Photo Gallery of Korean Breakfasts

  • 01 of 04

    Traditional Full Korean Breakfast

    Full Korean Breakfast
    Naomi Imatome

    Korean cuisine has evolved over the past many centuries. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in the Korean peninsula and southern Manchuria, Korean cuisine has evolved through a complex interaction of the natural environment and different cultural trends.

    Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi is almost always served at every meal....MORE Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, gochujang (fermented red chili paste) and cabbage. There are endless varieties of kimchi with regional variations, and it is served as a side dish or cooked into soups and rice dishes. Koreans traditionally make enough kimchi to last for the entire winter season, as fermented foods can keep for several years.

    Ingredients and dishes vary by province. Many regional dishes have become national, and dishes that were once regional have proliferated in different variations across the country. Korean royal court cuisine once brought all of the unique regional specialties together for the royal family. Meals are regulated by Korean cultural etiquette.

    Korean Breakfast

    A typical Korean breakfast is not that much different than the other meals of the day, except maybe a bit on the lighter side (or with less banchan/side dishes). So rice, a small bowl of soup or stew, and any number of side dishes (banchan) would also make up the first meal of the day.

    Although traditionally there is no separate category of “breakfast food” like there is in America, it's now pretty common for Korean people to eat Western foods like cereal, bread or pastries for breakfast.

    These photos are examples of meals that might be enjoyed in a Korean household for breakfast.

    Since a traditional Korean breakfast has rice, soup, meat and a full array of side dishes, I made this meal for a Father's Day brunch that I hosted for a few fathers in my family's life. It included: Grilled Short Ribs (Galbi), Spicy Seafood Salad, Bean Sprout Rice (Kongnamul Bab), Spicy Stewed Fish, Cold Cucumber Soup (Oi Naengguk), Seasoned Kelp, and Radish Strip Kimchi (Moo Saengchae).

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Korean Breakfast with Fruit, Bread and Eggs

    Korean Breakfast with Eggs and Watermelon
    Naomi Imatome

    Korean people love eggs and they can be served at any meal of day. This Western-style Korean breakfast has fried eggs, fruit, Japanese-style white bread from a Korean bakery, and some local strawberry butter.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Korean Breakfast with Eggs and Tofu

    Korean Breakfast with Tofu and Omelette
    Naomi Imatome

    This Korean Breakfast Photo has a vegetable omelette, tofu with seasoned soy sauce, rice cooked with red and black beans, radish kimchi (kaktugi), and Korean Coleslaw.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Korean Breakfast Photo - Egg Toast Sandwich

    Naomi Imatome

    This Korean breakfast sandwich, sold by street vendors in cities, is commonly called tost-u (toast) or gaeran tost-u (egg toast). It's not that different from an American egg sandwich, but the addition of cabbage and a liberal dusting of brown sugar are tasty additions.