Korean Cuisine

Asian dishes are low in calories, but filling and delicious. Korean cuisine is renowned for its spice and spice. Pickled vegetables, grilled meat, seaweed soup, and Korean rolls are popular here. The streets sell fishmeal pies, boiled and fried seafood, pancakes with different fillings. For dessert, Koreans prefer bean-filled rice buns.

Features of Korean cuisine

Each city adheres to the ancient traditions of cooking. Koreans use a lot of garlic, red pepper, and soy sauce, which add spice to their food. The diet of local residents necessarily includes rice, noodles, pickled vegetables, fish and meat.

Key features

Traditional dishes are low-fat, famous for their pungency and abundance of seasonings. Due to the constant use of sauces and spices, Koreans have no concept of “salt”. They don’t add sugar to desserts, replacing it with fruits, berries, or honey. According to ancient culinary traditions, you can maintain your health by eating food of several colors:

  • green – affects blood circulation;
  • red – improves the work of the cardiovascular system;
  • yellow – affects the skin;
  • white – normalizes the state of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • dark – removes harmful substances from the body

Koreans cook food over high heat until half cooked; they do not tolerate overcooked or overcooked foods. The main food is rice and noodles, they are combined with vegetables, meat, fish. The locals are not used to eating hot meals. If they have undergone heat treatment, they must be cooled.

The core of Korean cuisine

Basic foods include rice, vegetables, fish, seafood. A large amount of spices, soy paste and sauce are added to each dish.


Groats are considered the mainstay of the Korean diet. Rice is cooked without adding salt and seasonings, since various snacks from fish, meat, vegetables give it its taste. On the basis of cereals, noodles, pastries, tea and wine are made. Popular with locals are Kongbap and Bibimbap, which contain this ingredient. The first additionally includes barley, beans, black soybeans, peas. Bibimbap includes hot soybean paste (gochujang), thinly sliced ​​vegetables (zucchini, daikon, cucumber) and meat.

Spicy aromatic condiments

No Korean dish is complete without spices. There are 3 main seasonings used for cooking:

  • kanjan – a sauce with a pungent smell, which is obtained as a result of soybean fermentation;
  • Gochujang – a dark red soybean paste based on glutinous rice and fermented beans with a lot of hot pepper
  • twenjan is a brown paste made from soy malt and salt solution.

By mixing gochhujana, twenjana with onions and sesame oil, the ssamjan seasoning is obtained. It is suitable for grilled meats. A mixture of gochujang, sugar, vinegar, sesame seeds is served with raw fish pieces (hwe). Chili peppers add spice to food. Popular spices in South Korea are black pepper, paprika, garlic, coriander, ginger, star anise.

Fish and seafood

Koreans are leaders in the use of seafood. They prefer tuna, shrimp, crab, Atlantic salmon. The favorite dish is ganjang gejang – raw crab marinated from sesame oil with spices. Fish and seafood are used to prepare gimbap (an analogue of Japanese rolls), hwe, omuk (fish sticks), maeunthan (spicy fish soup), and hamul phachjong (fried cakes with seafood).

For the preparation of appetizers and first courses, seaweed is often used (kelp soup, kelp jelly).

Pork and beef

In the country, meat is more expensive than seafood. Despite the high price, locals often eat meat dishes. Alcohol is traditionally served with a bossam snack (boiled pork belly with spices) or jokbal (pork legs stewed in spices and rice wine). Koreans’ favorite meat dishes include grilled bulgogi and kalbi. Delicious soups (gomtang, seollonthan, sapso) are made from meat broth.


Pickled or pickled vegetables are an integral part of traditional Korean cuisine. As an appetizer, they are served with rice, meat, fish and seafood. Here they eat potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, eggplants, zucchini, radishes. The most famous vegetable dish, kimchi, is made on the basis of Peking cabbage, but there are more than 200 varieties of it.

What do Koreans eat daily

Koreans eat soups at any time of the day, which are cooked in meat, fish or vegetable broth. An important part of the local cuisine is meat fried over an open fire, rice crispbread, and omuk. For dessert, they prefer rice cakes with a sweet filling or deep-fried biscuits.


They are distinguished by their thickness and the use of a large number of spices. Local residents prepare 2 types of soups – “kuk” and “than”. The former include more liquid and less thick, the latter, on the contrary. First, Koreans put fish or meat on a plate, which is poured over with a clear broth with the addition of soy sauce.

