Ginseng and Morning Calm
The physical location of Korea alone has fostered cross-cultural exchanges with China and Japan throughout history. It is hard to say whether Korean cooking influenced the Japanese or Chinese dishes first, or vice versa. All three countries share the balances of sweet, salty, bitter, hot and sour — the five flavors — in their approach to cooking and eating.
A typical Korean meal will have many dishes. Dinner is the primary meal with lighter meals for breakfast and lunch. Some variety of kim chee, the national dish of spicy pickled cabbage and other vegetables, is present at all of them. Chopsticks and spoons are the main eating utensils.