What to Eat in Seoul on a Rainy Day [Korean Culture]


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Spring in Korea has spring showers. One day the weather in Seoul may be beautiful, but the next you might find yourself stuck in your hotel room with some nasty weather. If you’re traveling to Korea and wondering what to do in Seoul on a rainy day, pick up your umbrella and head out to a few restaurants, just like Koreans do!

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If you’re traveling to Korea and stuck in your hotel room in Seoul on a rainy day, don’t let it get you down. Get that umbrella, put on your rain boots, and head out! You see… On rainy days, Koreans like to eat certain things. And of course there’s a few reasons behind it. Make the most out of your trip to Korea by eating these foods on rainy days.

Jeon & Makkeolli (전 & 막걸리)

Pitter patter, pitter patter. You’ve heard the sound of rain falling in your own kitchen. You just don’t know it. Korean people, however, have been able to make the connection: the sound of sizzling from a frying pan. Jeon (also known as buchimgae, jijim) is a pancake-like dish that is fried with little nuggets of Korean food goodness inside. When it rains in Korea, Korean people think of the sizzling of jeon on a frypan, compelling most to head over to jeon specialty restaurants.Thing is, jeon isn’t exactly a main course. It’s more of an anju (something to snack on while drinking). So might as well drink! What goes best? Makkeolli of course. The creamy white, fizzy alcohol balances the oily jeon nicely. Some restaurants specialize in this combo, and on rainy days you can see lines of people just waiting for their chance to eat some jeon and makkeolli. And if you’re in Korea on a rainy day, why not do as the Koreans do?

Tip 1: Haemul jeon (seafood jeon), kimchi jeon, and modeun jeon (everything jeon) are some popular dishes to order at jeon specialty restaurants.

Kalguksu & Sujebi (칼국수 & 수제비)

Rainy days in Korea can turn a bit chilly. The air turns cold, your hair’s a mess and your clothes and feet are wet. Sounds like a terrible trip to Korea, doesn’t it? Well, try to warm yourself up like Koreans do by eating kalguksu or sujebi. Koreans usually turn to either of these two dishes on rainy days because it’ll warm you right back up from the chill causing rain. These two soups have pretty much the same broth; the taste is essentially the same. The only major difference is kalguksu has noodles in them, and sujebi has these doughy pieces broken off by hand. However, both will have the warming effect that you’ll be looking for on a rainy day in Korea!

Tip 1: Order dumplings (mandu). Kalguksu restaurants typically have good dumplings.

Note: One of the best and easiest places to find restaurants that specialize in these types of foods are in markets! (Of course, there are restaurants in major areas as well.)

Share with us! What do you eat on rainy days in your country?

About Keith

Keith Kim is a Korean-American living in Seoul, Korea. He likes espresso shots, photography art and he loves his Playstation 3. He started seoulistic.com as a hobby site, and is now in the process of turning it into a full-time business. Wish him luck! Check out his blog for an uncensored view on entrepreneurship, dating and life in Korea.Personal Blog: gyopokeith.com Facebook: facebook.com/gyopokeithkim Twitter: @gyopokeith Youtube: "Gyopokeithe-mail me anytime at: gyopokeith [at] gmail.com

15 comments

  1. myra

    Hi, I’m from the Philippines. In my country, we like to eat/slurp hot soup during rainy days called “sinigang” . This article really helps. Keep on posting ^^,

  2. Charm

    I’m also from Philippines and a die hard Kfan right here :)) Myra is right, we like to eat hot soups during rainy days like sinigang, nilaga and sopas so that our tummy can feel a little warmth in it 😛 More power^^

  3. Vivian

    I’m from Singapore. We just eat anything we want on rainy days haha

  4. Vietnamese pho on a rainy day hits the spot. Lots of SRIRACHA is mandatory! Haha

  5. Patricia

    In the USA, some people like to curl up on the sofa, under a blanket, and drink hot chocolate. I like some hot chili beans with cheese on top. Chicken noodle soup is also a popular choice.

  6. Kristle

    Hmm… I think that in the USA it certainly varies a lot from person to person. I like Hot cocoa but i’ve never really had cocoa on rainy days( i’m going to try that), i usually save that for cold, wintery days. I do like to sit on my porch and watch the storms/rain come in and i would have to say soup/stews( tomato soup or split pea are my favorite)seem like my go to food for rainy days. It’s quick and hits the spot :)

  7. Reham

    Your comment…I’m from Egypt we eat in rainy day lential soup but most of people like to eat anything hot and drink chocolate but I want to go Seoul too much I love Korea + anything realted with Korea like food & art & people.

  8. Rosel

    Phils…just to add up..champorado is the best during rainy days. Its made from sticky rice,cacao and milk. Yum yum :)

  9. In South India, we like to eat bhajis which are vegetables (typically potatoes, onions and plantain) deep fried after dipping them in a batter.
    I like it when someone makes it for me though!

  10. Wayne T

    Your comment…rainy gloomy days perfect for ugg boots, curl up on the sofa watch classic Black & White movies and have creamy hot chicken & egg soup with croutons or szechuan hot sout soup…mmmmm

  11. Here in Indonesia, espesially in Jakarta, we like to eat bakso ~ hot meatball soup with noodle and spicy chili paste ^^

  12. Rebeca

    In El Salvador, on these rainy days, we like to drink “Atol Shuco”
    It is made from fermented corn dough, water, salt, and alguashte and sweet quesadillas.

  13. Nini Lau

    In Singapore, we also love to have hotpot or steamboat on chilly nights! :)