Season & Temperature
Korea lies in the temperate zone and has four distinct seasons. Monsoon rains usually begin around the end of June and last till mid-to-late July.
- Spring : March ~ May (average temp. : 16 ~ 20°C)
- Summer : June ~ August (average temp. : 25 ~ 30°C)
- Fall : September ~ November (average temp. : 15 ~ 18°C)
- Winter : December ~ February (average temp. : -5 ~ 7°C)
Features and Tips for Korean Food
- One of the main features of Korean food is various seasonings or spices, including garlic, green onions, red chili pepper powder, soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, vinegar, ginger and sesame seeds. Garlic and chili peppers are the most popular spices used by Korean cooks. A classic example of spicy Korean food which heavily uses these ingredients is the definitive Korean dish, kimchi.
- Korean cuisine is naturally low in fat and high in fiber. Many special dishes incorporate herbal and medicinal ingredients that are beneficial to your health.
- Once you find yourself in a Korean restaurant, don’t be afraid to mix and share. When eating Korean food, do as Koreans do. Try mixing everything together in your bowl of bibimbap, dip your spoon into the bowl of stew in the middle of the table, and share side dishes with everyone at the table. Through this culinary adventure you will enjoy the full blend of flavors, but you will be also able to fully experience the community of every Korean meal. Bonding! It is the Korean style.
- Koreans use spoons and chopsticks for eating meals. The spoon is used for rice, soup, stews and any other juice or liquid in the dishes, while chopsticks are used for all sorts of side dishes and most solid foods. Chopsticks are used in many Asian countries but the shapes and materials differ from one country to another. The Chinese mostly use long chopsticks made of bamboo while the Japanese use shorter and thinner wooden chopsticks. Koreans, on the other hand, use metal or silver chopsticks of medium length.
Basic Korean Food
- Cooked Rice (bap)
- Rice is the foundation of a Korean meal. In Korean, the expression eating rice means to have a meal. Bap refers to cooked rice; there is a separate word for uncooked rice. Koreans enjoy several varieties of cooked rice, such as rice cooked with barley, beans, red beans, millet and other grain.
- Soups (guk or tang)
- Soups incorporate a wide variety of ingredients, such as vegetables, fish, seafood and meats. Soup served with rice is the basis of the Korean meal. The soup and rice are usually separate, but some thick meat soups are served with the rice in them. In Korean, soups are called guk or tang. The names of Korean soups vary according to the main ingredients used (meat, vegetable, fish, etc.) and the seasoning for the broth (soy sauce, red chili pepper paste, soybean paste, etc.).
- Stews (jjigae)
- Korean stews resemble thick soups with meat, vegetables, or seafood and are seasoned with soy sauce, soybean paste (doenjang), red chili pepper paste, or pickled shrimp sauce. A bowl of stew or soup, accompanied by a bowl of rice, is the basis for every Korean meal. Unlike soups, a wide variety of ingredients are usually added to a stew. The most common stews are kimchi stew, soybean paste (doenjang) stew and spicy soft dubu stew.
Recommended Korean Cuisine
Bulgogi, bibimbab, samgyetang, japchae, samgyepsal, guksu, etc.
Drinking Water in Korea
In general, Koreans do boil tab water with roasted barley or corn. But it is safe to drink tab water without boiling one day after you pour water from the tab into a bottle. Or you can conveniently purchase spring water at supermarkets, convenient stores, department stores and big shopping malls.