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Korean red chili peppers

korea jagalchi fish market busan chili peppers

Red chilis at the Jagalchi Fish Market (자갈치시장) in Busan

My biggest problem with Korean food has to do with these guys. Don’t get me wrong; I like spicy food. However, many dishes in Korea have an inordinate amount of red chili peppers, red pepper flakes, chili pepper paste, or some sort of hot pepper sauce. Rather than enhance the flavor of something and give it a kick, I find the amounts used to overwhelm everything else. Frequently it comes out as hot as it went in if you know what I mean. I can’t taste the meat, the veggies, or anything but the hot pepper flavor. Even the instant ramen here in Korea is impossible to find in any flavor other than hot red pepper.

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