What Do Koreans Eat?

koreans-eat Credit: Photograph by Kangheewan./Moment/Getty Images

Rice is a popular staple in Korea and is often served along with a variety of dishes that include vegetables, soups, stews and meats. Kimchi, which is fermented pickles made using red chili pepper powder and garlic to flavor Chinese cabbage, radishes, green peppers and cucumbers, is served at every traditional meal. Beef bulgogi and beef or pork galbi, or ribs, are two popular dishes in Korean cuisine.

Juk is a type of porridge made from boiling various types of grains for a long period of time, and is well-known as Korea's oldest food. Tangs, or Korean soups, are another likely meal accompaniment, and are made using a variety of vegetable and meat ingredients based on the season.

Rice cakes are often made for ceremonial occasions, and are often accented with red beans, jujubes or chestnuts to add additional flavor. Tea and cookies are typically served after meals and as a snack. The varieties of tea and types of cookies vary considerably by season, including seasonal fruits as available. In hot weather, cold juices and fresh fruits are served instead.

Because Korea is separated into distinct regions by steep mountain ranges and rivers, many regions have their own distinctive cuisine based on what fresh produce and meat is available.