Want to know more about Korean food and cuisine? South Korea is a country that’s full of delicious dishes with interesting flavors. You can taste classic dishes like kimchi, gimbap, and Korean BBQ, to more unusual dishes that are just as delicious.
Here are 25 traditional dishes from South Korea that you can taste for a local experience:
Table of Contents
One of the most famous Korean food is kimchi, which is made of pickled cabbage in chili. It’s not a dish, but is something that’s common to eat together with various dishes in South Korea.
There are different kinds of kimchi that you can taste in the country. The most common version is made with napa cabbage and is fermented in red chili flakes.
It’s simply delicious and a must to taste when it comes to Korean food.
This is one of the most popular Korean dishes and is made of grilled slices of pork belly.
It’s commonly seasoned in salt, pepper and sesame oil, and served with lettuce, grilled garlic, grilled onion, kimchi, and shredded green onions.
Japchae is stir fried sweet potato noodles with carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, and small pieces of meat (optional).
The noodles, veggies, and meat are fried in sesame oil and topped with roasted sesame seeds before being served.
It’s a delicious Korean food that’s a must to taste while you’re in South Korea!
Gimbap is a common street food in South Korea. The ingredients can vary a bit, however, it’s most commonly made of sushi rice and pickled vegetables wrapped in sheets of seaweed.
It can be bought at most food markets and food stalls around the country. It’s popular among the locals as well as tourists.
Bibimbap is basically a bowl of rice mixed with namul (seasoned and sautéed vegetables), mushrooms, beef, soy sauce, chili pepper paste, and fried egg.
The ingredients vary from region to region, and there’s also various styles of this dish served around the country.
Dakkochi is grilled chicken skewers marinated in a delicious sauce. Some are sweet and salty and some are sweet and spicy – either way, it’s addictive.
These chicken skewers are common to buy in food stalls, it’s one of the most popular street foods in South Korea.
Bulogi is a famous food from Korea, and is made of barbecued meat. Daeji Bulgogi is made of grilled pork marinated in a sweet soy sauce with sesame oil and garlic.
It’s one of the most popular South Korean foods, and is a must to taste while you’re in the country.
Bibim Naengmyeon is a dish made of spicy noodles topped with cucumber, cabbage and a hard boiled egg.
What makes this dish so special is that it’s served cold. It’s definitely an interesting dish to add to your bucket list of Korean food.
Kimchi fried rice, also known as Kimchi Bokkeumbap, is one of the most popular dishes in the country.
It’s made of stir fried rice with kimchi and meat. It’s usually served with a fried egg, and sesame seeds and roasted seaweed sprinkled on the top.
Korean Barbecue (Gogigui)
Gogigui is a korean barbecue feast that’s best enjoyed together with friends or family.
You sit around a table where you have your own grill where you cook your own food just the way you like it. You can order several marinated and unmarinated meat dishes, as well as various vegetables.
The prices vary depending on what you order.
This dish is known as the Korean hangover stew and is made of a rich and spicy broth with chunks of pork.
It has gotten its name from being known to cure hangovers. However, it’s very delicious and a must to taste in South Korea – even tough you’re not hungover.
Twigim is Korean style tempura and can be made of a variety of deep fried vegetables. Tempura in South Korea can also contain seafood and rice.
It’s simply delicious, so make sure to add it to your bucket list of South Korean food!
Tteokbokki is a spicy rice cake that’s commonly sold in the street food stalls around the country.
It’s served in a bowl with a sweet and spicy sauce on top. Some places also serve this dish with a boiled egg or ramen noodles on top. Either way you’ll have it, it’s delicious.
Sundubu Jjigae is a stew made of tofu, vegetables, mushrooms, chili paste, and seafood, beef, or pork. It’s served in a large stone bowl and topped with a raw egg on top.
The ingredients can vary a bit depending on where you order it.
This is another cold noodle soup, also known as the Korean summer noodles.
It’s made of buckwheat noodles served in an icy cold broth made from beef and/or Korean radish water kimchi. Before being served, the noodle soup is topped with cucumbers, pickled radishes, Korean pear, boiled beef, and a boiled egg.
This dish is best enjoyed on a hot summer day in South Korea.
There’s no secret that the locals love their kimchi and try to use it in as many dishes as possible. Kimchi Jjigae is one of the most popular dishes in Korea and is made of napa cabbage kimchi boiled with pieces of fatty pork.
