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What Koreans eat for breakfast lunch and dinner?


Korean cuisine is known for its bold flavors, healthy ingredients, and diverse dishes. From kimchi to bibimbap, Korean food has gained popularity worldwide. But what do Koreans eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? In this article, we will explore the traditional Korean meals and their cultural significance.


Koreans often start their day with a nutritious breakfast that includes rice, soup, protein, and vegetables. One popular breakfast dish is called “sundubu-jjigae,” which is a spicy tofu stew that contains seafood or meat. Another typical breakfast item is “gimbap,” which is a rice roll wrapped with seaweed and filled with vegetables, egg, meat, or fish. Koreans also enjoy “juk,” a rice porridge that can be made with various ingredients such as chicken, pumpkin, or beans.


Lunchtime in Korea is usually a time to gather with colleagues or friends and enjoy a hearty meal. One of the most popular lunch dishes is “bulgogi,” which is thinly sliced marinated beef that is grilled or stir-fried with vegetables. Another favorite lunch option is “bibimbap,” a rice bowl topped with meat or tofu, vegetables, and chili paste. Koreans also love to eat “tteokbokki,” which are chewy rice cakes stir-fried with spicy sauce and fish cakes.


Dinner in Korea can be a more elaborate affair and often includes a variety of side dishes called “banchan.” One of the most famous Korean dishes for dinner is “samgyeopsal,” thick slices of pork belly that are grilled at the table and eaten with lettuce leaves and various condiments. Another popular dinner option is “jjajangmyeon,” which is a black bean paste noodle dish that originated from China but has become a staple in Korean cuisine. Koreans also enjoy “galbi,” which are marinated beef or pork ribs that are grilled and served with rice and banchan.


Koreans love to snack, and there are many delicious and unique snacks available in Korea. One popular snack is “tteok,” which are rice cakes that come in various shapes and flavors, such as “songpyeon,” a half-moon shaped rice cake filled with sweet bean paste. Koreans also enjoy “bungeoppang,” which is a fish-shaped pastry filled with sweet red bean paste or custard. Another favorite snack is “chimek,” a combination of fried chicken and beer that has become a trendy late-night snack option.

Cultural Significance

Korean food is not only about sustenance but also reflects the country’s cultural heritage and values. The emphasis on balance and variety in meals reflects the Korean philosophy of “yin” and “yang,” while the use of fermented foods such as kimchi represents the importance of preserving food for long-term consumption. Sharing food and communal dining are also essential aspects of Korean culture, emphasizing the importance of social relationships and hospitality.

Regional Variations

Korean cuisine varies depending on the region, with different specialties and ingredients. In the southern part of Korea, seafood is prevalent, while the northern region is known for its hearty meat dishes. Jeju Island, a popular tourist destination, has its own unique cuisine that includes fresh seafood and black pork. Each region’s cuisine reflects its local climate, geography, and history.

Health Benefits

Korean food is generally considered healthy due to its emphasis on fresh ingredients, vegetables, and fermented foods. Kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine, is rich in probiotics and antioxidants, which can improve digestion and boost the immune system. Many Korean dishes are also low in fat and high in protein, making them an excellent choice for a balanced diet.

Vegetarian Options

While Korean cuisine is known for its meat dishes, there are also plenty of vegetarian options available. Tofu is a popular ingredient in Korean cuisine and can be used in soups, stews, and stir-fries. Bibimbap can also be made vegetarian by omitting the meat and replacing it with tofu or additional vegetables. Many Korean restaurants also offer vegetarian versions of their popular dishes.


Korean cuisine is a rich and diverse culinary tradition that reflects the country’s history, geography, and culture. From spicy stews to savory meat dishes to sweet rice cakes, there is something for everyone in Korean food. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal or a quick snack, Korean cuisine is sure to satisfy your taste buds while providing numerous health benefits.

What do Koreans eat for lunch and dinner?

In Korea, a typical meal usually includes rice, soup or stew, and a variety of side dishes. However, there is a wide range of dishes available for every season and taste preference within this basic framework of a meal.

What do South Koreans eat for breakfast lunch dinner?

A typical Korean breakfast consists of rice, soup, and side dishes like kimchi. However, with increased Western influence, egg sandwiches are becoming a more popular breakfast option in Korea. The country has given this dish an Asian twist by adding cabbage and a sprinkle of brown sugar to the cooked egg and toast.

What does a Korean usually eat for lunch?

Bibimbap or rice bowls with kimchi, along with one-dish meals like kimchi fried rice or curry rice, are some of the most simple Korean meals. These meals can be paired with soup and kimchi or pickled radish, while lighter options such as tteokbokki, kimbap, twigim, jumeokbap, and omurice are also popular, especially among kids.

How many meals do Koreans eat a day?

In Korean culture, there is no clear distinction between breakfast, lunch, or dinner, so it is common to have rice as a component of all three meals. Along with rice, it is typical to be served a small bowl of soup. Jjigae or jungol, thicker and saltier hot pots, are placed in the center of the table for communal sharing.

What is an everyday meal in Korea?

A typical meal consists of rice, vegetables, and kimchi, with fruit usually served for dessert. The main course includes a bowl of white rice, a vegetable soup made with soybean paste, and a serving of kimchi. Side dishes like steamed or seasoned vegetables, fish, meats, and other foods are also included in the everyday meal.

What is three meals a day in Korean?

Samsisekki, also known as Three Meals a Day, is a Korean cooking show that airs on tvN. The show features a cast who reside in a rural or fishing village for three days each week and must cook three meals a day using only the ingredients they find in the village.

One aspect of Korean cuisine that is often overlooked is the use of medicinal herbs and ingredients. Many Korean dishes contain ingredients such as ginseng, jujube, and goji berries that are believed to have health benefits. Ginseng, in particular, is a popular ingredient in many Korean soups and stews due to its supposed ability to boost the immune system and improve energy levels.

Another unique aspect of Korean cuisine is the use of fermentation. Fermented foods such as kimchi, soy sauce, and doenjang (soybean paste) are an essential part of Korean cuisine and have been used for centuries to preserve food. Fermentation also enhances the flavor and nutritional value of food, making it a healthy and tasty option.

Korean cuisine has also been influenced by neighboring countries such as China and Japan. Korean-Chinese cuisine, also known as “jjajangmyeon” or “black bean sauce noodles,” is a popular dish in Korea that originated from Chinese cuisine but has been adapted to suit Korean tastes. Similarly, Korean sushi, known as “kimbap,” is a variation of Japanese sushi that uses Korean ingredients such as pickled radish and beef.

Finally, Korean cuisine has gained popularity worldwide in recent years, with Korean restaurants popping up in major cities around the world. The rise of K-pop and Korean dramas has also helped to popularize Korean food and culture among younger generations. As a result, Korean cuisine has become a global phenomenon that continues to evolve and adapt to new trends and tastes.

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