Wednesday, July 7, 2021

[Food] Yeongyangbap (Delux Rice/Nutritious Hot Stone Pot Rice, 영양밥)


[Food] Yeongyangbap (Delux Rice/Nutritious Hot Stone Pot Rice,영양밥)

Since ancient times, rice has been a staple meal for people in the Korean peninsula. Koreans have farmed rice from 5,000 years ago according to official records and steam-cooked rice from approximately 2,000 years ago when there were three kingdoms. However, Korea usually had a rice deficiency until the 1960s, so a bowl of plain rice without any other grains (bean, barley etc.) was eaten only on special occasions for common people, unless they were very rich or the royal family.

To fill their hungry belly, people started to put more ingredients into rice pots including other grains (barley, sticky rice, millet, beans etc.), vegetables and herbs (corn, deodeok, thistle, potato, sweet potato, radish, ginkgo nut, bean sprouts etc.), sea weeds (sweet laver, hijiki, green laver etc.) and even seafood (mussel, oyster, fish etc.)

Typical yeongyangbap

Hijiki yeongyangbap

Oyster yeongyangbap

Meanwhile, people in regions with plentiful rice also cooked yeongyangbap. They put ginseng, ginkgo nut, chestnut, dates and more cereal to rice and steamed it, and people started to call it 'yeongyangbap',which means 'nutritious rice'.

Yeongyangbap goes very well with any Korean dish (and side dish) and it's great as a single dish too. Yeongyangbap's recipe was written in Korea's first recipe book in 1459. After the 18th century, Korean recipe books have records of the typical yeongyangbap of today. 

In a Korean palace, yeongyangbap was not a common meal that people could eat everyday. Even court cuisine cooks served yeongyangbap to a king only on a commemorative day or when they welcomed very important guests.

Mung bean and millet yeongyangbap

Today, yeongyangbap is not an everyday food but it can be eaten in many Korean dish restaurants. Contemporary yeongyangbap is steamed in hot stone pot with a variety of grains. Furthermore, it tastes much better than rice that is cooked in an electric rice cooker :)

If you are sick of boring plain rice, how about trying yeongyangbap? It will give you much joy to chew :)

Bon Appétit! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for consistently giving me sweet hunger pangs. It's much appreciated! I hope to savour this in all its authenticity one day in your country. Firaz.