When you order up a Korean dinner at our Federal Way Korean restaurant, take a moment to consider its aesthetic; is it not pleasing to the eye, like a well-rendered gallery painting? If it is, then the chef has achieved the first step in a traditional Korean dining experience. Koreans believe that you eat with your eyes before you eat with your mouth, and that the enjoyment that you experience visually is indicative of an enjoyable taste sensation to come. There is a certain wisdom to this, and it all has to do with balance.
Korea has never been immune to the Buddhist values that are so heavily prevalent in East Asia, and that comes through in a big way in the food. All the elements of a traditional Korean meal, the color, the taste, the ingredients and cooking method, are supposed to achieve harmony. The result is not just attractive to look at, but also highly nutritious. Meats are balanced with vegetables and rice, liquid is balanced with solid, hot is balanced with cool.
It may sound like a quaint and possibly superstitious ideal, but the nutritional ratios that such a harmonious meal grants you indicate a sophisticated understanding of the body’s needs. So take a page from the book of ancient Korea and start yourself on a philosophically balanced diet.