Popular include the following hot soups:

  1. Sollonthan. The main ingredient is different parts of the beef. To get a milky white color, the soup is cooked for a long time, so Koreans prefer to order it in a cafe.
  2. Tvendyan tige. A broth based on seafood, algae, anchovies with soybean paste gives an unusual taste and pungency. Mushrooms, vegetables, fish, meat are added to it.
  3. Muguk. The dish is made from thinly sliced ​​daikon radish and beef. The meat, marinated in sesame oil, is fried and placed in liquid.
  4. Tympon. The spicy soup includes seafood, meat, noodles, and lots of vegetables. Season it with dry chili flakes, chopped garlic, ginger, fish sauce.
  5. Samgetang. The main ingredients are ginseng root and whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice and Chinese dates. Additionally, ginger, leeks, radishes, garlic, herbs are added to the soup.

A separate group is made up of cold nenguk soups. The most common of these are the Miekkuk and Kuksi. The first is made from pickled beef and seaweed. Koreans take pride in the taste of miekkuk soup and always eat it for their birthday. Sauerkraut, noodles and meat are used for cooking kuksi.

Miekkuk and Kuksi are the most popular soups in Korean cuisine.


In South Korea, an appetizer (panchang) is perceived as a middle link between a seasoning and a side dish. It always includes a lot of garlic, red and black pepper, paprika, and onions. According to tradition, the portions of snacks are small, but there are many of them. Most of these dishes are vegetarian, but sometimes seafood or meat-based appetizers are found.

On the table must be served kimchi, chong (pancakes made of flour and potatoes), namul (fried, pickled or fresh vegetables with spices). Additionally, they make chorim, chim and pokkum snacks. The former are prepared by long-term boiling of products in seasoned broth. Chim is stewed in pots until the liquid has completely evaporated. Pokkim means light roasting of vegetables, meat, seafood with spices.

Grilled meat

Cooking food over an open fire has become an important culinary tradition. Such dishes are called “kui”. In local restaurants, guests are given an individual grill oven so that they can fry meat, vegetables, and seafood. The most popular dish is bulgogi – grilled marinated beef or pork.

For dinner, they often eat pork brisket fried over an open fire with vegetables (samgepsal). For the holidays, they cook kalbi – grilled pork or beef ribs. The marinade of soy sauce, corn syrup, applesauce and citrus fruits gives the meat a sweet and sour taste.

Street fast food

Local markets offer simple but tasty food. Shish kebabs made from meat, squid, octopus, shrimp, abundantly poured with hot and sour sauce, look appetizing.

Popular street food includes:

  • tokpokki – spicy rice cakes fried in a sauce with vegetables;
  • kkochhi oomuk – fishmeal dough on a skewer, which is boiled in broth;
  • thwigim – deep-fried seafood, dumplings, vegetables, eggs, noodles;
  • pungoppan – a fish-shaped pastry with a sweet filling of red beans;
  • keranppan – fried bun with egg;
  • Omuk – fish cakes served with fresh vegetables and anchovy or crab broth;
  • hamul pachjong – pancakes with vegetable filling or seafood;
  • sunda – pork blood sausage, noodles, barley.

Exotic fast food is pontegi – boiled silkworm larvae. Street vendors offer kimchi, ramen, seafood and vegetable soups, fried chestnuts, and waffles.


Koreans use rice instead of wheat flour. Desserts include cane sugar, honey, sweet fruits and berries. Popular here are tortillas with bean paste (hottok), steamed rice cakes with a sweet filling (tteok), deep-fried biscuits (yakkwa), and peanut pie (khodupai). Tasik cookies have an unusual taste and appearance. It is made from pine pollen, black sesame, lemongrass, algae, or mung bean. The seals of the dragon and the phoenix are applied to the products.

Traditional Korean food

In addition to the famous kimchi appetizer, locals enjoy the twenjan jchige stew, seollonthan soup, and chapche noodles. Pulkogi, semgepsal, kuksu and hottok pies are considered popular dishes in the country.

Sundupu chjige

This is a Korean stew traditionally cooked in an earthen pot. First, fish is boiled in a container. Then beef, tofu, shellfish, hot peppers, eggs are added to the liquid.


Liquid rice porridge is boiled in chicken broth, for which whole chicken is used. The carcass is simmered over low heat for at least 2 hours. Later, the meat is separated from the bones and added to the plate to the rice.


