"We are a very 100-percent-or-nothing culture," says Robin Ha, the author of a new graphic cookbook Cook Korean! Cold noodles may be served with ice to keep them frosty. Hot soups are served from a still flaming burner. Fish are often air dried or fermented.
For diners with increasingly diverse tastes, Ha believes Korean food can be quite welcoming. Much of it is easy to make and, due to the heavy use of fermentation, can last a long time without refrigeration. (Perfect for a grab and go lunch!) Most recipes don't even require an oven. "It's all sautéing or putting things in a pot to boil," Ha says.