website free tracking Do Koreans only eat twice a day? - Namhan South Korea

Do Koreans only eat twice a day?


Korean cuisine has grown in popularity over the years, but one question many people still ask is whether Koreans only eat twice a day. This question stems from a belief that Koreans follow a traditional eating pattern known as “hansik.” In this article, we will explore whether Koreans do indeed only eat twice a day and the reasons behind this eating habit.

History of Korean Eating Habits

Koreans have a rich culinary history that dates back to ancient times. The traditional Korean meal is based on rice, vegetables, and meat, with side dishes called “banchan.” In the past, Koreans typically ate three meals a day, but this changed during the Joseon Dynasty when people began to adopt the two-meal system.

The Two-Meal System

The two-meal system, also known as “bap-jumok,” involves eating two large meals a day. The first meal is eaten around 11 am and consists of rice, soup, and side dishes. The second meal is eaten around 6 pm and is similar to the first meal but with more substantial portions. This system was adopted due to poverty and food shortages during the Joseon period.

The Benefits of Eating Twice a Day

Many Koreans believe that eating twice a day has health benefits. One reason is that it allows the digestive system to rest and recover between meals. Additionally, it can help with weight loss because there are fewer opportunities to snack between meals.

Modern Eating Habits in Korea

Despite the traditional two-meal system, modern Koreans tend to eat three meals a day like Westerners. This change in eating habits is attributed to an increase in wealth and access to food. Many Koreans now eat breakfast before heading to work or school and have snacks in between meals.

The Rise of Fast Food in Korea

As with many countries, Korea has seen a rise in fast food and convenience stores in recent years. This has led to an increase in snacking and a departure from traditional Korean eating habits. However, there is still a strong emphasis on healthy eating in Korean culture.

Regional Differences in Eating Habits

Korean cuisine varies by region, and so do eating habits. For example, people in the Jeolla region tend to eat more vegetables and seafood than those in other regions. Additionally, some regions have their own unique dishes and eating customs.

The Importance of Community Dining

In Korea, dining is often a communal activity. Sharing food is seen as a way to strengthen relationships and show hospitality. This is why many Korean restaurants serve meals family-style with multiple dishes to share.

Traditional Korean Food Culture

Traditional Korean food culture places great importance on balance and harmony. Meals are designed to include a variety of flavors, textures, and colors to create a well-rounded dining experience. Additionally, Koreans believe that certain foods have medicinal properties and can help prevent or treat illnesses.

The Role of Rice in Korean Cuisine

Rice is a staple in Korean cuisine and is typically served at every meal. It is considered a symbol of wealth and abundance and is often used in religious ceremonies. Rice is also used to make other popular Korean dishes such as rice cakes, porridge, and noodles.

Korean Food Tourism

Korean cuisine has gained popularity worldwide, with Korean restaurants popping up in major cities around the globe. Additionally, many tourists travel to Korea specifically to try traditional Korean dishes such as bibimbap or kimchi stew.


In conclusion, while Koreans traditionally only ate twice a day due to poverty and food shortages, modern Koreans tend to eat three meals a day like Westerners. However, there is still a strong emphasis on healthy eating and communal dining in Korean culture. Korean cuisine is rich in history and tradition, and its popularity continues to grow around the world.

Do Koreans eat twice a day?

In Korean culture, there is no differentiation between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it is common to consume rice during all three meals. Along with a personal bowl of rice, you may also receive a serving of soup. Hot pots, known as jjigae or jungol, which are denser and more flavorful, are placed in the center of the table for communal sharing.

How many meals a day do Koreans eat?

Traditionally, Koreans typically consumed two meals daily in colder seasons and three during warmer seasons.

Do Koreans eat rice 3 times a day?

Koreans typically consume rice during all three meals of the day, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as it is considered an essential part of their diet and culture.

What does an average Korean person eat in a day?

In Korea, the typical daily meal consists of steamed white rice, a vegetable soup made with soybean paste, and a serving of kimchi. This meal is often accompanied by other side dishes like seasoned vegetables, fish, and meat.

Do Koreans brush their teeth after every meal?

In Korea, the recommended brushing method for the general population is the 3-3-3 brushing method campaign, which focuses on the frequency and duration of toothbrushing. This involves brushing one’s teeth three times a day, within three minutes after eating, and for at least three minutes each time.

What are 3 eating habits in Korea?

The K-diet emphasizes a high intake of vegetables, moderate to high intake of legumes and fish, and low intake of red meat. Banchan, a type of Korean side dish, is typically seasoned with fermented soy products, medicinal herbs, and sesame or perilla oil.

Another important aspect of Korean cuisine is the use of fermented foods. Fermented foods such as kimchi, soybean paste, and fermented fish are staples in Korean cuisine and are believed to have health benefits such as aiding digestion and promoting good gut health.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in traditional Korean cooking methods such as slow braising, pickling, and fermenting. Many Koreans are returning to these methods of cooking as a way to reconnect with their cultural heritage and promote healthy eating.

Korean cuisine also places great importance on seasonality. Traditional Korean dishes often feature ingredients that are in season, such as spring greens or summer fruits. This not only ensures that the ingredients are fresher and more flavorful but also promotes a more sustainable approach to food production.

While Korean cuisine has evolved over time, it remains deeply rooted in tradition and culture. From the two-meal system to the importance of community dining and balance in meals, Korean food culture is a reflection of the values and beliefs held by the Korean people. As interest in Korean cuisine continues to grow, it is important to remember and honor these traditions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top