Korean summer is a nasty combination of hot temperatures and rainy days. Fortunately, Korean cuisine includes some summer dishes to help you cope with the heat. In this article, I will introduce the top 10 Korean foods you should try this summer!
Grilled eel is a popular summer dish in Korea. It’s known for being a source of vitamins and providing an energy boost if you are low on stamina. This exotic food is strange but delicious. Enjoy delicious eel with a soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil glaze – grilled to perfection. You can also eat it together with steamed rice (Jangeo-deopbap) to fill you up.
If you would like to try Korean grilled eel yourself and don’t live in Korea, you can Click Here to learn how to make it yourself.
Beer is an elective summer drink and fried chicken is a great match. Many people enjoy the combination while sitting on a terrace and people watching passers-by below. It’s the perfect meal to have on a summer evening out with friends.
If you would like to make Korean fried chicken yourself, Click Here. Normally, Korean chicken is paired with Cass or Hite. However, any light beer will do. If you don’t drink, you can also pair it with Coca-cola or Sprite.
There is an interesting belief in Korea that the best way to endure the hot weather is to “fight the heat with the heat”. For this reason, a lot of traditional Korean summer dishes are actually soups. Samgyetang is definitely one of the most popular. It is a combination of ginseng, chicken, glutinous rice, jujube, and herbs. The dish is highly nutritious, which makes it the ideal meal for recovering from fatigue and exhaustion.
To make Samgyetang yourself, Click Here for a recipe.
Cold noodles are some of the most popular summer dishes and makguksu its one of them. Buckwheat noodles are topped with radish or cucumber, egg, seaweed, and a scoop of red chili paste. Unlike other cold noodle dishes, there is no broth in makguksu. This dish is a specialty of the Gangwon province.
While searching for English Makguksu recipes, I was unable to find one that was like what we find in Korea. All of them are elevated, replacing seaweed with a slew of vegetables. However, it is fairly easy to make.
Patbingsu is Korea’s go-to summer dessert. A traditional pat bingsu is ice flakes topped with condensed milk, red bean paste, and rice cakes (mochi). However, there are endless variations of this dessert. You can top it with green tea, fruit, chocolate, or anything that suits your fancy. But note, bingsu is not a dish to be eaten alone. Normally, this dish in meant to be shared between two or three people.
If you would like to make your own bingsu, Click Here for a recipe.
To learn more about different kinds of bingsu found in South Korea, Click Here.
Chogye guksu combines two common elements of Korean summer dishes – chicken and cold noodles. For this dish, knife-cut noodles are served with a slushy broth made of vinegar, chicken, and herbs. It is then topped with thinly sliced radish, cucumber, and white cabbage kimchi. Nowadays, many people also add tomato and carrot to the mix for a dash of color. The taste is very unique, strong, and refreshing. It is the perfect Korean summer dish!
To make Chogye Guksu at home, Click Here for a recipe.
A popular summer dish (and also one of my favorites banchan – side dishes) is Oi-muchim. It is a kind of cucumber kimchi. Cucumber is sliced and then dressed with vinegar, onions, red chili pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. The sweet and sour taste makes it a perfect side dish for the summer.
If you would like to make Oi-muchim at home, Click Here for a recipie.
More chicken! Jjimdak is one of the most delicious Korean foods out there. It’s hard not to love. In this dish, chicken is simmered in a deliciously sweet and savory soy-based sauce along with potatoes, onion, cabbage, and any other veggies you’d like to add to the mix. Then, near the end, sweet potato noodles are added to soak up all the flavor. The rich flavors of this delicious dish make the perfect end to a summer’s day out with friends and family. Normally, Jjimdak is paired with white kimchi soup – and don’t forget to save some room and ask what’s left to be turned into fried rice!
For an authentic Jjimdak recipe, Click Here.
This dish is another one of my favorites, it is defiantly a Korean comfort food. Soybeans are boiled (after being soaked in water overnight) and then put in a blender. After blending the soybeans, they add cold water, pine nuts, and a pinch of salt to make the broth. Then, cooked noodles are added to the bowl along with some ice cubes. Lastly, the dish is garnished with cucumber. This is quite a heavy dish. If you are feeling particularly hungry on a summer day and need a punch of protein, kongguksu is the way to go.
If you would like to make kongguksu at home, Click Here.
Although Pyeongyang naengmyeon was originally created in North Korea, these noodles are actually the most popular summer dishes in South Korea. Pyeongyang Naengmyeon must be cooked using thin noodles. You can make them out of various starches such as buckwheat, potato, or sweet potato. The noodles are placed in light vinegary pork or beef broth. Then cucumber, radish, thin slices of meat, and an egg are added to the top. This is my favorite food in the summer, cold noodles are perfect for summer!
If you want to try making this North Korean classic summer dish at home, Click Here for a recipe.