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What is a common breakfast in Korea?


Korean cuisine is known for its unique flavors and dishes, and breakfast is no exception. A common breakfast in Korea usually consists of a mix of rice, soup, meat, vegetables, and side dishes. This article will explore the various components of a traditional Korean breakfast and how it has evolved over time.

A Brief History

The concept of breakfast in Korea has evolved over time. In the past, breakfast was not considered an important meal, and most people would just have leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. However, over time, as Korean society became more modernized, breakfast became an integral part of daily life.

The Main Components

A typical Korean breakfast usually includes rice, soup, meat or fish, and an assortment of side dishes. The rice is usually steamed and served alongside soup or stew made with vegetables and meat or fish. The side dishes can include kimchi, pickled vegetables, seasoned seaweed, and steamed or stir-fried vegetables.


Rice is a staple in Korean cuisine and is typically served at every meal. For breakfast, it is usually steamed and served plain or mixed with other ingredients like seaweed or vegetables.


Soup or stew is another essential component of a Korean breakfast. It is typically made with a variety of vegetables and meat or fish and can be served hot or cold.


Meat or fish is often included in a Korean breakfast to provide protein. Popular choices include grilled mackerel, beef bulgogi, or stir-fried pork.

Side Dishes

Side dishes are an essential part of Korean cuisine and are always served with every meal. For breakfast, they can include kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage), pickled vegetables, seasoned seaweed, or stir-fried vegetables.

Regional Variations

Like most cuisines, Korean breakfast varies by region. For example, in the southern part of Korea, rice porridge (juk) is a popular breakfast dish, while in the northern part of Korea, cold noodle soup (naengmyeon) is a common breakfast food.

Modern Changes

As Korean society has become more modernized, so has its cuisine. Many Koreans now opt for more Western-style breakfasts like cereal, toast, and coffee. However, traditional Korean breakfasts are still widely eaten, especially among older generations.

Health Benefits

Korean breakfasts are typically healthy and nutrient-dense. They include a mix of lean proteins, whole grains, and nutrient-rich vegetables that provide a range of vitamins and minerals.


A traditional Korean breakfast is a unique and flavorful experience that combines rice, soup, meat, vegetables, and side dishes. While it has evolved over time and is not as common as it once was, it remains an essential part of Korean culture and cuisine.

What do Korean usually eat for breakfast?

A typical Korean breakfast usually includes boiled rice, along with soups, stews made with fish or meat, and side dishes called banchan, which are small plates of fermented vegetables. The most popular banchan is kimchi. These same dishes can also be found on lunch or dinner menus.

What is the most popular breakfast in Korean?

Kimchi Jjigae is a Korean breakfast dish that is easy to make and does not require a lot of cleanup in the morning. This one-pot stew is a popular choice among Koreans for breakfast.

What is a typical Korean lunch?

Bibimbap is a Korean dish that combines rice, vegetables, beef, and egg in a salad-like bowl. It is seasoned with sesame oil and chili paste for added flavor.

What do Korean kids eat for breakfast?

In Korea, it is common for children to eat a hot meal for breakfast that is similar to what we would eat for lunch or dinner. The traditional Korean breakfast typically consists of a bowl of rice, various side dishes such as bean sprouts, seaweed, kimchi, vegetables and meat, and a soup.

Do Koreans eat a lot of eggs?

South Koreans consume approximately 250 eggs per individual per annum, which is approximately equivalent to the quantity consumed by Americans. In contrast, the British only consume about 182 eggs per year, while South Africans consume around 150 eggs annually. This data was reported on January 13th, 2017.

Do Koreans brush after breakfast?

In Korea, the 3-3-3 brushing method campaign is recommended for the general public, which focuses on toothbrushing behavior in terms of time and frequency. This involves brushing teeth three times a day, within three minutes after meals, for at least three minutes each time.

Korean breakfasts are not only known for their delicious taste, but also for their health benefits. The use of fermented ingredients like kimchi adds probiotics to the meal, which can improve gut health and boost the immune system. Additionally, the variety of vegetables included in the meal provides a range of vitamins and minerals, while the lean proteins help to keep you full and energized throughout the day.

In recent years, there has been a rise in interest in Korean culture and cuisine worldwide. As a result, Korean breakfasts have become more accessible outside of Korea. Many Korean restaurants and cafes around the world now offer traditional Korean breakfast dishes, allowing people to experience the unique flavors and health benefits of this cuisine.

However, it is important to note that not all Korean breakfasts are created equal. Some dishes may be high in sodium or sugar, while others may be low in protein or fiber. It’s important to choose a balanced and nutrient-dense meal when enjoying a traditional Korean breakfast.

Overall, Korean breakfasts offer a unique and flavorful experience that is both delicious and nutritious. Whether enjoyed in Korea or abroad, they are an important part of Korean culture and cuisine that should be celebrated and enjoyed by all.

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