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The Taste of Korea – What do Koreans Eat?

The very first thing that would come to your mind if you are planning to relocate to South Korea is – What do Koreans Eat? The answer to this question should answer your queries about survival in Korea.

So let me start with the basic ingredients used in Korean cooking and then I will share the name of a few popular Korean Dishes which you will be able to find easily in everyday Korean restaurants.

The ingredients below are used for making various Korean Dishes like Bibimbap, Kimbap, Kimchi, Kimchi Jjigae, Kimchi Bokkeumbap, Deonjang Jjigae, Bulgogi, Samgyetang, Maeuntang, Dubujeon, Pajeon, Japchae, Mandu and many others. You can download book on Korean Cuisine – The Taste of Korea – by KSCPP at the end of this article.

Koreans eat -

  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Tofu
  • Vegetables – potato, tomatoes, cabbage, carrot, radish, soybean sprouts, bellflower roots, zucchini, mushroom, pumpkin, spinach, eggplant, sea weed, onion, corn, broccoli, lettuce, garlic and others as per seasonal availability
  • Pork – a lot, almost every Korean dish has pork
  • Sea Food – fish, prawns, clamps, anchovies, octopus, squid, crabs
  • Chicken
  • Egg
  • Beef – very expensive in Korea. So beef is not consumed everyday.
  • Fruits
  • Milk (alright they drink milk)

Korean Cuisine – Domi Jorim

Koreans do love eating food from other parts of Asia as well -

  • Chinese Cuisine – specially Jajjangmyeon (noodles with black sauce), Jjampong (spicy seafood noodle soup) and dumplings
  • Vietnamese Pho
  • Japanese Sushi and Donkas
  • Indian Curry, Paratha, Naan and Biryani
  • Middle Eastern Tandoor Kababs and wraps
  • Thai Satay

Koreans also love eating western food, specially

  • Burger and Fries
  • Pizza and Pasta
  • Sandwiches
  • Steak
  • Cereals and Waffles
  • Breads, Cakes, Muffins and Pastries
  • Tacos and Nachos

A few outlets that serve western food in Korea are

  • McDonalds
  • Burger King
  • Lotteria (Korea)
  • Kraze Burger (Korea)
  • Subway Sandwiches
  • Quiznos
  • Dominoes Pizza
  • Pizza Hut
  • Mr. Pizza (Korea)
  • KFC
  • Bennigans
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Loving Hut (Asian Vegan Food, Taiwan)
  • Taco Bell
  • TGI Fridays
  • Starbucks
  • Smoothie King
  • Baskin Robbins
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Cafe Benne (Korea)

The list above is not very comprehensive but detailed enough to cover the daily eating habits. There are specialized restaurants serving specialized dishes. So for pizza and burgers you will have to visit the fast food joints and likewise for biryani and curry you will have to visit Indian and Nepali restaurants in Korea. So food is essentially not a problem in South Korea if you are planning to relocate. There are too many options for you if you are non vegetarian and slightly adventurous.

Some prefer cooking at home and most of them prefer eating out. Korean food is not really that expensive. So you might end up spending some extra wons  eating out but at the end you save yourself lot of effort cooking, cutting, shopping for grocery, doing the dishes etc. Mostly expats come here to work, so they prefer spending more time either spending in office or acquiring some new skill – like learning Korean and others.

And to keep my promise – you can download the Taste of Korea book below to learn about Korean Cuisine, Korean Recipes and their health benefits. Disclosure – The book is from the website KSCPP. You can visit their website to learn more about Korean Culture and download other interesting stuff.

Comments (8)

  • Joe

    Do you like Korean food? This cool little facebook tab tells you what Korean food you would be reborn as. Check it out.

  • pranjali

    hey, I found your article very interesting and you people love Indian paratha and biryani???

    • TheKoreaGuide

      Hey Pranjali… I am an Indian and I started my website on Korea when I was staying in Korea.. Now I am back in India, but I continue to blog about Korea just for my love for Korea.. I just love that country.. To answer your question, Koreans do love Indian food – paratha n biryani for sure. Whatever Indian or Nepali restaurants I used to visit in Seoul was flooded with Koreans. So in an Indian restaurant in Korea surprisingly I used to find more Koreans as compared to Indians.

  • mandar

    will you please tell me the good restraurants as m visitng seoul -Seongnam city ?

    • TheKoreaGuide

      Here is the list of Indian Restaurants in Seoul. You will have to visit Seoul for Indian Restaurants.

      In Bundang you have (Bundang is in Seongnam)

      강가 분당점 / Ganga Bundang
      Seohyeon-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
      +82 31-704-5001 ‎ ·

      Near Gangnam you have (as Gangnam is closer to Seongnam)

      889-13 Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
      +82 2-3468-4670 ‎ ·

      737 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
      +82 2-2112-3888 ‎ ·

      548 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
      +82 2-511-8488 ‎ ·

      1316-28 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea
      +82 2-533-2693 ‎ ·

      Away from Gangnam

      Nogosan-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
      +82 2-703-3535 ‎ ·

      119-25 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
      +82 2-792-0117 ‎ ·


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