If you’re looking for a new breakfast idea, why not try something from Korea? Korean breakfast foods are delicious and different from most Western picks, offering a variety of flavors and textures to start your day right.
From savory soups to sweet pancakes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. To help you try out some Korean breakfast recipes for yourself, I’ve compiled over a dozen delicious and easy-to-make recipes that will introduce you to some of my favorite Korean style breakfasts.
- Korean Breakfast Culture
- Korean Breakfast Recipes
- 1. Kimchi Eggs
- 2. Breakfast Bibimbap
- 3. Korean Street Toast
- 4. Dalgona Coffee
- 5. Korean Mushroom Pancakes
- 6. Korean Scallion Pancakes (Pajeon)
- 7. Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchijeon)
- 8. Korean Sweet Potato Latte
- 9. Korean Pumpkin Porridge (Hobakjuk)
- 10. Korean Egg Bread (Gyeran Bbang)
- 11. Korean Chicken Porridge (Dakjuk)
- 12. Fried Rice
- 13. Kimchi Breakfast Pizza
- 14. Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Jjigae)
- 15. Korean Breakfast Egg Dumplings
- 16. Korean Egg Roll
- 17. Breakfast Kimchi Tacos
Korean Breakfast Culture
When it comes to breakfast in Korea, you’ll find that the culture is quite different from what you might be used to. Instead of the typical Western breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon, Koreans prefer a more savory and spicy breakfast, generally consisting of rice, soup, and various side dishes.
This is because Korean cuisine is heavily influenced by the country’s agricultural history, with rice and vegetables being staples of the Korean diet. Breakfast is also a communal activity, often seen as a time for families, and sometimes friends, to gather and share a meal together before heading to work or school.
You’ll notice that many traditional Korean breakfast dishes come with a set of banchan, or side dishes, which are meant to be shared among the group. There are even special banchan shops throughout Korea, with a few in even the smallest of towns.
Despite the popularity of Korean breakfast foods, you’ll notice that there are relatively few restaurants open during breakfast in Korea. You won’t find any diners or breakfast-only type establishments like we have in the States; this is part of why breakfasts are generally provided by tourist-oriented hotels in Korea.
Breakfast is typically eaten at home, and many restaurants don’t open until later in the day, usually 10am or 11am. Additionally, these days Korean work culture often leads to people eating a quick breakfast on the go or skipping breakfast altogether.
However, you’ll find that there has been a recent trend of cafes and bakeries offering breakfast items such as coffee, pastries, and sandwiches to cater to those who prefer a more Western-style breakfast. One such example are the popular Paris Baguette bakeries, which tend to open at 7am throughout the country.
Korean Breakfast Recipes
1. Kimchi Eggs
Kimchi eggs are a popular Korean breakfast dish that combines the tangy flavor of kimchi with the protein-rich goodness of eggs. This dish is a great way to start your day with a flavorful and nutritious meal. Plus, it’s a quick and easy dish to prepare, making it ideal for busy mornings.
To make it, start by sautéing chopped kimchi in a pan with some oil until it is heated through. Then, crack a few eggs into the pan and cook until the whites are set. Serve hot with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions on top.
2. Breakfast Bibimbap
Bibimbap is a popular Korean dish that is often enjoyed for breakfast. It’s basically a mixed rice bowl that typically includes vegetables, strips of seaweed, meat (such as beef or chicken), and a fried egg on top.
The dish is often served with gochujang (a spicy red pepper paste) and sesame oil, which are mixed in just before eating to add flavor and texture. Bibimbap is a filling and satisfying breakfast option that is also healthy and nutritious, as it contains a variety of vegetables and lean protein sources.
To make bibimbap, start by cooking rice and preparing the desired vegetables and meat; cauliflower rice is a great paleo swap for the rice. Common vegetables used in bibimbap include carrots, spinach, bean sprouts, and mushrooms, though you can mix it up, however, you’d like.
The meat can be marinated and then grilled or stir-fried. Once all the components are ready, arrange them in a bowl on top of the rice, adding a fried egg on top. Serve with gochujang and sesame oil on the side, and mix everything together just before eating.
3. Korean Street Toast
Korean street toast is a favorite breakfast food in Korea, most often purchased at Isaac Toast, which has locations throughout the country. It’s a delicious sandwich made with eggs, vegetables, and ham or bacon, and it is usually served with ketchup or mayonnaise.
