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11 Traditional Korean Breakfast Dishes

Learn what they eat for a typical breakfast in Korea.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, giving us energy and setting the mood for the hustle and bustle of the whole day ahead.  

Korean Food Patjuk or Red Bean Porridge Topped with Round Rice Cake

I was tired of munching down the same bowl of cereal every single day. Therefore, I decided to switch things up a couple of months ago.

I now end up serving Korean meals and snacks at my breakfast table. That is primarily because modern Korean breakfast recipes are super quick and easy to make and offer the right amount of nutrition needed. 

Popular Korean Breakfast Food

Not sure how to cook up a Korean breakfast? The article will outline some of the most popular Korean breakfast food that is full of bold flavors and offers a plentiful serving to help you begin your morning.

Kimchi Eggs

Kimchi is a cult favorite, a staple of Korean cuisine, and for all the right reasons!

Don’t be mistaken; it isn’t just a fermented and citrusy mix of shredded vegetables; instead, it is full of healthy probiotics that add the perfect tangy twist to every dish. 

Add kimchi to your classic egg breakfast and be amazed by the crunchy, flavorful punch the duo pack in a bite.

You can lightly scramble eggs for a fluffy mouthful, or to try something different, mix kimchi with cream cheese and scallions and thickly spread it on toast before topping with a sunny-side-up egg.  


Dakjuk

Waking up to a cold morning indeed calls for a tasty breakfast to warm you inside out!

For such days, Dakjuk is the perfect answer. This is a traditional Korean dish, which comprises chicken porridge topped with your choice of protein and vegetables. 

I personally like to use quick-rolled oats because it saves me a lot of time in the morning, but you can choose your choice of oats.

If you want to add new variations to this meal, you can always switch out the chicken for any other protein, including red beans, tofu, beef, and seafood. 

Can you figure out the best part about this dangerously addictive dish? It is nutritious and extremely healthy!  


Hobakjuk

If you know a thing or two about Korean cuisine, you know they like to get creative with their dishes!

And without a doubt, the results are delicious. Quite like Dakjuk, Hobakjuk has a porridge base, with pumpkin being the main ingredient.

Combining glutinous rice flour with creamed pumpkin gives you the perfectly balanced Hobakjuk.

I was hooked on this dish from the first time I tried it. I just could not get enough of the naturally sweet, nutty, and velvety flavoring that melts in the mouth with every bite. 

Ingredients: 

  • Pumpkin porridge. 
  • Glutinous rice. 
  • Fresh beans. 
  • Sugar and seasoning. 

Korean Pork Belly (Bossam)

Bossam is another word for Korean pork belly wrap.

Without any restrictions or strict ingredients, this dish can be made as light as possible, full of vegetables of choice.

Some great vegetable options to add to your Bossam include lettuce, pickled radish, and even sweet rice if you’re looking to cancel out the richness of the pork belly. 

Are you a fan of indulging in a big, hefty breakfast to avoid munchies throughout the day? You need to add the deep savory Bossam to your breakfast table.

If you’re a meat lover, load your Bossam with more pork belly and less garnishing. For an overpoweringly meaty taste, I recommend letting the pork belly cook till it melts off the bone.


Dalgona Coffee

I am a coffee addict! But unlike many who prefer to sip their caffeine hot and burning, I like to have my coffee iced.

By this, I don’t mean simply popping ice cubes in my milk coffee; I always prefer to go down the Dalgona route.

Named after a popular Korean candy, this delectable beverage took social media by storm in 2020 due to its simplicity when netizens began posting videos of this heavenly, foamy drink on various platforms.

With just four ingredients, you’re going to get the best homemade frappe-style coffee you could ask for. Simply whisk together instant coffee, sugar, and water to make a paste.

Keep whisking the paste until it changes from a deep, rich brown color to a fluffy, lighter color with a caramel tint. 

Fill your mug with milk, scope out a tablespoon or two of the dalgona mix, and gently mix in the two ingredients. And voila! You’ve got a mug full of fancy coffee right at home. 


