The Hwanghae provincial area comprising today’s North and South Hwanghae provinces in the mid-western part of Korea has been well known as a rice bowl since olden times as it is blessed with vast and flat plains with less mountainous areas.
The foods of Hwanghae Province are characterized by delicate taste, simple appearance, appropriate saltiness and appetizing aroma.
Its special dishes include the Haeju boiled rice with assorted mixtures, steamed nonglutinous rice cake, mung bean starch noodles, mung bean jelly, laver soup and coriander kimchi.
The Haeju boiled rice with assorted mixtures, also called Haeju kyoban, is prepared by putting cooked rice in a vessel, covering it with seasoned meat, fried and sliced bean curd, mushrooms, parsley, broad bellflower roots and bracken and sprinkling crushed roast laver over them.
What it is distinct from the boiled rice with assorted mixtures of other areas is that the boiled rice is fried and mixed with bracken from Mt Suyang and crushed roast laver from the nearby sea.
An old record also contains Haeju kyoban.
The steamed nonglutinous rice cake is made by mixing sugar and water with salted rice flour to boil them properly and steaming it in a steamer along with mung beans and powdered sesame coating for rice-cakes.
It is a traditional custom peculiar to Hwanghae Province to have mung bean starch noodles and mung bean jelly in summer, as they believe that they can be healthy when they eat mung bean starch more than once every year.
The mung bean starch noodles are prepared by putting a coil of noodle strips made of mung bean starch in a large bowl and garnishing it with kimchi, meat, cucumber and condiments before pouring meat juice over them.
Laver from Ongjin Bay of Hwanghae Province is famous nationwide for the good taste. The locals have made various foods with it including soup.
The kimchi seasoned with condiments made with the leaves of coriander is one of local specialities of Hwanghae Province.
The locals widely use the fruits, stems and leaves of the plant as seasonings and sometimes make kimchi only with its leaves.
At present coriander is used for seasoning kimchi not only in Hwanghae Province but also in other parts of the country.