When it comes to food, Seoul is one of the most interesting places, especially for Europeans and all people from the American continent. This modern capital is full of surprises for lovers of new flavors and offers a wide variety of food and drinks. Here are some of our recommendations for you to enjoy Korean cuisine in Seoul.
Hanjeongsik (menu of the day)
Hanjeongsik is a complete menu of Korean food, with many tasty side dishes. The tradition of hanjeongsik dates back to the time when banquets were served in royal palaces or in the homes of the aristocracy. Typically, the meal begins with a cold appetizer and porridge, and main courses include both meat and vegetable dishes that are marinated, grilled, boiled, steamed, fried, or salted. Stews are also served, and traditional drinks such as sikhye (sweet rice drink) or sujeonggwa (cinnamon and persimmon drink) and other desserts can be served after the meal. Dishes served in hanjeongsik vary by season and region.
Hangwa (sweets and cookies)
Hangwa is prized for its artistic and decorative designs and colors, as well as its sweet taste. Often accompanied by traditional drinks, it is appreciated as a healthy dessert. Beautifully packaged hangwa baskets or boxes also make excellent gifts, well suited for the elderly. They are sold in stores specializing in pastries and traditional sweets. They can also be found in the special sections of department stores.
Teaok (rice cake)
Tteok is a traditional Korean pastry made from rice powder. Koreans prepare it for special occasions, such as birthdays and weddings, as well as ancestor memorial services. They are also eaten on seasonal occasions, such as Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) and Chuseok (Thanksgiving Day). Tteok is a healthy and natural snack.
Hwachae (cold drink)
Traditional cold drinks are called hwachae. They are generally made with fruits or grains and water sweetened with sugar or honey, or seasoned and colored with omija (Chinese magnolia or fruit from the tree of five flavors -schisandra chinensis). There is also hwachae made with ingredients from oriental medicine, such as azalea or pine pollen.