Real Estate and Relocation Co.

Guide for Living in Korea


01 Food that Koreans Usually Eat

Koreans enjoy sharing food with family and friends. As such, there is a tendency in Korean culture toprepare better food than you normally eat when there are guests present for a meal.
A typical Korean meal consists of rice, soup, and side dishes. Similar to soup, hot stews are alsopopular, as well as side dishes such as vegetables, steamed foods, hardboiled foods, roasted meat, stirfried foods, and pan-fried foods. One of the side dishes always present on the Korean table is kimchi.As a substitute for rice, people will sometimes eat hot or cold noodles, wheat flake soup, or rice cakes.As working couples increase and family structures change, there are more single-portion meals,convenience food, and delivery food.

Useful Information
Familiarizing Yourself with Korean Food

Many foreigners find it is easier to familiarize themselves with Korean food when enjoying it withKorean friends. Getting used to Korean food is one of the best ways to adapt to Korea more quickly.When you learn to like Korean food, life in Korea will become much more enjoyable.

Drinking Water

You don't need to worry about the drinking water in Korea. Most Koreans use a water purifier orboil water to make tea, which they drink cool. The tap water is drinkable, but most Koreans eitherboil it or filter it using a water purifier. Although you could have a stomachache for a couple dayswhen you first get here, it usually goes away in a few days. If you are having severe pains, it isadvised to see a doctor. Water is provided for free at restaurants and snack bars. Bottled water canbe easily bought at any store.

02 Korean Food

(1) Bap (Boiled Rice)

Korean rice is stickier than Southeast Asian rice. Those whoare not used to this type of rice may experience a slightstomachache or indigestion at first. It takes about a week toget used to Korean rice.

Useful Information

Bibimbap is a representative food of Korea made by mixingvegetables, beef, seasoning, sesame oil, red pepper paste, etc.with steamed rice. Bibimbap is a representative food of Jeonju,and ‘Jeonju Bibimbap’ is very famous nationwide and has evenbeen sampled by world-famous celebrities

(2) Guk (Light Soup), Tang (Soup with Meat or Fish), Jjigae (Stew) and Jeongol (Chowder)

These four kinds of foods are cooked by boiling vegetables and beef, pork, or fish in water. They are named according to their ingredients and how they are prepared: 00 guk, 00 tang, 00 jjigae, or 00 jeongol.

  • Bukeokuk: Dried pollack soup, a famous hangover cure
  • Kongnamulguk: Bean sprout soup
  • Miyeokguk: Brown-seaweed soup
  • Seolleongtang: A flavorful beef soup with slices of beef
  • Galbitang: Soup made by boiling beef ribs for a long time with salt or soy sauce added for flavor. Noodles are added according to taste.
  • Gamjatang: Stew with pork bones, potatoes and other vegetables
  • Dakbokkeumtang: Chicken stew with vegetables and spicy sauces
  • Kimchijjigae: Kimchi stew (usually with pork)
  • Doenjangjjigae: Doenjang stew with tofu, zucchini, mushrooms and onions
  • Budaejjigae: Stew with kimchi, ham and assorted vegetables
  • Dongtaejjigae (Saengtaejjigae): Pollack stew with radish, tofu, and zucchini
  • Nakjijeongol: Octopus hotpot with sliced small octopus, assorted vegetables, mushroom, and broth
  • Dubujeongol: Tofu hotpot with tofu, onion, carrot, watercress, beef, and broth

(3) Kimchi

Kimchi is one of the most important foods in Korea andis said to have the perfect balance of taste, nutrition,and storage quality. Kimchi is made by rubbing pickledvegetables such as radish, cabbage, or cucumber, (etc.)in salt and adding seasonings such as pepper, garlic,green onion, ginger, salted fish and other supplementaryingredients. Kimchi must be stored at a consistenttemperature and allowed to ferment before it can beserved and eaten. Cabbages are not in season in winter,so from late November to early December Koreans makelarge batches of kimchi to be eaten during the winter. Thiskimchi-making period is called 'Kimjang'. Since peoplemake large batches of Kimchi during Kimjang, closerelatives gather and make Kimchi together.

