If you are a fan of Korean cooking like we are, you are in for a treat! We have been checking out what kind of cooking tools are available specifically for Korean dishes and we have come up with what we think is an excellent list of the Top 5 best items.
In this list, you will find a variety of interesting units that you will wonder how you ever lived without!
#1- Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking: Authentic Dishes for the Home Cook
To start off our top 5 we had to put this recipe book on top. What Korean food enthusiast would want to live without this fantastic resource? Whether or not you are interested in the next 4 items, anyone who loves Korean food needs this book.
Written by Maangchi, who is already world-famous due to her Youtube videos, the book’s author is considered the foremost authority on Korean cooking. Many of her fans compare her to Julia Child, which is some high praise, indeed!
The book contains recipes that will be suitable for beginners as well as advanced cooks. There are dishes with only a few ingredients such as Spicy Napa Cabbage which are extremely easy to make even if you have never cooked a single Korean dish. There are several more dishes like Spicy Beef and Vegetable soup and Seafood Scallion Pancakes which are all considered easy dishes for beginners.
What Makes This Book Unique?
There are a ton of Korean recipe books available so what makes this one any different? The author is the biggest selling point as she brings her well-known combination of cheery attitude and encyclopedic knowledge of Korean cuisine to every page in this book. There is a reason she is so famous on Youtube and considered the Korean Julia Childs.
Another notable feature is that it contains over 800 stunning photos of delicious meals you can cook for yourself, where some recipe books skimp on the photos to save money in publishing.
What Are Others Saying?
At the time of this writing, this book has over 1700 five star ratings just on Amazon! This is not something we come across with many products in general, let alone with books! There always seems to be a group of haters that have nothing but negative things to say about any book you can imagine. In this case, the book is universally loved by just about every person that has bought the hardcover or downloaded the Kindle version.
- 325 pages
- Over 800 photos
- Available in kindle or Hardcover
- Not Expensive considering how many dishes you learn
Summary and Rating
If you are looking for a recipe book based on Korean food, you are going to have a hard time finding a book that is going to suit your needs better than this one. It is written by a Korean cooking master! Compared to other similar books, you are getting more photos, a wider range of skill levels represented in the recipes, and a much better reading experience due to the Author’s attitude and wording of each recipe. We do not normally like to leave glowing reviews, because it seems forced or fake, but in this case, there really is no downside to getting this book. We loved it and we are sure you will too!
#2 Korean Ramen Noodle Pot (Made in Korea)
Ramen is a staple of any Asian diet, especially in Korea. I think any of us that went to college have spent many nights studying and eating ramen straight out of the pan (why get a bowl dirty?) Ramen is a universally loved soup and noodle dish that is extremely inexpensive and ridiculously easy to make. Its popularity is only getting stronger as time goes on. Ramen is one of the easiest and most versatile dishes on planet earth. If you are a ramen fan you need to check out this Korean ramen noodle pot! Let’s get into it!
What is it?
This is an aluminum pot with a lid and 2 nice big handles that is specifically designed for cooking ramen. It is lightweight and not too big at only 6.3” around. It is a fast boiling pot due to the lightweight aluminum design so you will not be waiting long to get your food.
Based on the size it is not created to feed an entire family at once and seems more suited to a single person or a couple. The lid has a nice tall handle on top, so you do not have to get your hands too close to the metal. The handles on the sides of the pot are also nice and big to avoid burns.
- Perfect for cooking one standard size pack of ramen noodles
- Made for cooking and eating out of
- Fast boiling
- Attractive simple design
This is a small light aluminum metal cooking pot so it is not like the big pots you may be used to at home that are made of steel or ceramic. This one is small and super lightweight so you can bring it with you on trips.
Perfect for Cooking Standard Packs of Ramen
It is designed to cook one standard pack of ramen and the diameter of the pot will not force you to break up the noodles for them to fit inside. This is a specialty pot that is designed to do exactly one thing perfectly.
Cooking & Eating
It is the right size for cooking and eating out of as well. Back in the college days, we would make our ramen in the big pot or pan and then must move it to a bowl or eat awkwardly out of a giant pot which was never fun. This is a small and low profile and made to eat out of as well as cook in.
Because it is small in size and made of lightweight aluminum it will boil very quickly and your ramen will be ready to eat much faster than if you had to use a conventional large pot or pan. This is a great feature because when you reach for the ramen it is because you are hungry right now! A couple of minutes and your food is ready.
Simple Attractive Design
The tall handle on the lid and the wide handles on the sides of the pot are great design points. You will not have to burn yourself to move the pot around. It is a soft silver color and not very tall. A simple pot with a lid with a nice design style is what you will get with this pot.
