Things to Eat in Korea

Things to Eat in Korea

I’ve been asked countless times on what Korean food I recommend. People have seen me uploading over a hundred of foodies in my Seoul Food Trip album. They usually ask me what it is, how does it taste, how much it is, and a lot of random questions. So here I am making a list of my recommended Korean food.

1. Galbi & Samgyeopsal

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Gui is a generic term for Korean cuisine. There are different types of Gui but my favorites are Galbi and Samgyeopsal.

Galbi means ribs. It can be dwaejigalbi-gui (grilled pork ribs) or sogalbi-gui (grilled beef ribs). When you go to a Galbi house, you have to choose between saeng galbi (fresh meat) or yangnyeom galbi (seasoned meat). If you are two or more, I suggest you order both. By the way, the minimum order is two.

Samgyeopsal literally means three layered flesh. There’s another version of this called ogyeopsal which means five layered flesh. It contains pork belly meat. Just like galbi, you can choose between marinated and unmarinated. Usually, Koreans eat these meat with banchan (side dishes). After finishing the meat, they would order rice or naengmyeon (cold noodles).

2. Gamjatang

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Gamjatang is pork back bone stew. It’s made of spine and neck bones of a pig. When I first heard about it, I thought it’s potato soup. Potato in Korean is gamja and soup is tang. Anyway, it’s a little bit spicy but I can handle it. It often contains potatoes, cellophane noodles, dried radish greens, perilla leaves, green onions, hot peppers and ground sesame seeds.

3. Gimbap

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If you’re itinerary is so tight and you don’t have time to go to the restaurants, gimbap is the perfect food for you. It literally means seaweed rice. Koreans usually eat this during picnics, or when they have outdoor activities. It has many flavors. Some have spam, pork, tuna, beef, and other stuff inside.

4. Galbitang, Seollongtang, Gomtang

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By this time you already know what galbi and tang means. Galbitang is rib soup. It is made from beef short ribs along with stewing beef, radish, onions, and other ingredients. There’s a spicy galbitang but I always prefer the not spicy one. Another kind of soup are Seolleongtang (ox bone soup) and Gomtang (beef bone soup).

5. Bibimbap

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Bibimbap means mixed rice. It is usually served in a bowl of rice with different vegetable toppings and gochujang (chili pepper paste). Sometimes, there’s a raw or fried egg on top of it. Other variations includes meat. Whenever I order, I always tell them to make it not spicy. Sometimes, they put less gochujang or they give me the gochujang container so I can mix it on my own.

Dolsot bibimbap is one of the many variations of bibimbap. It dolsot means stone pot. The bibimbap is served in a very hot stone bowl like a sizzling plate.

6. Bingsu

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It’s originally called patbingsu which means red beans shaved ice. I hate beans. Good thing, they have other variations. This Korean shaved ice dessert is like the Philippines’ halo halo. I really like how the shaved milk ice melts in my mouth. I recommend strawberry tiramisu flavor!

I still have a lot of food recommendations on my list but I realized that I don’t have good pictures of those food at the moment. As you’ve noticed, I only use the pictures taken using my phone.

I’ll make a part 2 of this list. If you have any questions and suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.


  1. I miss Korean food so much- I’ve just had breakfast, but I want to eat all of it. My absolute favourite food was gamjatang! I also love haejangguk but gamjatang takes the crown! Man, some bingsus are so extravagant. I never tried that strawberry tiramisu one but kind of want to come back just to eat it.

  2. You have included some of my favourites on your list! i LOVE gamjatang! Going to miss korean food so much when we have to leave, especially Bingsu in the Summer months when the weather is hot!

  3. Samgyupsal remains as my son’s favourite for years now. He eats soooo much rice… just like a true-blue Filipino. I remember our halo-halo with your bingsu photo. we have leech flan instead of cake and the yummiest ice-cream topping.

  4. Your post made me hungry!! I love most of these dishes but with the heat soon approaching, I am excited for bingsu season. I love the mango and chocolate versions so much. I also love japchae which is such a simple dish but I’m all about it haha.

  5. It’s amazing how many interesting and delicious dishes there really are here. I think these are the most foreign friendly dishes for newbies and visitors to Korea. You should make a sort of “level 2” list of dishes you wouldn’t hear aboout or try until you’ve been here more than a year or something haha

  6. I’m back in Canada now and I’m craaaaaaving Korean food, especially samgyeopsal. There are lots of Korean restaurants here but they don’t do it justice! Eat all the foods for me, please! lol

  7. That is a very strange looking bibimbap. Where did you have that? I thought I didn’t like red beans too, but I’ve grown to have a strange liking for them in Korea (probably since they are basically in everything). I especially like the Bungeoppang for a little snack.

  8. I have been craving Gamjatang and Haejangguk so bad lately! Also dak galbi and dak dori tang! Those are my favorite dishes! I can’t believe it but I realize I never tried galbitang!

    1. Omigod I ate so much bimimbap my first year here that even after a decade I haven’t touched the stuff again! Sigh, I miss it. Maybe I’ll return to it. My favorite is still kimchi jjigae followed closely by budaejjigae. Great list!

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