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Do they eat pork in Korea?


Korean cuisine is known for its diverse flavors and ingredients. Among the popular types of meat consumed in Korea, pork is one of them. However, there are some cultural and religious factors that affect the consumption of pork in Korea.

The history of pork consumption in Korea

Pork has been a staple food in Korea since ancient times. It was an essential source of protein for Koreans, especially during the winter months when other meats were scarce. Pork was also served during special occasions such as weddings and ancestral rites.

The cultural significance of pork in Korea

In Korean culture, pork is associated with good luck and prosperity. This is because the pronunciation of the word for pig in Korean is similar to the word for wealth. As a result, pork dishes are often served during New Year’s celebrations and other important events.

Religious beliefs and pork consumption

In Korea, there are two dominant religions – Buddhism and Christianity. Both religions have different views on the consumption of pork. In Buddhism, eating pork is discouraged because pigs are considered unclean animals. On the other hand, Christianity does not prohibit the consumption of pork.

The popularity of pork dishes in Korea

Despite the cultural and religious factors that affect the consumption of pork in Korea, it remains a popular meat among Koreans. Some of the most popular pork dishes in Korea include samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly), dwaeji galbi (marinated pork ribs), and jokbal (pig’s feet).

Pork imports in Korea

Korea imports a significant amount of pork from other countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia. This is because domestic production is not sufficient to meet the demand for pork in Korea.

Pork production in Korea

Pork production in Korea is mainly concentrated in the southwestern provinces of Jeolla and Chungcheong. However, there have been concerns about animal welfare and food safety in the pork industry, leading to calls for improvement and regulation.

The health benefits of pork

Pork is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is also low in fat and calories compared to other types of meat. However, excessive consumption of pork can increase the risk of certain health problems such as heart disease and cancer.

The environmental impact of pork production

Pork production has a significant impact on the environment, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. There are efforts underway to reduce the environmental footprint of pork production through sustainable practices.

Pork and Korean cuisine abroad

Korean cuisine has gained popularity in many parts of the world, and pork dishes are often featured on Korean restaurant menus. However, the availability and quality of Korean-style pork dishes may vary depending on the location.

The future of pork consumption in Korea

As Korean society undergoes rapid changes, so too may the cultural and religious factors that influence the consumption of pork. Additionally, concerns about animal welfare, food safety, and environmental sustainability may also play a role in shaping the future of pork consumption in Korea.


Pork is an important part of Korean cuisine and culture. While there are cultural and religious factors that affect its consumption, it remains a popular meat among Koreans. As society changes and concerns about animal welfare, food safety, and environmental sustainability grow, the future of pork consumption in Korea remains uncertain.

Is pork common in Korean food?

In South Korea, fresh pork belly is a very popular type of meat and makes up 59% of the daily per capita meat consumption of approximately 100 grams. This was reported on June 9th, 2015.

Why do Koreans eat a lot of pork?

Pork is a highly nutritious source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. In South Korea, pork is the preferred meat over chicken and beef, with a particular emphasis on pork belly, which is a high-fat, low-yield cut that is highly sought after by consumers. This preference has been observed since at least 2015.

Is pork famous in Korea?

Koreans have a particular fondness for pork, which is why they consume more pork than other meats. Their appreciation for pork belly is a significant factor, but there are also many other cuts and preparations of pork that they enjoy.

Do Koreans eat beef or pork?

Korean cuisine incorporates a variety of vegetables and tends to feature beef, chicken, and pork as the primary sources of protein.

What is Korea’s main meat?

While Korean food is popularly associated with beef dishes like Bulgogi or Kalbi, there are numerous other dishes that blend beef and diverse vegetables, such as Bulgogi Rice Bowls, Bibimbap, and Gungjung Tteokbokki.

What country doesn’t eat pork?

The consumption of pork is forbidden for certain religious groups, including Jews, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, and some Christian sects. This prohibition has ancient roots and is observed in various cultures, including Comana in Pontus, as noted by Strabo.

One of the unique aspects of Korean pork dishes is the emphasis on marination and seasoning. Many pork dishes are prepared with a variety of spices, fermented sauces, and herbs to enhance the flavor of the meat. This is in contrast to Western-style pork dishes, which often focus more on the natural flavor of the meat itself.

Another interesting aspect of pork consumption in Korea is the popularity of pork organs and other less common cuts of meat. Dishes such as sundae (blood sausage), jokbal (pig’s feet), and dwaeji gukbap (pork soup with rice) are all made from parts of the pig that may not be as commonly consumed in other countries.

In recent years, there has been a trend towards healthier eating in Korea, which has led to a rise in demand for leaner cuts of pork. This has led to an increase in imports of leaner pork from countries such as Spain and Denmark, which are known for their high-quality pork products.

Despite the challenges facing the pork industry in Korea, there are also opportunities for growth and innovation. Some farmers are exploring more sustainable and humane methods of raising pigs, while others are experimenting with new flavors and cooking techniques to create unique and exciting pork dishes.

Overall, pork will likely continue to play an important role in Korean cuisine and culture for years to come. Whether it’s enjoyed as a traditional dish during a special occasion or as part of a modern fusion meal, pork remains a beloved and versatile ingredient that reflects the rich history and diverse tastes of Korean cuisine.

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