Summary & Rating
With overwhelmingly positive reviews, this little ramen pot is something you should consider adding to your arsenal of Korean cooking gear. It is just the right size for a quick pot of noodles, has an attractive design, boils fast, and does the job well. It is very inexpensive and widely available. It even comes with some chopsticks and a sponge. The only downside we could find is that it can dent easily and is not dishwasher safe. Still, a great pick up for the ramen fans out there.
#3 CUSIMAX Raclette Grill Electric Grill Table, Portable 2 in 1 Korean BBQ Grill Indoor & Cheese Ractlette, Reversible Non-stick plate, Crepe Maker with Adjustable temperature control and 8 Paddles
Korean Barbecue is world-famous. There is nothing quite like it and it is a specialty that has become more popular over the years for good reason, it is delicious!
Making perfect Korean barbecue requires a special type of grill, which is what the Cusimax Raclette Electric Grill is.
What is it?
This is a countertop electric grill that you can use indoors. It has 8 independent Raclette trays. These are trays you can use to make various dishes and sauces at the same time you are cooking your main meat items on the main grill on top. It is a large grill for being a countertop model and allows you to cook a large amount of food all at once. It has a nonstick surface as well which makes it a bit easier to clean. It has a simple rotary adjustable heating knob on the side. The manufacturer says this grill can feed 8 people at the same time and based on the size and capacity I believe it could.
Many countertop grills sacrifice capacity for size because they are made to be small indoor grills. The Cusimax does not make this sacrifice. It is a full-sized countertop grill that can feed the whole family or a large group of friends on game day or movie night.
- High Power & Nonstick Grill
- Adjustable Heating Control
- 8 Independent Raclette Trays
- Portable and Easy to Clean
- Great Customer Service (180 Day Return Policy)
High Power & Nonstick
It has 1500 Watts of electric power, which is a lot! I would recommend not running the microwave at the same time as this could trip a breaker. You will have no problem heating up a large amount of food in about the same amount of time you could cook it on a traditional gas or charcoal outdoor grill. The cooking surface is nonstick and has reversible cooking trays. It can be put on low to make pancakes or crepes or fire it up to max to sear and grill meat.
Adjustable Heating Control
This is a feature that almost all grills have, so it is nothing special here. There is a knob on the side with an indicator light that tells you when it is on. You can turn it down to a minimum for delicate items or all the way up to go into max grilling mode.
8 Independent Raclette trays
One of the coolest parts of this grill is the 8 raclette trays. You don’t see this feature on many indoor grills. This is one of the things that makes this perfect for Korean food. There are many small side dishes and sauces involved in Korean barbecue. The 8 trays are shaped like mini skillets that have enough depth to hold some sauce. This is probably the best feature of this indoor countertop grill.
Portable and Easy to Clean
The reversible baking tray and all the raclette trays can be pulled off and cleaned separately. The cooking surface is nonstick also helps with cleanup. It is 19×9 inches so it’s not super small but it if you have a big cabinet it could be easily stored in there. It is small enough to throw in the trunk and take to a friend’s house easily.
Customer Service and Return Policy
Cusimax gives you a full 180-day return window which is much longer than most companies that make cooking gadgets provide. Most times you get 30 days and if anything happens after that you are out of luck. They call it a worry-free no-risk policy. I am not sure if they provide phone support, but I can’t imagine you would need it. There is not much to an electric grill, read the manual and go for it.
Summary and Rating
For what it can do and the relatively low cost this is a worthy investment. It will enable you to cook a large amount of food in about the same time it would take with a standard backyard barbecue. It comes with 8 raclette trays and can be used in the house on a countertop. This makes grilling some Korean barbecue any time of year possible, even if it is raining or snowing outside. The fact that it comes with free returns and a 180-day return window makes it an easy choice for us.
TeChef – Stovetop Korean BBQ Non-Stick Grill Pan with New Safe Teflon Select Non-Stick Coating (PFOA Free) (Grill Pan)
The TeChef Stovetop Korean BBQ pan is a great addition to your cooking arsenal. It is a simple-looking product that looks a lot like a pie tin with a few key differences!
What is it?
This is a nonstick pan designed specifically for Korean barbecue that can be used in your house. It has extra Teflon coating and channels in the cooking surface to help drain away fat and keep the food healthier. It is made in Korea which gives it the authentic Korean appeal. It is a circular nearly flat pan with little handles that enable you to grab it easily with potholders.
- Healthy Cooking
- Dishwasher Safe
- Made in Korea
This pan has 5 coatings of Teflon, which is much more than most nonstick pans. This makes it extra smooth and durable and very unlikely to stick to food.
