12 Popular Korean Summer Foods to Cool You Down! – Seoulistic

Are you staying in Korea during the hottest and humid times of the year?  Do you feel like sticking your head in an ice bucket or are you losing your appetite and feeling energyless? Here are a list of 12 foods to help you survive the sweltering heat.

1. Naengmyeon

Simply means ‘cold noodles’, naengmyun became hugely popular after the Korean War.  There are mainly two varieties of naengmyun: mul naengmyun (plain) and bibim naengmyun (spicy).  The hand-made noodles are served fresh with a delicious, ice cold soup stock, sliced cucumbers and Korean pear.  During the summer, it is a great substitution for heavy, meaty meals.

The noodles however will not be cut when served so they will be very long.  This is to symbolise long life and good health.  Most Koreans, however ask for scissors to cut the noodles so that it is easier to eat.  Whether it will mean cutting your life span or not, well…give it a try! ^^

Source: thekitchn

Looking for a Naengmyeon Restaurant in Seoul? Check out the oldest and most famous here!

2. Makguksu/Memilguksu

Makguksu is similar to Naengmyeon, but the difference is cold buck wheat noodles are used instead which is served with chilled beef or vegetable broth.  Makguksu is one of those dishes which can be customised depending on the customers taste.  Depending on your preferences it can be served with sugar, mustard, sesame oil, vinegar, gochujang, shreds of kimchi…whatever tickles your fancy 😉

Maguksu is a speciality in Chuncheon (Kangwon province) and it is said that whichever restaurant you go, it will all be unique in every different restaurant but just as delicious.  Malguksu eating marathon in Kangwon-do anyone? *stomach rumbling*

Source: flickr

3. Jjolmyeon

Jjoymyeon is a spicy dish made with noodles and vegetables.  The hot sauce is a combination of gochujang, garlic, vinegar, and sugar.  The noodles are much much much much more chewy so it is strongly advised to cut your noodles with scissors before eating!  Otherwise you might slurp the noodles for a long time before slowing or even worse choke! >_<

Source: blogdaum

4. Samgyetang

Samgyetang is a bowl of hot broth with a whole chicken which is stuffed with glutinous rice, ginseng, jujube, ginkgo nut, and garlic.

It is a hot dish, so why on Earth do people eat this during the hottest days of the year?  Well, during the Korean Summer people sweat a lot to cool down the body.  However by losing this internal heat, your appetite reduces and become more energyless.  By eating this extremely nutritious dish it replenishes the lost internal warmth in the body, hence giving people an energy boost.  There is a saying in Korea that by fighting the heat you must fight it with heat as well.  This is called ‘yi yeol chi yeol’ (이열치열).

Samgyetang is usually eaten at the hottest days of summer: Chobok, Jungbok and Malbok (collectively known as Sambok).  Chobuk and Jungalbok has just passed, however Malbok will be on the 12th August this year so relieve the heat Korean style and visit your local Samgyetang restaurant on this day!

Source: trifood.com

Going to be in Myeongdong? See out our favorite Samgyetang Restaurant recommendation in our Myeongdong E-Book!

5. Patbingsu

Patbingsu along with samgyetang and naengmyeon, is considered to be one of the most popular summer dishes in Korea.  For those who don’t know yet, Patbingsu is made up of shaved ice topped with sweet red beans and ice cream.  Due to its popularity the majority of cafes in Korea will have this on their summer menu with their own unique styles and flavours for example you can now have mango bingsoo, berry bingsoo, cookie bingsoo, coffee bingsoo etc.  There are literally some crazy styles of bingsoo in Korea nowadays and due to the sweltering heat it is a great alternative to sticking your head in an ice bucket.

Source: 10mag

And we have a list of Patbingsu Restaurant, too 🙂

Ken Lee
Ken Lee
Born and raised in London UK, and currently residing in Korea, Ken Lum Lee is currently an English Teacher at a middle school in Gwangju and the blogger and photographer behind the Korean lifestyle blog Seoul State of Mind. Ken enjoys travelling around Korea, aiming to capture the unique beauties, discover stories and secret hideouts of Korea. Ken can usually be seen with his camera, which is currently the love of his life, and pigging out in Korean BBQ restaurants. Check out his awesome blog: www.seoulstateofmind.com For regular updates, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


  1. Katherine Okorie says:

    One of my Korean summer favorites is Oi Naengguk!

  2. Eddie says:

    No 보신탕? Heh… I guess you probably can’t get it in Seoul anyway.

  3. sahar says:

    thank u

  4. Patbingsu is just like Halohalo in the Philippines

  5. henny says:

    how about mitsugaru?when i was watching korean variety show (dad where are you going) Jun’s Appa tell the kids that usually old korean people ate mitsugaru when theres no money back then. i want to know more about mitsugaru =]

  6. Jr Marx says:

    Could you write the food names in korean?? I´m trying to learn korean language by myself.

  7. area52 says:

    Fortunately, there are now enough cool tools that will help you calm down and wake up your appetite, such as THC. While clinical research on THC is still in its infancy, there are many compelling experiences and more and more studies that suggest that THC has significant therapeutic potential

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