After a long, cold winter, the spring season in Korea is an excellent time to enjoy the fruits of the harvest. So, if you visit Korea during this time, it is good to try some seasonal dishes that locals and tourists can enjoy!
A namul is a bowl of seasoned vegetables and herbs seasoned with pepper powder, chopped spring onion, garlic, salt, soy sauce, and sesame or perilla oil, and it can be served with any soup.
Even though namul is always available regardless of season, the vegetables in this dish peak in the spring in Korea. This dish has many variations, so some namul has dominant notes of squash, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and various types of seaweed, depending on their base.
Damselfish is said to be more flavorful in the spring in Jeju. People even travel to sample this local seafood dish. You can get this griddled salt-sprinkled dish for ₩20,000-₩30,000 in almost any restaurant in Seogwipo.
You can also request the Jarimulhoe or cold soup version of this dish. The soup includes raw soybean paste with vinegar and prickly ash leaves, regardless of how you order it.
Samgyetang is a mild soup made from a whole chicken stuffed with rice, garlic, and ginseng, then topped with shredded spring onions, sunflower seeds, and black sesame seeds. Some people add kimchi and salt to the chicken to enhance the flavor.
While this is traditionally a Korean summer dish, those who eat it in the spring will feel refreshed and revitalized, especially after a long hike in the woods. Two seasonal dish variations are a spring onion-heavy version and one with black garlic.
Strawberries are popular in Korea during the peak season, which is around the beginning of spring, so they are a must-have on this list!
Because early-harvest strawberries have the most concentrated flavor, they are suitable for making cakes or jams. These strawberries are sweeter than those grown in other parts of the world!
Bibimbap is a traditional Korean rice dish that Koreans crave during spring! It includes seasonal vegetables, grilled or boiled meat, and an egg. The dish is topped with traditional Korean condiments like kimchi, gochujang, black sesame seeds, and toasted nori, but you can try to improvise the dish's ingredients depending on your liking.
The best time to eat King Crabs is from February to mid-March when they are mostly caught off Korea's east coast. Daegu-jjim is a steamed King Crab dish easily cut into bite-sized pieces for people to enjoy. The dish is usually served with rice in the shell and a delicacy known as "crab butter." King Crab is also served at special royal banquets for kings.
7. Jukkumi Shabu-Shabu (Octopus Shabu-Shabu)
Jukkumi, or octopus, is especially tasty in the spring because its head contains a large white sack full of octopus eggs. This has a mild but savory flavor when eaten. You can also cook it in shabu-shabu vegetable soup with kkalguksu noodles.
Other dishes may marinate jukkumi in spicy gochujang sauce and then serve it with samgyeopsal, which you can find depending on where you are in Korea.
Written by: Jasmine Ticmon
Jasmine Sophia Jhudiel R. Ticmon, or just simply "Jassy," is a Humanities and Social Science Student of Electron College Of Technical Education - Camarin, who writes with luv and fun!