Kitchen Tips

Top 5 Cuisines of Korea

This winter let’s try some of the spicy, sweet and tangy delicacies that Korean cuisine has to offer. The unique and delightful cuisines of Korea food will tickle your senses and leave you asking for more.

Koreans strongly believe that if food is cooked, served and eaten the right way then there is no better medicine than that. Hence, their food contains ingredients that have been fermented over a long period of time. This enhances not just taste but also the nutritional aspect of the ingredients.

Traditional Korean Meal

Traditionally, Korean meal, locally known as Pansang consists of steamed rice, soup and a variety of side dishes. The number of side served represents the status of the family. This is also true for restaurants. Generally, a lower class family has three sides served while a royal family or high-end restaurant serves up to 12 side dishes.

As per Korean etiquettes, every dish is placed on the table before one starts to eat.

korean meal - Top 5 Cuisines of Korea

Image Courtesy: andrewarchy used under the Creative Commons Licence

Ceremonial Meal

Food is central to every ceremony. The kind of meal prepared depends on the nature of the ceremony.

On occasions such as weddings and 60th birthdays rice cakes along with fruits and other confectionaries are arranged in a 30-60 centimetre high towers. This is known as kyobaesang.

Rice balls - 5 Cuisines of Korea

Image Courtesy: Republic of Korea used under the Creative Commons Licence

According to Korean beliefs, white rice cakes or rice balls represent righteousness. Also, on some occasions rice cakes are cooked in five different colours which signifies the five elements of earth – earth, fire, water, wood and metal.

Korean Temple Cuisine

Buddhism is a religion followed by many Koreans. Buddhist temples here have developed a unique cuisine combining various vegetables. Varieties of Kim Chi are a popular in temple cuisine. Buddhists believe in not harming any kind of life, be it plant or animal. Hence apart from non-vegetarian food,  roots such as ginger, onions, potato etc are strictly avoided as it would kill the plant.

Korean temple cuisine - Top 5 Cuisines of Korea

Image Courtesy: Julie Facine used under the Creative Commons Licence

The Royal Court Cuisine

The popular meal relished by the royals of the Joseon Dynasty is to this date considered extravagant.  Royal court cuisine or Surasang is a lavish meal that is served with 12 dishes. Steamed rice being a must, it is served along with soups such as seaweed soup and beef bone soup along with stews, kimchi, hot pot and sauces. Sweet rice is another speciality of the royal cuisine. Teas, fruit punches and rice cakes are the other delicacies served in the royal cuisine.

Royal cuisine - Top 5 Cuisines of Korea


Image Courtesy:Republic of Korea used under the Creative Commons Licence

Korean Street Food

The heart of every cuisine lies in their street food. Rice cakes, fish cakes, blood sausages, Beondegi or silkworm pupa are some of the most popular street food delicacies that are a must try.

Korean Street food - Top 5 Cuisines of Korea

Image Courtesy: Arnold Gatilao used under the Creative Commons Licence


These were the top 5 cuisines of Korea.

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