noodles. We won't give away our secret sauce but you can come try some!