Kimchi Jjigae

This one-pot stew breakfast is the most popular Korean breakfast food you can have at home without having to create a big mess early in the morning.

Kimchi Jjigae is made with kimchi and other ingredients of choice, including proteins like pork, seafood, or tofu, and vegetables like scallions, onions, and cherry tomatoes. 

To make this hearty strew, simply add soy sauce, gochujang, gochugaru, garlic, kimchi, protein, vegetables, and seasonings to a bowl with water or stock.

Let the mix simmer for a few hours before serving hot. 

Ingredients: 

  • Kimchi 
  • Gochujang
  • Gochugaru
  • Garlic
  • Protein
  • Vegetables 

Korean Mushroom Pancakes

Surprisingly, there is more than one way of making pancakes, and the enoki mushroom pancakes are my favorite way.

In fact, this is all I want to have for breakfast on days when I want to go completely meatless. 

While they may look complicated to make, they are anything but that. Roughly separate a cluster of enoki mushrooms, sprinkle and roll them around in eggs, flour, and sesame oil until their surface is fully coated.

Now fry at low-medium heat until they look like unconventional pancakes.


Gyeran Jjim

The Korean steamed eggs, or Gyeran Jjim, have a silky and smooth texture, much like scrambled eggs.

This quick and easy dish can be made in a microwave and pairs well with seasoned rice. These custardy, casserole-like banchan will be a hit on your brunch! 

While preparing these eggs, you have to be on strict watch. Make sure you don’t harden the eggs by overcooking them, as the entire dish lies on the idea of having creamy and melty eggs.

Serve your eggs with toasted sesame seeds and scallion for added flavor. 


Gyeran Bbang

Gyeran-bbang, or egg bread, is a simple yet amazingly delicious treat that gives you the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors.

Egg bread is a popular winter street food in Korea, and after you make your first batch, you will know why! 

While you can make different variations of gyeran-bbang, they all mostly taste like corn muffins with eggs in the middle.

Whether you want to eat a slightly sweet version of the typical salty one is entirely up to how you season and add optional toppings to the egg bread. 

Ingredients: 

  • Eggs and milk.
  • Flour. 
  • Castor sugar. 
  • Melted butter. 

Korean Street Toast

Street toast is undeniably one of the easiest Korean breakfast recipes you can try at home.

It consists of a hearty filling in between two pieces of butter-toasted bread. As simple as it may sound, it can be dangerously addictive, mainly because there are tons of ways of making it.

Some of my favorite street toast combos include Korean fried chicken with coleslaw, cabbage omelet with ham, pork belly, and cheddar cheese.

When grabbing this snack for breakfast, I almost always pop in a boiled egg to ensure I stay full throughout the day.  


Korean Sweet Potato Latte

Who says desserts are a no-go at breakfast? Certainly not a Korean sweet potato latte!

For many, sweet potatoes and latte may not mix in well. Trust me; it was the same for me until I had it. 

Blend sweet potatoes with milk and sugar until the drink turns into a creamy, thick milkshake.

Top it with whipping cream or frothed milk and a sprinkle of toasted nuts.


Popular Korean Breakfast Food

  1. Kimchi Eggs
  2. Dakjuk
  3. Hobakjuk
  4. Korean Pork Belly (Bossam)
  5. Dalgona Coffee
  6. Kimchi Jjigae
  7. Korean Mushroom Pancakes
  8. Gyeran Jjim
  9. Gyeran Bbang
  10. Korean Street Toast
  11. Korean Sweet Potato Latte

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! A list of some of the mouthwatering popular Korean breakfast food options you can try out for a change. 

Korean meals, including breakfast, typically compromise vegetables, rice, and proteins. Accordingly, they are light, easy-to-prepare meals requiring minimal preparation and effort.

When it comes to trying a Korean breakfast recipe, the sky is the limit. From a simple coffee with a croissant to the protein-loaded Kimchi Jjigae, Korean breakfast is highly nutritious and offers a healthy start to your day.

Learn about breakfast around the world, like Brazilian breakfast food or Greek breakfast dishes!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.