Korean cuisine has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in the Korean peninsula and southern Manchuria, Korean cuisine has evolved through a complex interaction of the natural environment and different cultural trends.
Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes (반찬; banchan) that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi is almost always served at every meal. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, gochujang (fermented red chili paste) and cabbage.