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Dinner and eating culture in Korea

Having a dinner with locals in Korea is an experience where sharing is caring. It differs from Nordic one in a way that there are not always separate individual meals for everyone. A lot of times when I've had dinner with locals they have brought a big pot and plenty of plates full of food and everybody can take the amount they wish from them. Sometimes a hot plate is brought and the food is cooked on the table. There are lot of restaurants where you can grill your own food (Korean barbecue).  Also, if you go to a restaurant with your Korean friends, it's typical to order few dishes or one big dish which everybody shares together. Usually you can get small side dishes like garlic, kimchi, pickles etc. unlimited amount.
korean food
sundubu + banchan
As a Finn, I'm used to have my own individual meal or cake in a cafe and also pay everything by myself. In Korea if you are with an older eonni 언니/nuna 누나 or oppa 오빠/hyeong형 (an older female or a male) they often pay the food or coffee. I have always been grateful about that but the same time I feel awkward because I am not used to people to be so generous. It feels like I should give something back but in many cases people just expect your company, nothing more.

I think sharing or offering to others is really nice and it actually gives you more mentally and physically as well. But it's also hard to get used to it as a person from an individualistic country where splitting the bill is very common. I think we should learn something from Asian countries and be more commune!
food in Korea
About the food itself, there are lot of spicy dishes, for example: spicy sundubu-stigae 순두부찌개 (a soft tofu stew), tteok-bokki 떡볶이 (rice cakes in chili sauce), buldak 불닭 (fire chicken) and different kind of spicy noodles. There are also lot of other dishes and restaurants so people who don't like spicy food will definitely find something else to eat — or you can ask in a restaurant if they could make the meal less spicy. For example kimbap김밥 (a roll wrapped with seaweed, including rice, veggies, eggs etc.) is not spicy at all.
korean food
Drinking is also very common in Korea. Having a bottle of soju 소주 (clear liquor or liquor with a taste), makgeolli 막걸리 (milky rice wine) or beer with the meal is very normal. I see people rarely drinking wine with food and if people drink wine it's in a western restaurant or fine dining place. From my experience Korean people can be hard drinkers which might be surprising. Also you can buy alcohol in Korea 24/7 from convenience stores. In Finland you can't even buy alcohol after 9:00 PM except in the bars or restaurants!

Overall Korean food is tasty, spicy and you won't leave the restaurant hungry. One of the pros is that usually you don't have to wait for long time to get the food in the restaurants. Thanks for reading and remember to Subscribe my blog or Follow me with Bloglovin!