10 Relishing Korean Breakfast Recipes to Boost Your Morning

If you consider yourself a foodie and still haven’t tried these Korean recipes yet, then you don’t know what you are missing.

Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

Korea is not only famous for its Kpop, Kdrama, and the tech giants but also for being the land of kimchi and barbecues. Korean foods usually consist of fresh ingredients, broths and stews that are slowly cooked, and soy sauce, which adds deep robust flavors to the food. Even though many other sauces and spices, like soybean paste (doenjang), garlic, sesame oil, and chili pepper paste (gochujang) are often used, soy sauce has always been the most common seasoning. The foundation of Korean cuisine is meat, steamed rice, and vegetables, so you can get the hint that their traditional breakfasts feature dishes that mostly incorporate these ingredients.  

Unlike the West, Koreans do not dictate their breakfast tradition with pancakes, waffles, sausage, and bacon. They usually do not differentiate their meals at all according to the time, instead, they prefer to include the same items that they would eat for lunch and even dinner. Nevertheless, in the modern days, they are bringing changes to their everyday breakfast habits. Without further ado, let us jump into these mouth-watering dishes so that the next morning, you can get your treat sorted and enjoy them while taking a sip from your coffee.

1. Korean Egg Bread (Gyeran-bbang)

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Gyeran-bbang, also known as Korean egg bread, is one of the many popular street foods, widely available in the country. It is a simple yet surprisingly delicious dish that gives you a gentle ride of the perfect balance between sweet and salty flavors making it an ideal brunch snack. They are made with a variety of toppings such as mushrooms, ham, bacon, sausage, veggies, and slices of cheese. Drizzle your preferred sauces over and enjoy them with your friends and family!

2. Street Toast (Gilgeori Toast)

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Another popular street food is the gilgeori toast, which is far from your average sandwich. Each bite can reveal a delectable combination of sweet and savory tastes, as well as an abundance of vegetables tucked between buttery toasts. The snack is eaten for breakfast and lunch and makes a perfect go-to meal. Gilgeory toast means “street toast” in Korea and is sold by many street vendors for its popularity. It holds a nostalgic feeling for many who grew up there, a snack for reminiscing their childhood. 

3. Savory Pancakes (Pajeon)

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These pancakes are admired in every Korean restaurant and walk-in restaurant. You will find a section dedicated to them in every menu. The dish contains scallion as the primary ingredient and is made with a batter of eggs,  wheat flour, rice flour, and additional ingredients as desired. Pork, beef, kimchi (kimchijeon), shellfish (haemul pajeon), and other seafood are mostly used for these savory pancakes. This crispy delicacy is served with dipping sauces, and they also make the perfect side dish. 

4. Bibimbap

There are endless variations to this dish and no matter what ingredients you want to incorporate with the dish, it would be good to go. The term “bibim” means mixing, and the “bap” means rice in Korea. The dish is served as a bowl of warm white steamed rice with several toppings like kimchi, beef, eggs, a variety of veggies and sauces such as gochujang, soy sauce, doenjang, or namul for extra flavors. Have some leftovers from last night? You can just go ahead and make yourself some delicious bibimbap.

5. Kimchi Fried Rice

Korea is the land of kimchi, so of course, kimchi fried rice is a staple! A variety of meat and vegetables are added to bring more texture and flavors. It is one of the most popular ways to eat your aged, ripened kimchi. Kimchi fried rice is a great way to use leftover rice and any left overs in the fridge. The best way to season the rice is with fermented kimchi juice. You can add gochujang and gochugaru according to your preference for an extra spice kick.

6. Porridge (dakjuk)

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Next time you wake up to a cold rainy morning, make dakjuk for a perfect start to your day. Dakjuk is a traditional Korean chicken porridge composed of a variety of grains, protein, and veggies. The dish is a family favorite for its light, nutritious, and hearty breakfast. There is an endless variation of porridges in Korea and apart from this chicken porridge, red bean, pumpkin, pine nuts, and abalone porridges are among the popular varieties. So there is no way you can get tired of eating the same dish every day. Try making a new variation every time to find your perfect combination of dakjuk. Don’t forget to snap pics for your Instagram!

7. Kimchi Stew (Kimchi jjigae)

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Kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage, is served as a side with almost every meal. Kimchi stew or kimchi jjigae is a very prevalent dish that is made combining kimchi with other ingredients like beef, onions, garlic, and tofu. The dish is served  hot and is meant to be eaten very slowly. This is perfect for cold winter days and is fiery, hearty, and full of flavors, but Koreans enjoy it anywhere, any day. It is served at many meals in most restaurants and if you are having it for the first time, keep a bottle of cold milk on the other hand, because it is very spicy. 

8. Steamed Egg (Ggaeran Jim)

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Korean steamed eggs has a silky and smooth texture. Eggs are eaten at all meals - breakfast, lunch, supper, and dinner. They are a popular side dish or can be served as a main dish if it’s in the morning. While preparing it, pay particular attention as it’s very easy to overcook or even burn the egg. The ideal texture of a Korean steamed egg should be like tofu. This quick and easy dish can be made in a microwave and pairs well with seasoned rice.

9. Dumplings (Mandoo)

Korean dumplings, known as Mandu or Mandoo is a traditional dish and is easy to make. They are usually stuffed with a mixture of meat and vegetables and there are no limits to its variation. The most popular among those are made from ground beef or pork, onion, cabbage, tofu, and mung bean noodles. They can be cooked in several ways like boiling, deep-fried, pan-fried, steamed, or baked in the oven. If you're in a rush in the mornings, you can make them in large quantities for storing and grab them before leaving. These dumplings are substantial enough for a main dish but also perfect as a snack or appetizer and are appreciated for being so versatile and delicious. Mandu is a symbol of good luck for the coming year and hence is prepared by families as part of the Korean Lunar New Year festivals. 

10. Korean Pork Belly (Bossam)

Bossam is a deep savory Korean pork belly wrap that walks a fine line between a tempting feast and a light meal. The recipe is a rich treat for any meat lover, while the pickled radish, lettuce, and sweet rice brings balance to the dish. The best way to serve these wraps is by letting the diner prepare it themselves according to their taste. Putting rice in the wrap, a drizzle of savory sauce, and a few pieces of pickled radish is said to be the perfect combo.