Welcome to Korean Buddhist Cooking

Shin Kim

Welcome to Korean Buddhist Cooking

Food, ethics, and tradition have long been important to Korean Buddhist monks and nuns. In monasteries, ingredients are carefully selected according to their providence and seasonal health benefits. Recipes, perfected over generations, are passed on from chef to chef. And in the last few years, these healthy and delicious dishes have become wildly popular outside of monastic environments.  

Over four units, expert chef Shin Kim will introduce aspects of Korean temple cuisine through eight flavorful vegetarian dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice home cook, Shin will show you how to make these simple, healthy meals at home using traditional Korean cooking methods. Each week, you’ll be tasked with an additional dish to test your newfound skills, as well as learn about the history of the recipes, including the Korean chefs who pioneered them.

Course Schedule

Soy-Braised Lotus Root

Unit 1 | What Is Korean Temple Food?

Gain an understanding of Korean Buddhist temple food. Learn guiding principles that will enrich the way you relate to cooking and eating. This week's recipes feature two variations of lotus root.

Recipes: Soy Braised Lotus Root & Lotus Root Porridge

Meditation: Eating as a Source of Nourishment, Healing, and Balance


Lettuce Salad with Doenjang Dressing

Unit 2 | Fermented Sauces

Learn about the cherished tradition of gimjang (fermented sauce) and the role that fermenting vegetables has played in the history of Korean cooking. Shin introduces dishes using two fermented sauces with a vegetable base.

Recipes: Lettuce Salad with Doenjang Dressing & Lightly Blanched Lettuce with Doenjang Seasoning

Meditation: Paying Attention and Practicing Gratitude


Savory Mushroom Pancakes

Unit 3 | Savory Pancakes

Explore how food has been a sacred part of monastic practice in Korea as well as what monks’ and nuns’ lives look like in temple kitchens. Dishes include two vegan spins on a savory pancake.

Recipes: Savory Mushroom Pancakes & Pea Pancakes

Meditation: Practicing Nonattachment and Valuing Simplicity


Spicy Tofu Stew

Unit 4 | Vegetables Stews 

Revisit the guiding values of Buddhism and apply your new skills to two hearty vegetable stews that use traditional Korean ingredients. Both recipes can be modified with local, seasonal ingredients.

Recipes: Doenjang Stew with Vegetables and Nuts & Spicy Tofu Stew

Meditation: Offering Food as an Act of Love and Compassion

Let's start cooking!