The chili pepper in South Korea is quite significant. Which is sort of strange since, it only came to Korea in the year 1580 because of the Portuguese missionaries. They had also been through Japan and China, but Korea really seemed to gravitate towards this new spicy flavor. Nowadays Korean food is known for its red spiciness. In contrast, most North Koreans prefer food that is mild and quite bland.
Chilies in South Korean cuisine are pickled, fermented, dried, and ground. The chilies range in spiciness from mild to “blow your top” hot. They even make a special fermented paste called gochujang that is often used to flavor braised dishes and used to flavor vegetables and rice. If you go to the area of Sunchang families for generations have been making vats of this red chili paste that they store in large slab pottery pots called O’nngi. In order to coax proper fermentation, they wrap around the tops of each O’nngi pot with a rope that has bits of charcoal, pine needles and dried red chilies.