/ Tteokguk / Tteok / Patbingsu / Japchae / Naengmyeon / Patjuk

Songpyeon (pronounced [sopjn]) is a traditional Korean food made from glutinous rice. It is a variety of tteok, consisting of small rice cakes traditionally eaten during the Korean autumn festival, Chuseok.They have become a popular symbol of traditional Korean culture. Songpyeon are half-moon-shaped rice cakes that contain a sweet filling made of sesame seeds or chestnut paste steamed over a layer of pine needles, which gives them the fragrant smell of fresh pine trees. They used to be made into various shapes with the participation of family members and were often exchanged between neighbors. They are eaten on Chuseok and other festive days. Top  

Tteokguk is a traditional Korean dish eaten during the celebration of the Korean New Year. The dish is comprised of the broth/soup (guk) within which is placed several thinly sliced rice cakes (tteok). It is a tradition to eat tteokguk on New Years because it is believed to grant the consumer luck for the forthcoming year and for him or her to supposedly gain an additional year of life. Additional ingredients are usually added to the dish; these include thinly sliced cooked eggs, marinated meat, mandu, and/or dried seaweed for seasoning. Top  

Tteok (also spelled ddeock, duk, dduk, ddeog, or thuck) is a Korean sweet cake made with glutinous rice flour (also known as sweet rice or chapssal), by steaming. Normal rice flour can be used for some kinds of tteok. There are hundreds of different kinds of tteok eaten year round. In Korea it is customary to eat tteok guk (tteok soup) on New Year's Day and sweet tteok at weddings and on birthdays. It is often considered a celebratory food and can range from rather elaborate versions with nuts and fruits down to the plain-flavored tteok used in home cooking. Some common ingredients for many kinds of tteok are mung bean, red bean, and sweet red bean paste, Korean mugwort, jujube and other dried fruits, sesame seeds and oil, sugar, and pine nuts. Top  

Patbingsu or patbingsoo is a very popular snack/dessert in South Korea, especially during the sweltering and humid summer season.
This snack originally began as ice shavings and sweetened azuki beans (known as , or pat). It was sold by street vendors. These days it has become a very elaborate summer dessert, often topped with ice cream or frozen yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, fruit syrups, various fruits such as strawberries, kiwifruit, and bananas, small pieces of tteok (rice cake), chewy jelly bits, and cereal flakes.
Patbingsu is a summer specialty item found on the menus of most fast food restaurants in South Korea. KFC, McDonald's, Lotteria, and Burger King usually carry patbingsu on their menus from May to September. The ice cream/yogurt chains Pinkberry and Red Mango carry it year round. Top

Japchae (also spelled jabchae or chapchae) is a Korean dish made from cellophane noodles (called dangmyeon), stir fried in sesame oil with sliced beef and various vegetables (typically thinly-sliced carrots, onion, spinach, and mushrooms), flavoured with soy sauce, and sweetened with sugar. It is usually served garnished with sesame seeds and slivers of chili. It may be served either hot or cold.
This dish is served at Korean parties and special occasions, with seasonal vegetables added.
Japchae is most commonly served as a side dish, though it may also be ordered as a main dish. It is also often served on a bed of rice; together with rice it is known as japchae-bap (ä), bap () meaning "rice." Top

Naengmyeon (hangul: ø; also spelled naeng-myeon, naengmyun, naeng-myun), literally "cold noodles," is a Korean dish. Originally a wintertime delicacy in the northern part of Korea which is now North Korea, it has become extremely popular throughout Korea during the summer. It consists of several varieties of thin, hand-made noodles (typically made from kudzu (Ħ ø / chilk naengmyeon) or buckwheat (޹ ø / memil naengmyeon flour) (though seaweed and green tea varieties are also available in packaged form), and is traditionally served in a large stainless bowl with a tangy iced broth, raw julienned vegetables, slices of Korean pear, and often a boiled egg and/or cold beef). Spicy mustard and vinegar are often added before consumption. A tiny clear plastic package of mustard oil is often supplied with pre-packaged naengmyeon. Top  

In Korean cuisine, red bean soup is called patjuk (), and is commonly eaten during the winter season. On Dongjinal, a Korean traditional holiday which falls on December 22, Korean people eat Donji patjuk, which contains saealsim (˽), a ball made from glutinous rice flour.
In old Korean tradition, patjuk is believed to have a mysterious power to drive evil spirits away. According to Korean traditional folk beliefs, the color red is a symbolic color of positive energy which can defeat negative energy. Cooking and eating patjuk is a ritual to prevent bad luck, epidemic disease, and comes from evil spirits. Before eating the dish, Korean people used to serve it their own house shrine, they scattered it all around the house like in the kitchen, storage house, gate, yard and so on. These customs have been handed down through Chinese mythological stories. According to Hyungchosesigi, there was a man named Gong Gong. He had a bad son, and after he died he became a god of epidemic disease. Because of his cruel temper, a lot of people were killed by epidemics. Trying to find a solution to prevent infectious diseases, they recalled the fact that the son of Gong Gong hated red bean soup when he was alive. Thus, people made red bean soup and scattered it all around the house. And then the epidemics disappeared.
Eating patjuk is a ritual to wish for abundant harvests. Ancient Korea was an agrarian society, and a rich harvest has always been a pivotal issue for them. Koreans eat Patjuk (red bean soup) on Donggi(winter solstice), when the days start becoming longer than nights. When they make Patjuk (red bean soup) they add small dumplings which were made of rice as the same number as their age. By fully relaxing and eating nourishing health food, they wanted to have a preparation period before starting farming in the spring.
Patjuk embodies a custom of conserving food. Koreans usually eat rice and side dishes. However, in the wintertime when Korean families had shortage of grains, patjuk became a complete meal itself. It could be made of simple ingredients. For example, red beans, water, small grains of rice and also it requires no need extra side dishes. Thus, when people prepare some events in winter, Patjuk(red bean soup) is an economical food for conserving grain. Top