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Global interest in South Korea is piqued. It is based, in large part, on its vibrant pop culture and fiery meat, the latter of which I thoroughly enjoyed during the two years I spent on the peninsula. Before bulgogi, though, Korean cuisine harnessed the harvest.

Barbecue is to Korean cuisine what sashimi is to Japan’s, by which I mean fantastic, but barely scratching the surface. Crazes, such as yangnyeom (Korean fried chicken), come and go. That said, in my mind, where Korea excels is in banchan sides and entire meals that highlight the herbaceous, whether fresh, fermented or preserved.

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