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What is a typical dinner in Korea?


Korean cuisine is known for its variety of flavors and dishes, from spicy stews to savory grilled meats. Dinner is the most important meal of the day in Korean culture, where families gather together to share a meal and catch up on the day’s events. In this article, we will explore the typical dinner in Korea, including the dishes, etiquette, and cultural significance.

The Basics of a Korean Dinner

A typical Korean dinner consists of rice, soup, kimchi, and several side dishes known as banchan. The rice is usually served in a separate bowl and is eaten with a spoon or chopsticks. The soup can be made with vegetables, seafood, or meat and is served in a small bowl. Kimchi is a staple dish made from fermented vegetables and is served in a small dish alongside the other dishes.


Banchan are small side dishes that are served alongside the main course. These dishes can range from marinated vegetables to spicy tofu and are meant to be shared among the diners. The number of banchan dishes can vary depending on the occasion, but it’s common to have at least four or five different types.

Meat Dishes

Meat dishes are also popular in Korean cuisine and can include grilled beef, pork or chicken. These dishes are often marinated before cooking and can be served with rice, lettuce leaves, and dipping sauces.


Stews are another staple in Korean cuisine and can be made with various meats or seafood. These dishes are usually served in a large pot and are meant to be shared among the diners. Spicy stews like kimchi jjigae or soft tofu stew are some of the most popular choices.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are also popular in Korean cuisine, especially for dinner. Fried chicken or pork cutlets are often served with rice and dipping sauces. Korean-style fried rice, known as bokkeumbap, is another popular dish that’s made with leftover rice, vegetables, and meat.


Koreans also enjoy a variety of beverages during dinner, including tea, beer, and soju, a traditional Korean alcohol made from rice or wheat. Soju is usually served in small glasses and is often shared among the diners.


Korean culture places a strong emphasis on respect and etiquette during meals. It’s important to wait for the eldest person at the table to start eating before beginning your meal. When using chopsticks or spoons, it’s polite to hold them correctly and not to use them to point or gesture. It’s also customary to pour drinks for others before pouring your own.

Cultural Significance

In Korean culture, dinner is not just about satisfying hunger but is also a time for bonding and connecting with family and friends. It’s common for Koreans to linger at the table after dinner, chatting and sharing stories over a cup of tea or soju.

Regional Variations

While there are many common dishes in Korean cuisine, there are also regional variations that reflect local ingredients and traditions. For example, Jeonju, a city in South Korea, is known for its bibimbap, a dish made with rice, vegetables, and egg. Andong, another city in South Korea, is known for its spicy chicken stew known as Andong jjimdak.

Vegetarian Options

For vegetarians, there are plenty of options available in Korean cuisine. Many dishes can be made without meat or seafood, and there are also vegetarian versions of popular dishes like kimchi jjigae.


Dinner is an important part of Korean culture, where families and friends gather together to share a meal and connect. A typical Korean dinner consists of rice, soup, kimchi, and several side dishes known as banchan. Meat dishes, stews, fried foods, and a variety of drinks are also popular choices. Etiquette and respect are important during meals, and there are many regional variations and vegetarian options available in Korean cuisine.

What is a common dinner in Korea?

Korean homestyle meals typically consist of rice, kimchi, soup or stew, and various sidedishes, known as banchan. These elements are essential to the cuisine and provide a balanced and flavorful meal.

What is the typical dinner time in Korea?

Koreans tend to eat their meals earlier than other cultures, with lunch typically being served from 12pm to 1pm and dinner starting at around 6:30pm and ending by 8pm at the latest. A traditional Korean meal consists of several side dishes, usually around 8-10, in addition to the main rice or meat dish.

What is a typical Korean daily food?

A typical meal consists of rice, vegetables, and kimchi, with fruit being a common dessert. The main meal usually includes a serving of steamed white rice, along with a soup made from vegetables and soybean paste, as well as a side dish called kimchi. Other side dishes may include steamed or seasoned vegetables, fish, meats, and other foods, which together make up a basic meal that is eaten every day.

How many meals do Koreans eat a day?

In Korean culture, there is no differentiation between meals, so it is common to consume rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Along with an individual serving of rice, soup may also be provided. For communal sharing, hot pots such as jjigae or jungol, which are denser and saltier, are placed in the center of the table.

What is the most eaten food in Korea?

Japchae is a highly favored Korean dish, along with kimchi and bulgogi. It is typically presented as a side dish and consists of stir-fried glass noodles made from sweet potato starch, known as dangmyeon. The noodles are mixed with various vegetables, meat, and mushrooms to create a sweet and savory flavor.

What do Korean eat for breakfast?

In South Korea, breakfast often includes soup, rice, and various side dishes. Popular breakfast soups include galbitang, kongnamul bap, kimchijjigae, and manduguk. Another meal option is baekban, which consists of a small bowl of soup accompanied by multiple side dishes.

Korean cuisine has gained popularity around the world in recent years, with Korean restaurants popping up in many cities worldwide. Korean cuisine is often praised for its health benefits, as many dishes are made with fresh and nutritious ingredients like vegetables and lean meats.

In addition to its health benefits, Korean cuisine is also known for its unique flavors and cooking techniques. Fermentation is a common method used in Korean cooking, giving dishes like kimchi a distinct tangy flavor. Grilling and braising are also popular methods used to prepare meat dishes like galbi, or grilled beef short ribs.

Korean cuisine has a rich history that dates back centuries, influenced by various cultural and historical factors. The use of rice as a staple food dates back to ancient times, while the introduction of chili peppers from the Americas in the 16th century added a spicy element to Korean cuisine.

Korean cuisine is also deeply rooted in tradition and cultural values. Food plays an important role in Korean holidays and celebrations, with dishes like tteokguk or rice cake soup eaten on New Year’s day. The concept of jeong, or deep affection and attachment, is also reflected in the care and effort put into preparing meals for loved ones.

In conclusion, Korean cuisine offers a diverse range of flavors and dishes that reflect its unique history and cultural values. Dinner in Korea is a time for connection and bonding over delicious food, with etiquette and respect playing an important role in the dining experience. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meat dish or a vegetarian option, Korean cuisine has something to offer for everyone.

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