The soup is a traditional winter one. For its preparation, different parts of beef are used: shank, brisket, shank, tongue, cartilage. These ingredients are boiled for 10 hours to create a thick, milky broth. Put green onions, ginger, garlic in it and sprinkle with black pepper, salt.

Twenjan chchige

The national dish resembles a liquid stew based on a large number of ingredients. The main ingredient is twenjan soybean paste, which is added to a broth made from white radish and dried anchovies. Later, zucchini, potatoes, green onions, seafood, tofu are sent to the liquid.

But the composition can change. At the end, chopped garlic and chili peppers are added to enhance the taste.


Pickled vegetables are the basis of Korean cuisine. Kimchi is made from kohlrabi, eggplant, radish, cucumber, but the most popular dish is Chinese cabbage. It is coarsely chopped and soaked in salted seafood broth for several months. Chili pepper, garlic, ginger, green onions are added to it. Soup is prepared on the basis of fermented vegetables.


A Korean snack is made with starchy noodles fried in sesame oil. It is mixed with vegetables and meat cut into thin strips, mushrooms, herbs, spices. It turns out a spicy salad, which is poured with soy bean sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Chapche is served hot or cold with rice.


These are thin slices of grilled pork belly. They are eaten with lettuce or perilla leaves. Pickled or fresh vegetables, chopped garlic, kimchi, soy sprouts, radishes, seaweed are suitable as a side dish. Samgepsal is considered a good snack to accompany the local soju liqueur.

In Korea, many pork dishes are prepared.


The popular meat dish is considered a barbecue counterpart. Pieces of beef, veal or pork are marinated in a sauce with garlic, sesame oil, sugar, black pepper. They are grilled with onions, pears, mushrooms. Bulkogi can be wrapped in cabbage or lettuce leaves.


The flour product resembles pancakes in appearance. Yeast dough is made from wheat flour. In the classic recipe, the filling consists of honey, cinnamon, any nuts and seeds. Nowadays hottok is added with a sweet paste of red beans, bulgogi, kimchi, tofu.

Janam tundak

These are drumsticks or other parts of chicken in a hot and sweet sauce. First, they are salted, pepper, dipped in batter. The meat is deep-fried. Garlic is fried in a separate container, kochujang, grated ginger, rice vinegar, chili pepper, paprika and corn syrup are added. Put drumsticks in the sauce and mix.


The cold dish resembles okroshka. Kuksu consists of noodles, vegetables, meat, omelet. Sliced ​​cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and pork are fried with garlic and spices (chili, kochujang, paprika, coriander). Shredded cabbage is poured with soy bean sauce. An omelet is made from eggs, which is rolled into a roll and cut into thin slices. Put all the ingredients in a deep plate, pour over the muri dressing. To prepare it, add salt, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, herbs, garlic, some cucumbers and tomatoes to cold water.


This is the Korean equivalent of rolls. Gimbap is made from brown or white rice wrapped in red seaweed. Beef ribs, cucumbers, carrots, tuna, squid, crab meat, kimchi, cheese are placed in the middle. The filling can be fresh, fried, or pickled.


Traditional Korean dishes include rice, fresh or pickled vegetables (namul), and thinly sliced ​​roast beef. Daikon, mushrooms, cucumbers, soy sprouts, spinach, zucchini, bamboo, and fern are often added to bibimbap. Chicken or seafood is sometimes used instead of beef. Scrambled eggs or a raw egg are spread on top of the rice. Depending on the composition of the appetizer, there are different types of dishes, but bibimbap jeonju is considered the most popular.


Cylindrical rice cakes are stewed in gochujang sauce. It gives the tasteless dough a spicy-sweet taste. Tookbokki is often served with omuk, sausages, Korean dumplings, and eggs.

Korean drinks

South Korea is home to a large number of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. Among Koreans, tea made from flowers, citrus fruits, green plums, lemongrass, cinnamon, corn, cereals and seeds, and Chinese dates are popular. The cafe serves a drink made from roasted beans and seeds powder mixed with milk and sugar. Traditional drinks include Yulmu and Sunnyun. The latter is made on the basis of the crust formed after cooking rice. Yulma is made from the grated fruits of the Iovlev tears plant.

The tea ceremony in Korea is no less sophisticated than the Chinese one.

