In videos or photographs depicting meals in South Korea, have you ever seen a black bowl or pot sitting in the center of the table? You may have noticed that, on one hand, these bowls contain stews, such as doenjang or kimchi jjigae. On the other hand, maybe they contained a soup such as samgyetang or a custardy egg dish named gyeran jjim. In Korea, this black pot is known as a ‘ttukbaegi’ (뚝배기). Here, we will take a deep dive into how people use the Korean ttukbaegi, where to buy these pots, and how to maintain them.
For those new to Korean cooking, you may have seen or heard references to the Korean ‘onggi’ (옹기). In English, people translate the word ‘onggi’ as a ‘Korean earthenware pot.’ On the Korean peninsula, pottery has been used since prehistoric times for tableware and food storage–The earliest known onggi on the Korean peninsula dates back to around 4000 to 5000 BC. As such, the onggi is an important part of both North and South Korean traditional food culture. Here, we will take a deep dive into how people use the onggi, where to buy these pots, and how to maintain them.