I lived in South Korea for a short period of time and never really knew much about their gastronomy until I travelled there. What I did learn while I was there is that a lot of their culinary dishes are super spicy or pickled and they frequently use gochujang (a Korean chili paste) to season things, like kimchi (spicy, pickled cabbage).
Normally, a typical Korean restaurant would provide a bunch of side dishes (known as “banchan“) to accompany your meal:
Pictured above is bean sprouts, seaweed, broccoli, cucumbers, and fishcake. Some are spicy, some are pickled, and some are more or less au naturel with minimal seasoning. This is just a small sample of the hundreds of dishes that a restaurant could serve. Usually, you would get these before your meal arrives to snack on or whet your appetite, but you are free to eat it with your entrée too. 🙂