A Useful Korea Tip: Deciphering Korean Menus at Korean Restaurants
Korean restaurant menus (Korean to English)
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Today we're going to be talking about some basic Korean phrases to have in your kit for a smooth sailing Korea trip! More specifically, the Korean you'll see on restaurant menus.
One of the biggest worries when traveling South Korea is that you won't know what to eat.
You're surrounded by foods that you've never seen or heard of, no English translation to be found; what the heck are you even eating, right?
Korean Restaurant Menus：1. Main Food
Here are some of the basic foods that you're probably going to be trying in Korea. These are the more traditional food that people would eat day-to-day. Make sure to try some of these!
|부대찌개||Army pot (Spicy ham and sausage)|
|청국장||Fast-fermented bean paste|
|쫄면||Spicy cold chewy noodles|
|덮밥||Rice with toppings|
|냉면||Cold noodle soup|
|육개장||Spicy beef soup|
|설렁탕||White beef broth|
|곰탕||Beef bone soup|
|콩국수||Bean juice noodles|
|수제비||Clear soup with dumplings|
|제육볶음||Spicy fried pork|
|보쌈/수육||Boiled beef or pork slices|
|순대국밥||Blood sausage soup rice|
|국밥||Soup rice (rice in soup)|
|쭈꾸미||Spicy fried octopus|
|불고기||Bulgogi (roast beef)|
|떡갈비||Roast beef patties|
|돈까스||Tonkatsu (fried pork chops)|
|김치||Kimchi (pickled cabbage)|
|오리지널치킨||Original fried chicken|
|양념치킨||Sauced fried chicken|
|간장치킨||Soy sauce fried chicken|
|순살치킨||Boneless fried chicken|
|떡만두||Rice cake dumplings|
|감자탕||Potato ribs soup|
|뼈다귀해장국||Pork bone sobering soup|
Korean Restaurant Menus：2. Extensions
There are staple foods, of course, but there are so many more dishes that Koreans eat! Here are some of the "extended" menu items:
|비빔밀면||Cold wheat noodles|
|모래주머니||Fried chicken chop|
|조개구이||Grilled shell fish|
|(물)회||(Water mix) sashimi|
|빈대떡||Mung bean pancakes|
|잡채||Stir-fried glass noodles|
Korean Restaurant Menus：3. Barbecue
Korean barbecue is something you can't miss out on if you're in Korea!
But you might not get enough, or have any idea what to order.
Grilled meat should be one of the most indispensable foods in Korea! But if you don't get enough, you can't read how to order, and what should you do if you get it wrong? Take a look at the translations below.
|가브리살||Pork cheek meat|
|살치살||Chuck flap tail|
Korean Restaurant Menu：4. Traditional Snacks
There are a countless variety of traditional snacks, often seen as street food in Korea. These street food vendors often only have Korean menus. Some don't even have menus. But here is a list of foods you'll find at these joints so you'll have an idea of what you're eating!
|떡볶이||Tteokbokki (spicy rice cake)|
|떡꼬치||Rice cake skewers|
Korean Restaurant Menus：5. Drinks
|처음처럼||Cheo-eum Cheo-rum, or Like the First Time (soju)|
|참이슬/후레쉬||Cham Iseul/Fresh (soju)|
|청포도||Green grape (soju)|
|막걸리||Makgeoli (rice wine)|
|동동주||Dong dong ju, or Winter wine|
The above is a small list of Korean restaurant menu items translated into English. Although the dishes may be different depending on the the restaurant or region but if you have a grasp of some of these basic dishes that you'll find in Korea, it'll hopefully make ordering easier.
I wish you all the best on your trip to South Korea :)