K-Culture Special: The Beautiful And Traditional Foods Of “Seollal”

 K-Culture Special: The Beautiful And Traditional Foods Of “Seollal”
*This article was originally published for Lunar New Year 2017.

In part one of our “Seollal” series, we talked about the significance behind the Korean New Year. It follows the Lunar schedule and is celebrated in similar ways to the Chinese New Year. Make sure to check out that article first to understand what the holiday is all about. Otherwise, read on to find out more about the rich traditions and delicious foods of this important holiday.

1. Tteokguk (떡국)

Let’s talk food! There are many dishes eaten during Seollal (설날), but the main dish is Tteokguk (떡국), also known as Rice Cake Soup. The main ingredients include beef, vegetables, eggs, and, of course, rice cakes. Tteokguk represents health and long life through enhancing abilities. It also means to grow another year older as people will ask one each other “How many bowls of tteokguk have you eaten?” to calculate a person’s age.

Tteokguk (떡국)
Cr. Maangchi

*You can find out the exact ingredients and recipe from Youtuber Maangchi.

Fun Fact: There is even an old 1971 Korean movie called “Tteokguk” (New Year’s Soup) about a family going through challenges during the New Year.

“Tteokguk” (New Year’s Soup)
 Cr. KMDB 

2. Manduguk (만두국)

Another traditional dish is Manduguk (만두국). It’s very similar to Tteokguk but with dumplings added in! Delicious!

Manduguk (만두국)
Cr. Sempio

*The full recipe for this dish can be found here.

3. Jeon (전)

There are many types of Jeon (전) as well. This is a dish which is essentially meat, seafood, or vegetables coated in flour and eggs and then fried into a pancake-like form. Some popular ones are Saengseon Jeon (생선전), or Pan Fried Fish Pancake, and Kimchi Jeon (김치전), which is, of course, Kimchi Pancake.

Saengseon Jeon (생선전)

*Recipe for Saengseon Jeon can be found here.

Kimchi Jeon (김치전)

Cr. Maangchi

*This Kimchi Jeon recipe can be found by clicking here.

4. Galbi Jjim (갈비찜)

In addition, another popular dish is Galbi jjim (갈비찜), or braised beef short ribs. There is a galbi jjim street in Daegu where a restaurant owner first made this delicious dish to function as a side dish for rice wine. Chestnuts, dates, pine nuts, and gingko nuts are commonly used as a garnish.

Galbi Jjim (갈비찜)

Cr. Korean Bapsang

*Therecipe for Galbi Jjim is found here.

5. Japchae (잡채)

Last, but certainly not least, is Japchae (잡채). The extremely popular (and extremely delicious) dish is made up of dangmyeon (당면), or sweet potato noodles. They are stir-fried along with vegetables and other delicious ingredients in sesame oil.

Japchae (잡채)

Cr. PBS Food

Have you tried these delicious dishes before? Which one is your favorite? Let us hear from you in the comment section below!

Stay tuned for our next article in WTK’s Seollal Series, where we talked about the traditional games played on Korean New Year!

Panamami started listening to Kpop and watching Kdramas in early Feb 2015. She finally succeeded in getting her best friend into it a year later. Hey favorite group is BTS and her bias is Rap Monster. She also listens to Jay Park and Illionaire and loves discovering new songs with her friend. Panamami loves animals and has a dog and two cats. When not watching Kdramas or working, she can be seen working at a horse farm.

Media: As Credited

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