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How many meals a day do Koreans eat?


Korean cuisine is one of the most popular and beloved cuisines in the world. The Korean diet is known for its variety, richness, and health benefits. One of the most interesting aspects of Korean food is its meal structure. In this article, we will explore how many meals a day Koreans eat and what each meal consists of.

The Traditional Korean Diet

The traditional Korean diet is based on rice, vegetables, and meat or fish. It is a balanced diet that emphasizes the importance of consuming a variety of foods in moderation. Traditionally, Koreans eat three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Modern Korean Diet

In recent years, the Korean diet has undergone some changes due to modernization and globalization. Many Koreans now prefer to eat Western-style fast food or convenience store food instead of traditional Korean meals. However, traditional Korean meals are still widely popular.


Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day in Korea. It usually consists of rice, soup, and side dishes such as kimchi, pickled vegetables, and grilled fish. Breakfast is typically eaten at home or at work before starting the day.


Lunch is usually a more substantial meal than breakfast. It typically consists of rice, soup, meat or fish dishes, and several side dishes. Lunch is often eaten at work or school.


Dinner is usually the largest meal of the day in Korea. It typically includes rice, soup, meat or fish dishes, and several side dishes. Dinner is usually eaten at home with family members.


In addition to three main meals, Koreans also enjoy snacking throughout the day. Popular snacks include street food such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), hotteok (sweet pancakes), and bungeoppang (fish-shaped bread).


Koreans enjoy a variety of drinks with their meals, including tea, coffee, soda, and traditional Korean drinks such as makgeolli (rice wine) and soju (distilled liquor).

Regional Differences

The number and types of meals can vary depending on the region of Korea. For example, people in Jeolla Province typically eat more rice than those in other regions, while those in Gyeongsang Province prefer spicier food.

Special Occasions

Koreans also have special meals for holidays and other special occasions. For example, on Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), Koreans typically eat a variety of traditional dishes such as songpyeon (rice cakes) and jeon (savory pancakes).

Dietary Restrictions

Koreans with dietary restrictions, such as vegetarians or those with food allergies, may modify traditional Korean dishes to meet their needs. This may include substituting meat with tofu or using alternative ingredients to create traditional flavors.


In conclusion, Koreans traditionally eat three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each meal typically consists of rice, soup, meat or fish dishes, and several side dishes. Snacks and drinks are also an important part of the Korean diet. While modernization has led to some changes in the Korean diet, traditional Korean meals are still widely popular.

How often do Koreans eat in a day?

In Korean culture, there is no separation between meals, so it is common to eat rice for all three meals of the day. Along with a personal bowl of rice, a serving of soup may also be given. The table may also have a hot pot, known as jjigae or jungol, which is a communal dish that is thicker and saltier than individual servings.

What is a typical Korean daily diet?

The Korean diet emphasizes fruit, soy, steamed vegetables, rice, fish, and fermented dishes like kimchi. This diet is also known for being minimally processed, low in sugar and fat, and is popularly referred to as the K-pop diet.

Do Koreans eat rice 3 times a day?

Koreans have a belief that rice should be consumed with every meal, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as part of their customary eating habits.

Why do Koreans eat rice with every meal?

In Korean culture, rice is more than just a basic food item – it symbolizes life and prosperity. Korean cuisine includes a variety of popular types of rice.

Do Koreans brush their teeth after every meal?

In Korea, the recommended tooth brushing method for the public is the 3-3-3 method, which focuses on the frequency and duration of tooth brushing. This means brushing your teeth three times a day, three minutes after each meal, for at least three minutes each time.

What are 3 eating habits in Korea?

The K-diet is made up of cooked rice and soup, along with various side dishes, amounting to a full meal. Kimchi is always present at every meal. The diet emphasizes eating a lot of vegetables, a moderate to high amount of legumes and fish, and very little red meat.

It is worth noting that the Korean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. This is because it is based on fresh, seasonal ingredients that are prepared using healthy cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, and grilling. Additionally, Korean cuisine includes a wide variety of vegetables and fermented foods such as kimchi, which are rich in probiotics and other beneficial nutrients.

Another important aspect of the Korean diet is the emphasis on balance and moderation. Koreans believe in eating a variety of foods in moderate amounts to achieve a balanced diet. This approach helps to prevent overeating and promotes good digestion and overall health.

Moreover, the Korean meal structure also promotes social interaction and family bonding. Meals are often shared with family members or colleagues, and there is a strong culture of hospitality in Korea. Sharing food is seen as a way to build relationships and show respect for others.

In recent years, the popularity of Korean food has spread around the world, with Korean restaurants opening up in many major cities. This has helped to introduce people to the unique flavors and health benefits of Korean cuisine. Additionally, many Korean dishes have become popular globally, such as bibimbap (a rice bowl with vegetables and meat), bulgogi (marinated grilled beef), and kimchi.

Overall, the meal structure of breakfast, lunch, and dinner is an important part of the traditional Korean diet. It emphasizes balance, moderation, and a wide variety of fresh ingredients. While modernization has led to changes in the Korean diet, traditional meals remain popular and continue to be enjoyed by people around the world.

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