Using fresh, natural ingredients, Buddhist cuisine is known for its simple flavors.
Practicing vegetarianism, temple cuisine uses soy beans as the main source of protein and rarely uses eggs.
Even some types of plants are not allowed, as Buddhists are worried that they incite people's anger and increase desire.
"The biggest characteristic of temple cuisine is that it doesn't use five herbal plants including garlic, green onions, wild chives and asafetida. Being types of spice, they are too pungent and take away the other ingredients' own smells and flavors."
Attracted by the healthy recipes, the acclaimed culinary school Le Cordon Bleu London has decided to teach Korea’s temple cuisine as part of its regular course.
The school has signed an MOU with the Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism and Korean Cultural Centre UK to offer at least one Korean temple food lecture per semester as part of a plant-based culinary arts program.
"At the moment in Western world, especially in UK, vegan food is so popular. They are so interested in cuisines from the world that use vegetables. As you know, the Korean temple food is very plant-based and using locally-grown ingredients."
Venerable Beop Song, the instructor for the first lecture in late April, says she would like to further show the benefits of Korean temple food.
"I want to let European to-be chefs know about the Korean culture of getting ingredients directly from outdoors and eating after just simply mixing and boiling them. We do natural seasoning, and the recipes are very simple. Food is the least important for practitioners, but if we need to eat, we value the ingredients' own flavor."
Healthy Korean temple cuisine is becoming a bridge to let the world know more about a wider range of Korean culture, with other schools like Westminster Kingsway College contacting the Korean Cultural Centre UK to host Korean cuisine workshops.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.