Iconic Chuseok Food Recipes


Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving Day, is a time to share Korea’s generosity. The holidays are in the fall and this is naturally the time when many delicious post-harvest dishes can be enjoyed. When Chuseok arrives, families gather to make songpyeon (half-moon rice cake) and feast on japchae (glass noodles and stir-fried vegetables) and other traditional Korean holiday dishes. To celebrate Chuseok like a Korean, try making one of these six representative Korean dishes. Live the holidays at home by making and sharing the recipes with your family!

Fluffy and aromatic rice cake – songpyeon

Songpyeon is one of the quintessential dishes that appears at every Chuseok gathering. Songpyeon is a type of rice cake, made of rice batter filled with beans, sugar or other nutritious ingredients, and then steamed. Rice cakes get their name and characteristic flavor from steaming over a bed of pine needles (“song” means pine in Korean). The shape and filling of songpyeon varies by region, but the most common are bite-sized and half-moon shaped.

1. Mix hot water with non-glutinous rice flour to make the dough.
2. Flatten the dough into a round shape with a depression in the middle. Fill the depression with your ingredient of choice, then fold it in half and seal the edges together.
3. To make your half moon shaped songpyeon, start by forming a block shape. Press the top edges with your index finger and thumb to create the half moon shape.
4. Place a layer of pine needles in the bottom of a steamer and place the finished songpyeon on top. Steam over high heat.


Mugwort, magnolia seeds and other foods are used to add color to songpyeon

Detailed songpyeon recipe

Full-bodied flavor – jeon


Jeon Assortment

A variety of jeon (Korean pancakes) can be seen during holiday seasons in Korea. Jeon is made by coating your ingredient of choice with a light flour-based batter, then frying it in a pan with a little oil. The ingredient used will completely change the taste. Jeon can either be made with a single ingredient such as dongtae jeon (pollock pancake) and hobak jeon (fried summer squash), or a mixture of two to three ingredients such as haemul pajeon (seafood pancake and green onion) and kimchi jeon (kimchi pancake).

do pajeon

1. Carefully clean the green onions then cut them into pieces about 10 centimeters long.
2. Mix egg, water and Korean pancake flour to make batter.
3. Once the batter is finished, add the ingredients (chives, carrot, shrimp, squid, etc.) and mix well.
4. Pour the pancake mixture into an oiled frying pan and fry until the edges brown. Flip and repeat on the other side.

Detailed recipe for haemul pajeon

Harmony of meat, vegetables and noodles – japchae

Japchae is another dish often found on Korean holidays. Japchae is a word made up of the Korean words “jap” which means mixture, and “chae”, from “chaeso” which means vegetable. Japchae is usually prepared by mixing various vegetables with meat and glass noodles.

Japchae may seem like a relatively easy dish to cook, but it takes a lot of work. Each of the vegetable ingredients should be cut into small pieces and boiled or sautéed separately before being sautéed together one last time. It’s a long process but the harmony of flavors is worth it.

Make japchae

1. Cook the glass noodles in boiling water for about 8 minutes.
2. Rinse the boiled glass noodles with cold water.
3. Cut and fry meat and vegetables separately.
4. Toss the rinsed glass noodles with the seasoning sauce and simmer. Remove from the heat once the noodles have absorbed the sauce.
5. Mix the seasoned noodles with the sautéed vegetables to complete the dish.
Detailed japchae recipe

Nutrient-rich vegetable dish – bibimbap

Bibimbap is perhaps the best known Korean dish to foreigners. The dish is visually appealing, thanks to the use of ingredients in the traditional Korean color spectrum (white, yellow, green, red, and black). Because the dish contains a variety of vegetables, it’s a great meal choice for the health-conscious dinner party.

Make bibimbap

1. Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces. Also, boil the bean sprouts at this time.
2. Saute vegetables, in order of lightest to darkest ingredients. You can also choose to brown meat or prepare a thinly sliced ​​fried egg for garnish at this time.
3. After sautéing the vegetables, fry a sunny-side-up egg.
4. Carefully arrange the ingredients over a bowl of rice.
Detailed bibimbap recipe

Favorite Korean dish for tourists – bulgogi

Bulgogi is a popular dish among Koreans and foreigners. This dish made of thinly sliced ​​meat and vegetables mixed in a sweet marinade is the perfect choice for people who can’t stand spicy foods. It is excellent both in taste and nutrition as it goes well with fresh vegetables such as sliced ​​green onions.

Make bulgogi

1. Cut vegetables (carrots, green onions, etc.) and meat into bite-sized pieces.
2. Prepare the meat in a marinade consisting of water, soy sauce, garlic, pear (can be replaced with pineapple), sesame oil and sugar.
3. Cook the meat and marinated vegetables in a skillet over medium heat.

Bulgogi detailed recipe

Korea’s signature food – kimchi

Kimchi is the most famous traditional Korean dish and an iconic dish that represents Korea well, as it accompanies almost every meal served in the country. Depending on the ingredients and methods used to make the kimchi, as well as the given fermentation time, each type of kimchi has its own unique taste. Kimchi usually starts with a crispiness that eventually mellows into a deeper flavor over time.


Cucumber kimchi, bitter lettuce and diced radish kimchi

baek kimchi

make kimchi

1. Prepare a salted cabbage, a radish and the seasoning ingredients (Korean red chili powder, fermented anchovy sauce, salted shrimp, ginger, garlic, sticky rice starch, anchovy powder and plum extract).
2. Mix radish and seasoning ingredients together. Add more Korean Red Chili Powder for a darker red color as per your preference.
3. Hold the cabbage at a 45 degree angle and lay out the cabbage leaves one by one. Starting in the middle, coat each leaf and fill the space between with seasoning. Repeat until you reach the outer layer.
Detailed kimchi recipe

More information
Korean Food Experience at Traditional Culture Center

– Address: 51, Jahamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 자하문로 51)
– Directions: Walk for approx. 10 mins from Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2
– Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. / Closed from Sunday to Monday and on Seollal (Lunar New Year) day & Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)
– Cooking programs: Songpyeon, jeon, japchae, bibimbap, bulgogi, kimchi, etc.
– Price: 30,000 won per person
* Inquire in advance for group rates
– Reservations and information: +82-2-722-8254 (Korean, English, Japanese) / Prior reservation required
Website (Korean only)

* This column was last updated in August 2022 and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check the details before visiting.

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED www.visitkorea.or.kr


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