Home » Roundups » 14 Korean New Year Foods You Should Try

14 Korean New Year Foods You Should Try

Let’s celebrate! What to cook and eat on Korean New Year’s day – Korean New Year’s Day Food round-up!

Do you want to celebrate New Year’s day the Korean way? Then you are in the right place. I have collated 14 recipes that are enjoyed on this special day right here.

Korean New Year Food Recipe Round Up Collage Image

But first of all. Let’s cover some basics.

When Is Korean New Year (Seollal, 설날)?

While most westerners celebrate New Year on January 1st, many Koreans celebrate it on Lunar New Year’s Day (also known as Chinese New Year’s Day).

In 2022, Korean New Year’s Day (Seollal, 설날) falls on February 1st.

What Do Koreans Do On Korean New Year’s Day?

Korean new year’s day is probably the biggest national holiday in Korea.

Families and relatives get together to pay respect to their ancestors. They also eat a lot of food (see the collection below), play traditional Korean games, and give gifts to each other. As a child, my favorite part about New Year’s Day was getting gift money from all the relatives I met. 🙂

If you want to find out more about Korean New Year traditions, read this article.

How Do You Say ‘Happy New Year’ in Korean?

Saehae Bok Mani Badeuseyo (새해 복 많이 받으세요)!

Now that these basics are covered, let’s have a feast!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and have a happy and prosperous new year!

14 Korean New Year Foods You Should Try

1. Tteokguk (떡국, Korean Rice Cake Soup)

Tteokguk (Korean rice cake soup) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Tteokguk is a traditional Korean soup eaten on Korean New Year’s Day to wish for good fortune and wealth for the coming year. The shape of the rice cake resembles old-style Korean coins, so the soup has a symbolic meaning of riches and prosperity. (Get the recipe: Tteokguk)

2. Manduguk (만둣국, Korean Dumpling Soup)

Manduguk (Korean dumpling soup) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Manduguk is an alternative to tteokguk in some parts of Korea (e.g. North Korea). My family makes a hybrid version of manduguk (aka tteok manduguk) by adding some rice cakes as well. This makes the soup even more filling. (Get the recipe: Manduguk)

3. Kimchi Mandu (김치만두, Kimchi Dumplings)

Steamed Kimchi Mandu (Kimchi Dumplings) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Many families make their own mandu (dumplings) to add to the soups mentioned above. My family’s version has always been kimchi pork mandu, and I have to say the zingy kimchi flavor goes so well with the meat. (Get the recipe: Kimchi Mandu)

4. Heart Matsal Jeon (하트 맛살전, Heart Shaped Imitation Crab Omelettes)

Heart Shaped Imitation Crab Omelette Recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Jeon (전) is a Korean pancake that is traditionally served during festive Korean holidays. There are many types of jeon, but these heart-shaped crab jeon are one of the most trendy varieties. (Get the recipe: Crab Jeon)

5. Pyogo Beoseot-Jeon (표고버섯전, Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms)

How to make Korean style stuffed shiitake mushrooms. It's filled with delicious and healthy protein! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Another popular jeon recipe. This one is packed with delicious and healthy protein! It’s savory and filling. (Get the recipe: Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms)

6. Hobak Jeon (호박전, Pan Fried Zucchini)

Stack of Pan Fried Korean Zucchini

This pan fried Korean zucchini is a staple Korean side dish served during this festive season. It is very easy to make and has a savory and delicate flavor. (Get the recipe: Hobak Jeon)

7. Bulgogi (불고기, Korean BBQ Beef)

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

I don’t know about other Korean families, but growing up, we always had bulgogi at our new year’s day breakfast table. Bulgogi is a sweet and savory Korean marinated beef often presented as a Korean BBQ, but it makes an excellent side dish as well. (Get the recipe: Bulgogi)

8. Galbi Jjim (갈비찜, Korean Braised Short Ribs)

Kalbi Jjim (Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Galbi jjim is a Korean braised short rib dish that is supremely tender and delicious. It is coated with a sticky, salty, sweet, and nutty sauce that is hugely addictive! It is definitely a symbol of festivity. (Get the recipe: Galbi Jjim)

If you want to make galbi jjim more conveniently, check out my Instant pot galbi jjim recipe.