Alcoholic drinks are made from rice, wheat, sorghum with the addition of berries, fruits and herbs for a pleasant aroma. The following are considered popular:

  1. Soju is a national Korean liqueur with the scent of green tea and lemon. It is made from varieties of sweet or starchy potatoes. Soju contains up to 20% alcohol. But the drink made in the city of Andong has a strength of 45% and is equal to cognac.
  2. Moonbeju is a distilled liqueur made from sorghum, millet, rice, wheat and nuruk sourdough. Its aroma is dominated by the smell of pears, and the amount of alcohol is 40%. Moonbeju has South Korea’s Intangible Cultural Heritage status.
  3. McCollie (nonju) is a milky drink. It is obtained by fermenting a mixture of unrefined boiled rice with water. It has a sweet taste and a strength of 5-7%.
  4. Cheongju. A pure rice wine with characteristics similar to sake. Rice with nuruk is fermented for 16-25 days. There are varieties of cheongju: with chrysanthemum, ginseng, lotus leaves, rhododendron, pine sprouts.

Fruit and floral wines are widespread in the country. They are made from raspberries, pomegranates, chrysanthemums, honeysuckle, azalea flowers. Koreans drink the medicinal wines tosoju ​​and paxeju. An exotic drink called pamju is made on the basis of soju liqueur, in a vessel with which a poisonous snake is placed.

Festive traditional dishes

Holidays are not complete without chapche, kimchi, chimpeni cakes, rice bread. On birthday, be sure to eat miekkuk, which promotes longevity. The festive table for the Korean New Year includes beef broth soup with rice dumplings (tteokguk), galbi, stuffed pancakes (chon). For dessert, different colored tteok pies are served with a sweet Sikhe drink based on boiled rice and pine nuts. Traditional crispy yugwa buns made of rice flour and alcohol are always prepared for the wedding, which are poured over with honey.

Serving attention

Koreans are proud of ancient traditions, so they stick to them in serving. Dishes are served in small portions. A bowl of rice, soup, metal sticks and a spoon are placed in front of each person from left to right. The latter is used for soups, stews and rice, and snacks are eaten with chopsticks. Panchkhan is served in common plates, so they are placed in the center of the table. It is indecent to lift a bowl of food and bring it to your mouth; it is customary to bend over the dishes.

Homemade recipes

Korean food is simple but satisfying. They always include spices, soy paste or sauce, which make food aromatic and tasty.

Chicken in soy sauce

The dish contains the following ingredients:

  • chicken drumsticks – 8 pcs.;
  • soy bean sauce – 50 ml;
  • hot water – 100 ml;
  • sugar – 8 tablespoons

In a saucepan, lightly fry the meat, pour in water. The drumsticks are boiled for 10-15 minutes until half cooked. Sprinkle each piece with sugar and wait until it caramelizes. Then pour the sauce over the chicken, stew for 5 minutes. The dish is served with spaghetti, the meat is sprinkled with sesame seeds.

All housewives in other countries of the world have been preparing chicken in soy sauce in Korean for a long time.

Fruit in caramel

Dessert is made from apples, pears, pineapples, bananas or other fruits. For cooking you will need:

  • 150 g apples;
  • 1 banana;
  • 2 st. Sahara;
  • 100 g butter;
  • 2 tbsp flour;
  • 2 egg whites.

Flour is mixed with proteins to produce a dough that resembles sour cream in consistency. Coarsely chopped fruits are spread into it. Then they are fried until golden brown. Melt butter in a frying pan, add sugar. The mixture is constantly stirring. When caramel forms, add apples and banana. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side. At the end, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Who is the soup

Hearty kimchi soup consists of the following ingredients:

  • 200 g of pork neck, kimchi and tofu;
  • 600 ml of water;
  • 1 tbsp gochujang pastes;
  • 1 tsp sugar.

Meat, kimchi, tofu are cut into pieces. The products are put in a saucepan, soy paste, sugar and water are added. When the soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes. Then tofu is added. After the beginning of the boil, the soup is boiled for 10 minutes over low heat.

Korean pork

The following components are used for cooking:

  • pork – 450 g;
  • onion – 1 piece;
  • hot chili sauce – 2 tablespoons;
  • sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame – 1 tablespoon each;
  • ginger, paprika – 1 tsp each;
  • garlic – 3 cloves.

First, marinade is made from sauce, chili, oil. Chopped garlic, grated ginger, sugar, sesame seeds, paprika are added to the mixture. The meat is mixed with the marinade, left for 15-20 minutes. Cut the onion into half rings. It is fried together with pork over medium heat.