Korea’s finest 4 dishes to try this fall!

Besides the traditional comes-with-every-meal kimchi^^ there are some foods that Koreans love to eat during each season. Seasonal foods are also best in terms of nutritional value and taste when they are eaten in season. Blue crabs, jumbo shrimp, pine mushrooms and sweet persimmon are some dishes that take most of the spotlight in Korea’s fall!

1. Blue crab

Blue crabs are actually in season both spring and autumn. But there is a difference to which crab gender to eat when! Pre-spawning female crabs are best enjoyed in the spring, while the plump meat of the male crabs is a delicacy best enjoyed in autumn. Crabs are prepared in a variety of ways and can be made into spicy crab soup with vegetables and other seafood, or it can also be steamed, shelled, and eaten plain. Not only are these blue crabs tasty, but they are also packed with nutrients. The crab’s shell contains calcium and chitin and the meat has an abundance of essential amino acids and vitamins. In Korea, blue crabs are known to be effective in the prevention of geriatric diseases and aid in alcohol detoxification.

blue crab

2. Jumbo shrimp

Jumbo shrimps are loved even to those who don’t generally like seafood.  But those caught at sea are not easy to find outside local fishing areas, as these crustaceans die quickly after they’re caught. Compared to farmed shrimp, jumbo shrimp caught at sea have longer antennas, thicker shells, and chewier meat.

To prepare them you can either boil, steam, or fry them, but the best way to prepare them is to heat a large pot, sprinkle it with coarse sea salt and cook the live shrimps for about 10 minutes until they turn crimson. This is the way you will get the best taste out of them. A dish cooked like this won’t need any more seasoning, but if you prefer more, try dipping the shrimps in a mixture of red chili-pepper paste and vinegar.

jumbo shrimp

3. Pine mushrooms

Pine mushrooms are picked in mountainous areas and only survive on live pine trees. Harvested in autumn, pine mushrooms are referred to as diamonds in the forest for their high nutritional value and efficacy. The mushroom is great for preventing geriatric diseases and protecting the stomach. More than anything, they are known for their cancer prevention qualities.

Because they cannot be grown commercially but need to be in their natural environment, pine mushrooms are quite expensive. But despite their price pine mushrooms are in great demand thanks to their delicate flavor and nutritional value. The mushrooms can be sliced and grilled over a light fire, but they are more commonly cooked with other ingredients such as beef or abalone.

pine mushroom

4. Perssimon

Persimmon is a big autumn fruit in Korea. High in vitamins A, B, C and minerals this fruit is particularly good for the skin and for getting over a hangover. It’s also highly effective for stopping diarrhea-related symptoms, so most advise against consuming persimmons in large quantities to prevent constipation.

This fruit is mostly eaten as it is without cooking. Ripe persimmon can be frozen and eaten in shaved form or like an ice-cream. It is also enjoyed as a jam, dried or in a salad.

dried persimmon