9. Japchae (잡채, Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry)

Korean glass noodle stir fry (Japchae) recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Japchae is a traditional Korean dish made with glass noodles and mixed vegetables. It has a satisfying texture and amazing flavor! The dish is often served during festive occasions and is a popular appetizer and side dish. (Get the recipe: Japchae)

10. Samsaek Namul (삼색나물)

Simply Seasoned Korean Spinach Salad (Sigeumchi Namul)

Samsaek Namul refers to three different types of side dishes consisting of vegetables, herbs, or edible greens. They are set up on the charye (차례) table, where you pay respect to your ancestors; Ancestral rites.

Although many people nowadays interpret “samsaek” as dishes of three colors, at first it meant three different types of side dishes, regardless of their color.

The most common combination of these three side dishes are sigeumchi namul (Korean spinach side dish, green), doraji namul (bellflower root side dish, white), and gosari namul (fernbrake side dish, reddish brown). Though other types of side dishes such as bean sprout salad, sautéed radish, or stir-fried shiitake mushrooms can be used instead.

One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t add green onions or garlic when making these side dishes for ancestral rites, as these ingredients are said to chase away the ancestors’ spirits. (Get the recipe: Korean Spinach Side Dish)

11. Kimchi (김치)

White Kimchi (Baek Kimchi) Served in Black Bowls

You can’t talk about one of the most important meals of the year without kimchi! 

On New Year’s Day, you may see more kimchi than on other days, ranging from regular napa cabbage kimchi – recipe coming soon, baek kimchi (white kimchi), dongchimi (radish water kimchi) to nabak kimchi (spicy water kimchi).

Most of these kimchi are made in early winter months when the cabbage and radish is in its prime season. This makes kimchi taste even better! (Get the recipe: Baek Kimchi)

12. Yaksik (약식, Korean Sweet Rice with Dried Fruit and Nuts)

Korean Sweet Rice with Dried Fruit and Nuts (Yaksik) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Yaksik is a Korean sweet rice made with dried fruit, nuts, and honey. It is moderately sweet and has a sticky texture.

Officially, it is one of the foods you would eat on the first full moon of the lunar new year. But it is also often served during festive occasions, such as new year’s day, weddings, and 60th birthdays. (Get the recipe: Yaksik)

13. SuJeongGwa (수정과, Korean Cinnamon Punch)

SuJeongGwa (Korean-Cinnamon-Punch) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Sujeonggwa is a popular dessert drink. It’s infused with ginger, cinnamon, and some sugar, so it’s sweet and has a mild gingery taste. It’s known to help with digestion and make a perfect dessert for this special occasion. (Get the recipe: Sujeonggwa)

14. Sikhye (식혜, Korean Sweet Rice Drink)

Sikhye recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Sikhye is another traditional Korean drink often enjoyed during the Korean festive holidays. It has a sweet flavor and unique nutty barley smell. Also known to help with digestion. (Get the recipe: Sikhye)

(Originally published in February 2007 and republished with updated information in December 2021.)

Love Korean food? Browse lots more Korean recipes from my easy Korean recipe collections. Also, subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Written by: Sue

Last Updated:

Photo of author
Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

NEVER MISS A NEW RECIPE

Join 20,000+ other Korean food lovers! Get the latest recipes from My Korean Kitchen delivered to your email inbox. It's free!

I will only send you emails related to My Korean Kitchen. Unsubscribe at any time.

Copyright: Unless otherwise noted, all photography and content on this site is the intellectual property of Sue Pressey of My Korean Kitchen. Please do not copy and/or paste full recipes and images to any social media channels or websites without my prior written consent. This is strictly prohibited. You may however, use a single image and a summary of my article in your own words, provided that proper attribution is given to myself and an appropriate link back to my original recipe. Thank you.

Disclosure: My Korean Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
30 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

NEVER MISS A NEW RECIPE

Join 20,000+ other Korean food lovers!

Get the latest recipes from My Korean Kitchen delivered to your email inbox. It's free!

Connect

NEVER MISS A NEW RECIPE

Join 20,000+ other Korean food lovers! Get the latest recipes from

My Korean Kitchen delivered to your email inbox. It's free!