In Korea, many of us foreigners are only going to be here 1 or 2 years, so we don’t want to buy a whole bunch of kitchen utensils or equipment. My husband and I are still using most of the original items that came in our apartment which included 3 mismatched spoons, 1 butter knife, 2 forks + 1 baby fork, 3 mismatched plates of various sizes, a pot, a pan, a huge knife (which I am still scared to use), 1 teacup with 8 saucers, 2 Hite beer glasses, 1 coffee mug, and a rice cooker. We have had to buy glasses and bowls several times because we seem to keep braking them (thank you Daiso!).
Below I have posted some of the equipment I have found highly useful in Korea. If you don’t have these items already in your apartment, I definitely recommend purchasing them if you love cooking! Sometimes you can sell them to other foreigners before you leave if you want.
You can actually get most of these things at Home Plus or E-Mart with the exception of the toaster oven because they are super expensive there. Also, Daiso has cheap utensils and equipment. Most of the recipes I post don’t require any other equipment besides basic cookware (including a peeler, can-opener, and chef knife) and what is listed below.
1. A small toaster oven (Here is a link to a cheap one on Gmarket) ~ 30,000 – 45,000 won
2. A blender (if you like smoothies like we do!) ~ 30,000 won
3. A steamer basket insert ~ 5,000 – 10,000 won
4. A rice cooker (you should have one already!) ~ 40,000 – 60,000 won
5. A rubber spatula and tongs ~ 3,000 – 8,000 won
6. An large stainless steal mixing bowl ~ 3,000 -5,000 won
7. A cheese grater ~ 5,000 – 10,000 won
8. A cutting board ~ 2,000 – 10,000 won
My Favorite Stores: I can find pretty much everything I need at the following places, which I go to on a weekly or monthly basis.
1. Home Plus (they have all the basics for baking and cooking)
2. Costco (they have the best deals on cheese and frozen berries, plus yummy American snacks!)
3. E-Mart Traders (this is the Korean version of Costco, but no membership required, it has great deals on Korean brands and western brands)
4. A small mart like Top Mart/Jin Mart (they sell basic ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, chicken, milk, etc…)
5. E-Mart (they have good cheap wines, plus a nice selection of canned goods)
6. Basement floors of Lotte or other big department stores (they often sell organic foods and imported goods here, they are expensive, but sometimes worth-it!)
7. Daiso (they sell a lot of cooking supplies and I actually bought nice ceramic ware there too!)
Useful Links: here are some nice online stores which sell western ingredients and/or Costco ingredients.