Located at the southernmost part of South Korea, Jeju is the country's largest island. Hailed as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011, the 'Hawaii of Korea' is known for its beautiful beaches, it's lovely weather, and... FOOD. We give you eight of the best local foods in Jeju Island that you must try out on your next visit!
1. Abalone / Jeonbok (전복)
|(Photo from The Purple Press)|
You can enjoy eating abalone in one of the best places in South Korea where fresh seafood is everywhere! This may be the most expensive food on our list but whether it's grilled abalone (전복구이/Jeonbok Gui) or abalone porridge (전복죽/Jeonbokjuk), you must have a taste when you're in the island! It's worth it!
2. Black Pork / Heuk Dwaeji (흑돼지)
|(Photo from Hana Chrisanty Jioe's blog)|
Aside from their seafood, Black Pork BBQ is probably Jeju's most famous food. It's from the Jeju native domestic pig, Jeju Black Pig. Grilled to perfection on top of burning charcoal, wrapped in vegetables together with rice and your choice of side dish. Wow. You definitely should try this one as soon as you land in Jeju!
3. Grilled Sea Bream / Okdom Gui (옥돔구이)
|(Photo from Instagram)|
Sea Bream was considered a luxury fish. During the early times, it was reserved for the King because it was so rare to catch for it lives under the deep sea. But thanks to developments in fishing, it has become a special product of Jeju. Usually caught around November to March, Sea Bream is rich in nutrients and is best served either grilled or as porridge.
4. Gulfweed Soup / Momguk (몸국)
|(Photo from Jeju Tourism Organization's blog)|
One of the old-school dishes that Jeju has to offer, Gulfweed soup is made from meat broth and seaweed boiled for hours until the consistency becomes thick. 'Mom' means 'seaweed' in Jeju dialect and 'Guk' means 'soup' in Korean. This dish is probably the hardest one to find on our list, but since we are a bunch of awesome people here, we found a restaurant in Cheju (Jeju City), Jeju that serves traditional dishes, which includes Momguk! The name of the restaurant is Sinseol Oreum (신설오름). Don't forget to check it out!
5. Pheasant / Kkwong (꿩)
|(Photo from HowToEatKorea)|
There are a lot of pheasants in Jeju, that's why dishes were made with it as the main ingredient. Pheasants are usually catched around winter time, where they are at their fattest. You can choose from Pheasant Hot Pot (KkwongSyabu / 꿩샤브), the one on the photo which is Pheasant Buckwheat Noodle Soup (KkwongMemilGuksu / 꿩메밀국수) or Pheasant Dumpling Soup (KkwongManduGuk / 꿩만두국)!
6. Seafood Hot Pot / Haemul JeonGol (해물전골)
|(Photo from Jeju Shinhwa World)|
Seafood Hotpot can be found anywhere in South Korea, but of course, nothing beats the taste of freshly-caught seafood from the waters of Jeju Island. Clams, octopus, crab, abalone, etc. together with vegetables that are cooked in a hot pot at your dinner table is the perfect meal for a tiring day.
7. Tangerine / Gamgyul (감귤)
|(Photo from Jeju Tourism Organization)|
Due to its warmer climate compared to mainland Korea, Jeju Island is the country's top producer of citrus fruits. Out of the 500 varieties that Jeju is growing, one of them is the tangerine! The ones grown out on the fields are usually harvested between November to February. You can even do it yourself because some farms in Jeju allow tourists to pick their own tangerines. You can ask your tour guide or the information desk of the place your staying in for any recommendations of the farms that offers this service.
8. Korean sushi roll / Kimbap (김밥)
|(Photo from EarthTory)|
You might be wondering why I included Kimbap on this list. I mean, Kimbap is probably the national snack of Koreans and it can be found anywhere in the country.. Well, the reason for that is because Jeju Island is the home to THE Oneun Jeong Kimbap (오는정김밥). Located in Seogwipo, the restaurant's kimbap is famous throughout South Korea. There are six kinds of Kimbaps to choose from and it's better to call ahead of time to order because the lines and wait time are usually long. You can try out Kimbap anywhere, but this one is definitely a must-try!