Over Christmas and the New Year I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. As part of my goal to improve my kitchen vocabulary, I’ve tried to narrate what I’m doing in Korean as I go. I was making deviled eggs last week when I came across the following problem:
‘계란을 삶다’ or ‘계란을 끓이다’?
Boil means boil, right? 그럼 차이가 뭐에요?
After a quick flick through my Korean recipe books and a few dictionaries, here’s what I can work out:
- 삶다 means you threw out the water you cooked with
- 삶다 heats things through with water – they are usually immersed in it
- 끓이다 is not used outside of cooking OR boiling pure water (e.g. for tea, a bath)
삶다 – to boil (in hot water): 계란, 채소, 파스타, 감자, 고구마, 옥수수, 콩, 옷…
끓이다 – to ‘make’ boil: 물, 차, 커피, 국, 쌀 (밥), 죽, 우유, 오트밀…