There are unique swirl pattern channels for slow draining grease and fat away from the food. Normal pans like this have straight channels which drain fat and grease much faster. The idea with this innovation is to drain the fat away slower, retaining more of the food’s inherent flavor. It also has some cool star designs on the cooking surface. We are not quite sure if they do anything, but they do look cool!
The channels mentioned above are used to drain away fat and are good for any type of meat.
This pan is oven safe up to 450 degrees and can be placed directly into the dishwasher and cleaned. If you prefer to wash by hand, use a soft sponge instead of a harsh metal scrubby. The Teflon coating is strong but over time and repeated scrubbing with a hard surface it may start to come off.
Made in Korea
It always helps when buying Korean barbecue items that they are actually Korean. Sure, it could have been made anywhere and still be used for Korean food, but it just gives it that extra nod of approval being made in Korea.
- Material- Aluminum with Teflon coating
- Size- 12x12x2 inches deep
Summary and Rating
This is a simple product that does one thing very well. It cooks Korean barbecue right on your stovetop. It is not expensive and has an innovative and attractive looking design. It is durable aluminum and has 5 coatings of Teflon which, if properly taken care of, should not start to come off for many years. This is something we would not want to live without!
E-Jen Premium Kimchi, Sauerkraut Container Probiotic Fermentation with Inner Vacuum Lid (Earthenware Brown, 2.2 gal/ 8.5L)
You cannot mention Korean food without kimchi. This is a traditional Korean dish that is made with fermented cabbage. It has a unique flavor and is an extremely popular dish all over the world but especially all over Asia. The E-Jen Premium Kimchi container is an easy way to make or keep your kimchi.
What is it?
This is a polypropylene container with a vacuum-seal lid created specifically for kimchi or sauerkraut. It comes in a brown earth tone color and has an interesting colorful label with Korean writing on it for the bonus points! It comes in multiple sizes (the one we are reviewing is the 2.2-gallon version). It is 11×8.5×8.19 inches in diameter and just under 3 pounds. This device allows you to ferment your kimchi inside or just store it for later use.
- Easy to Use
Easy to Use
This is a simple device with not much to it. It has the main container storage area and a vacuum-sealed lid which is critical for fermentation. You simply place your ingredients inside and your fermenting agents and seal it. When the contents are done fermenting it is ready to eat. Not rocket science at all!
It is a simple idea; fermented food is good for your stomach. This is not a disputed idea but a fact. This device allows you to make fermented food with no fuss and no technical skill involved.
As stated above, fermented food is good for your stomach. Adding some sauerkraut or kimchi to your diet can make a noticeable difference in your health in a noticeably short time. This is something Asian people have always known, and the idea is starting to catch on in the west.
The E-Jen Kimchi container is made of food-safe material which will not cause any harm to you or the food that you place inside. Polypropylene is a food-safe material and is used in many restaurant-grade cooking tools.
There is an adjustable inner pressing plate inside this container which allows you to push out excess air which benefits the growth of probiotics. The less oxygen in the container where you are fermenting something, the faster and better the item will ferment. This is a concept used in making all fermented foods and drinks.
Based on the material used, the adjustable airspace inside, and the fact that this device is designed for making fermented food, it is safe to say this is indeed a healthy product.
This product has double lids which work together to block air and odor from escaping the container. Fermenting food does not always smell great, so stopping the odor from escaping is an important job for a food fermentation device! This is a great feature to have if you live in a household with someone who does not appreciate kimchi or the smell it creates!
This container is food safe, dishwasher safe and even microwave and freezer safe. Polypropylene is a diverse material, and it was a good choice by the manufacturer to use it for this kimchi container. All the materials used are BPA, lead, and DEHP free. If you do not know what that means, it’s OK, just know those are nasty chemicals found in lots of today’s plastic food storage containers. Luckily, this one has none of those harsh compounds and will not cause any harm to you or the food.
Summary and Rating
The E-Jen Kimchi storage container is a specialized product that was designed to do one thing and it does it very well. Unlike many other products in this class, this storage container does not contain any nasty chemicals. It comes in a variety of sizes (all the way up to 4.4 gallons!) and has an adjustable inner compartment and 2 lids. It has a vacuum seal lid on the top which keeps air out and odor in. The label on the front is colorful and has Korean writing which is a nice touch! The only complaint we had was that it is a boring brown color. For what it is and the relatively low cost of getting one, this is a great deal if you are in the market for a food fermentation and storage device.
If you enjoyed this buyer’s guide, take a look at our roundup of the best bamboo steamers!