What Koreans Eat On Seollal (Lunar New Year) | Korean Food Guide
Lunar New Year is coming up! Check out all the different traditional Korean foods enjoyed on this holiday!
The two biggest holidays in Korea are Seollal (Lunar New Year) and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). When Seollal comes, families gather together, hold ancestral rites, and enjoy food together! Food is an important part of the holiday and a lot of effort goes into preparing the food for the family. This year, Seollal is from Saturday, January 21st to Tuesday, January 24th, with Seollal Day falling on Sunday, January 22nd. Check out this list of traditional foods enjoyed on Seollal!
When the new year starts, Koreans eat tteokguk, which is a soup made with rice cake. It is often said that eating tteokguk is what enables us to age one more year. Tteokguk is made by boiling plain rice cake pieces in beef broth and then topping it with eggs and beef. It's a very hearty, delicious soup!
Jeon is a dish that is always present on days of celebration. It can be made with a variety of ingredients from seafood, including shrimp and oysters, to vegetables, meat, and more! The ingredients are cut into pieces, covered in eggs and batter, and then pan-fried until they turn a nice golden-brown color. The outside is crunchy and the inside is packed with various flavors! Jeon is often enjoyed with a bottle of makgeolli (rice wine).
Galbijjim, or braised beef, is also a dish that never misses out on a celebration! You'll find it at birthday parties and holiday celebrations in Korea. It's made by slow-cooking beef and then adding glass noodles and vegetables to the sauce, which is soy-based. The sauce is actually quite similar to bulgogi sauce, but a little bit sweeter. The meat on the braised beef is very tender and naturally falls off the bones. It's amazing when enjoyed with a huge spoonful of rice!
Japchae is a dish that has already gained quite an international reputation! This soy sauce-based dish, pan-fried with glass noodles, spinach, carrots, onions, meat, and other ingredients, is sweet and savory. The crunchiness of the vegetables and tenderness of the glass noodles are what make the dish so delectable. It's also considered a great introductory dish for those that are new to Korean food, so if you're trying Korean food for the first time, consider trying japchae!
Hangwa is the term referring to traditional Korean sweets or desserts. There are many different types of these traditional snacks. They're all chewy and sweet, making the perfect tea-time snack or dessert after dinner. Hangwa is not only delicious but also beautiful to look at! They come in different colors, shapes, and textures, so be sure to pick and choose your favorites!
Sikhye is a traditional Korean rice drink that was traditionally served at feasts and celebratory occasions. This rice punch is made from glutinous rice and uses honey or sugar to add sweetness. People often enjoy this cold drink after a meal. You'll also find sikhye at convenience stores and Korean saunas! If you're especially fond of this drink, there are recipes on YouTube you can check out to try making it at home too.
What Do Koreans Have To Say About Seollal?
What do you guys think of Korea's traditional Seollal food? These dishes are enjoyed in everyday life too, but they also hold important meanings as they're prominently served on Korean holidays! No matter what time of the year you come to Korea, we hope you can try some of the foods listed above! If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook to stay updated on all things Korea!