Korean cuisine as a national cuisine known today has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Its roots can be traced back to myths and legends of antiquity. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in southern Manchuria and northern Korean peninsula, Korean cuisine has evolved through a complex interaction of the natural environment and different cultural trends.
Ingredients and dishes vary by province. There are many significant regional dishes that have become both national and regional. Many dishes that were once regional, however, have proliferated in different variations across the country in the present day. The Korean royal court cuisineonce brought all of the unique regional specialties together for the royal family. Meals consumed both by the royal family and ordinary Korean citizens have been regulated by a culture of etiquette that is unique to Korea.Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, noodles, tofu, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes (banchan) that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi, a fermented, spicy vegetable dish is usually served at every meal. Korean cuisine usually involves rich seasoning with sesame oil, doenjang (fermented soybean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, and gochujang (red chili paste).