It’s very spicy food from Korea, so make sure to have some rice on the side if you’re not used to eat spicy food.
Saengseon Jjigae is another korean stew made with fish in a flavorful broth. It’s served boiling hot, commonly with kimchi and rice on the side.
If you’re not used to spicy food, make sure to have some rice on the side in case it would be too spicy for you.
Mung Bean Pancakes is a common food in South Korea that can be found at both food markets and various street food stalls around the country.
It’s made of ground mung beans, kimchi, and green onions. It’s all mixed together and deep fried in oil.
Yaki Mandu are Korean dumplings made with ground pork or beef. However, some places stuff them with chicken and various vegetables as well.
They are deep fried and served smoking hot with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce and vinegar. It’s a delicious food from Korea.
This is a traditional korean soup made from ox bones and ox meat. It’s a typical dish to eat in Seoul and is usually seasoned with chopped green onions, garlic, salt, and pepper.
The broth is flavorful and have a milky white color. It’s usually eaten together with some rice.
Soondae is a type of korean bloody sausages made of rice and pig’s blood stuffed into intestines. They’re then steamed and served on a plate.
It’s a common street food in South Korea that’s not as popular among tourists as among the locals.
Nakji Bokkeum is a popular dish in South Korea made with chopped octopus and vegetables such as cabbage, onions, green onions, and carrots.
It’s stir fried in a marinade made of red pepper paste, soy sauce, garlic, salt and sugar. It’s served smoking hot.
When it comes to food from Korea, this is a dish you must taste if you enjoy eating seafood.
Jjinmandu is another style of Korean dumplings and are stuffed with various ingredients before being steamed into perfection.
Common ingredients include pork, onions, carrots, cabbage, and mung bean noodles.
Ginseng chicken soup is a common dish to eat during the hot summer months in South Korea. It’s traditionally made with chicken, garlic, scallion, korean jujube, korean ginseng, rice and various spices.
It’s known for being a healthy dish with high nutrition value, but also for being creamy and flavorful.
Dolsot Bibimbap is a style of the famous dish Bibimbap which is made of mixed rice.
It’s made of korean rice, bibimbap sauce, and various toppings. It’s cooked and served in a hot stone bowl so the rice at the bottom becomes crispy.
Once it’s served on the table you mix it all together and eat. It’s simply delicious.
More about Korean food
Korean food is commonly based on meat, vegetables and rice. Other common ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, chiliflakes, gochujang (fermented red chili paste) and napa cabbage.
The local dishes vary from region to region. However, kimchi (fermented cabbage) is something that’s eaten all over the country with various local dishes.
What’s the national dish of South Korea?
Kimchi is South Korea’s national dish. It’s one of the foods from Korea that you have to taste while you’re in South Korea.
What is a traditional meal in Korea?
A korean meal usually consists of rice, meat and vegetables. It’s common to have several small side dishes with a Korean meal – the fermented cabbage kimchi is a common side dish.
Christmas food in Korea – What do they eat?
The Koreans celebrate Christmas on December 25. On the Christmas table they often have dishes like bulgogi (barbecued beef), sweet potato noodles, and lots of kimchi. The dishes vary from family to family, where they all cook their favorite dishes.
For dessert it’s common to eat cakes with red bean paste, and other sweet pastries and candies.
Korean desserts and sweets to taste
- Songpyeon (rice cakes)
- Makgeolli Ice Cream
- Yaksik (sweet rice dessert)
- Bukkumi (pan-fried rice cake dumplings with sweet red beans)
- Dasik (tea cookies)
- Bungeoppang (fish-shaped bread with sweet red bean)
- Hotteok (sweet pancake)
- Bingsu (shaved ice)
- Dalgona (sponge candy)
- Yakgwa (flower-shaped sweet pastry with honey and ginger)
Korean drinks to taste
- Soju (liquor)
- Milkis (sweet sparkling milk)
- Corn Tea
- Makgeolli (alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice)
- Daechu tea (dried jujube tea)
- Sikhye (rice drink)
- Citron Tea
- Omija tea (made from omija berry)
- Bacchus (energy drink)
- Green plum tea
Do you have more questions about Korean food and cuisine? Leave a comment below!