(4) Meat Dishes

  • Bulgogi: Sliced beef seasoned and barbequed
  • Galbi: Grilled pork or beef rib
  • Samgyeopsal: Roasted pork that is wrapped in leafy vegetables and eaten
  • Dakgalbi: Hot and spicy stir-fried chicken with vegetables
  • Jeyukbokeum: Stir-fried pork with vegetables

(5) Fish Dishes

  • Saengseonhoe (sliced raw fish): Slices of raw fish are dipped in red chili-pepper paste with vinegar, fermented soybean paste, soy sauce, horseradish, (etc.) and eaten
  • Saengseon-gu-i (grilled fish): Salty or spicy grilled fish
  • Saengseonjjim (steamed or boiled fish): Spiced fish that is steamed or boiled
  • Saeseonjorim (hard-boiled fish): Fish and vegetables hard boiled in soy sauce
  • Ojinheobokeum (stir-fried squid): Hot and spicy squid and vegetable stir-fry

(6) Snacks

  • Ramen: One of the most common snacks in Korea, ramen is made simply by putting noodles and water in a pot and bringing it all to a boil. Cup ramen comes in a paper container and is even less complicated. Ramen comes in a variety of flavors, both spicy and mild.
  • Gimbap (rice rolls): Steamed rice, ham (pork), egg, carrot, and cucumber (etc.) are placed on dried laver and rolled up to eat. It is an easy and affordable food that is filling enough for a meal.
  • Guksu (noodle): Noodle dishes such as noodle soup or noodles mixed with sauce
  • Mandu (dumplings): Dumplings filled with vegetables, tofu and usually pork. Mulmandu is served in gravy and Tuigimmandu refers to fried dumplings.
  • Ddeokboggi: Dish made of rice and flour cakes mixed with fish cakes and vegetables and cooked with seasoning
  • Sundae (blood sausage): Sausage cooked with glass noodles and clotted beef blood

(7) Seasonal Fruits

Korea is a country with distinctive 4 seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter—that boasts freshseasonal fruits each season. Thanks to the increased use of greenhouses, many of these delicious fruitsare available throughout the year. Still, fruit is always the most delicious when it is in season. Manydiscount or department stores even carry exotic fruits, giving foreigners a little taste of home.

  • Spring: cherries, strawberries, etc.
  • Summer: oriental melons, peaches, watermelon, plums, etc.
  • Autumn: persimmons, pears, apples, jujubes, chestnuts, grapes, etc.
  • Winter: tangerines, oranges, etc.

03 Sauces

  • Maneul (Garlic): Garlic is very strong, but tastes sweeter and less pungent after it's been roasted. Chop it up fine to use it as a garnish, or use it whole as a spice.
  • Ganjang (Soy sauce): Ganjang is a black and salty seasoning. It is made of fermented soybean paste, salt, and water. In Korea, ganjang is classified into two categories: traditional and brewed. Traditional soy sauce is used for seasoning soups and vegetables. Brewed soy sauce is used as a dipping sauce for raw fish and other dishes.
  • Gochujang (Red pepper paste): Gochujang is a spicy hot paste made of red pepper powder, fermented soybean, and salt. This tasty sauce combines the delicate taste of fermented soybean with the hot taste of red pepper powder and the familiar taste of salt.
  • Doenjang (Bean paste): Made of beans and salt, doenjang is a sauce native to Korea. It is usually used to make soup.
  • Seoltang (Sugar) : This sweet powder comes in either white, yellow, or brown.
  • Sikcho (Vinegar) : This yellow and sour liquid comes in a bottle that looks very similar to cooking oil. To avoid confusion, look for a picture of an apple or rice on the front.
  • Sogeum (Salt): Similar in appearance to sugar, make sure to double check before adding salt to recipes.
  • Jomiryo (Synthetic flavoring) : This powder is to adjust and enhances the taste of food by adding it to the main ingredients. It helps to bring out flavors of the food. Since it is similar to salt and sugar in appearance, so take a good look and use the proper amount.
  • Sikyongyu (Cooking oil) : This yellowish liquid is used to panfry or deep-fry food. Cooking oil usually has a picture of corn or beans on the front
  • Chamgireum (Sesame oil) : This brown-colored liquid is prized for its pleasing aroma. Linseed oil is another popular oil that is often used instead of sesame oil.
  • Aekjeot (Fish sauce) : Aekjeot is a traditional sauce made of fish that is salted and fermented. Types of sauce include Myeolchi (anchovy) Aekjeot, and Kkanaria (sand lance) Aekjeot, and more. Kkanaria Aekjeot has the same flavor as Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce.
본 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원'에서 '2020년' 작성하여 공공누리 제4유형으로 개방한 '한국생활가이드북'을 이용하였으며, 해당 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원,' 에서 무료로 다운받으실 수 있습니다.