To make this delicious sandwich, whisk the eggs in a bowl and mix them with the chopped vegetables. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and melt some butter in it. Then, pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook it until it is slightly browned on both sides.
While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread slices with some butter or gochujang butter in a separate pan. Once the bread is toasted, place the omelet on one slice, add a slice of ham or bacon, and then place the other slice of bread on top. Cut the sandwich in half and serve with ketchup or mayonnaise.
4. Dalgona Coffee
Dalgona coffee is a trendy and popular drink in Korea that has taken the world by storm. This delicious and frothy beverage is made by whipping instant coffee, sugar, and hot water together until it becomes a creamy and fluffy texture.
The mixture is then poured over a glass of cold milk and ice to create a beautiful layered effect. To prepare, mix the instant coffee, sugar, and hot water together in a bowl. Use a whisk or hand mixer to whip the mixture until it becomes thick and creamy.
Fill a glass with ice and milk, then spoon the whipped coffee mixture on top. Mix together and enjoy!
5. Korean Mushroom Pancakes
Korean mushroom pancakes are a delicious and satisfying breakfast option that are easy to make at home. They are also a great way to use up leftover mushrooms and scallions from other meals.
To make Korean mushroom pancakes, you’ll need a few key ingredients, including all-purpose flour, eggs, water, mushrooms, scallions, salt, and pepper. You’ll start by making the batter, which is a simple mixture of flour, eggs, and water.
Once the batter is mixed, you’ll stir in the chopped mushrooms and scallions, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. To cook the pancakes, you’ll need a non-stick skillet or griddle. Heat a small amount of oil in the pan, and then drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the hot surface.
Cook the pancakes for a few minutes on each side, until they are golden brown and crispy. Try serving them with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a pinch of sugar for a tasty and authentic Korean breakfast experience.
6. Korean Scallion Pancakes (Pajeon)
Korean scallion pancakes, also known as pajeon, are a popular breakfast food in Korea. These are a crispy, savory, and easy breakfast option that you can make in under 30 minutes.
To make Korean scallion pancakes, first, chop the scallions and mix them with flour, eggs, water, and salt to make the batter. Then, heat up a non-stick pan with vegetable oil and pour in the batter. Cook the pancake until golden brown on both sides.
These cakes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the scallions give them a savory flavor. Serve with a soy dipping sauce for an authentic Korean breakfast experience.
7. Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchijeon)
Kimchi pancakes are a popular Korean breakfast recipe that can also be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. You can make these savory pancakes with chopped kimchi, flour, egg, and water. They are typically pan-fried until crispy and golden brown.
To make kimchi pancakes, you will need to mix together flour, water, egg, and chopped kimchi. The mixture should be thick, but still pourable. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and add a small amount of oil.
Pour a ladleful of the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly, then cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Kimchi pancakes can be served with a variety of dipping sauces, such as dark soy sauce, vinegar, or gochujang (Korean chili paste).
They are a great way to use up leftover kimchi and make a tasty and filling breakfast or snack.
8. Korean Sweet Potato Latte
If you’re looking for a warm beverage to sip on during a chilly morning, a Korean sweet potato latte might be the perfect choice for you. This latte is made with sweet potato puree, milk, and sweetened condensed milk, giving it a creamy and slightly sweet flavor, similar to an ube latte.
To make this latte, you’ll need to first cook and puree sweet potato. Then, you’ll combine the puree with milk, sweetened condensed milk, and a bit of vanilla extract. The mixture is heated on the stove until it’s warmed through and frothy, then poured into a mug and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Korean sweet potato latte is a unique and delicious breakfast beverage that’s perfect for those who love a slightly sweet and creamy drink. Give it a try and see if it becomes your new go-to morning beverage!
9. Korean Pumpkin Porridge (Hobakjuk)
If you’re looking for a warm and comforting breakfast, Korean pumpkin porridge (hobakjuk) is a delicious option. Made with sweet pumpkin, glutinous rice flour, and cinnamon, this porridge is one of the most popular Korean breakfast ideas that are easy to make and perfect for chilly mornings.
To make Korean pumpkin porridge, you’ll need to start by cooking the pumpkin until it’s soft and tender. Then, you’ll blend the pumpkin with water and glutinous rice flour to create a smooth and creamy base.
Finally, you’ll add sugar, salt, and cinnamon to taste, and cook the mixture until it thickens into a porridge-like consistency.
10. Korean Egg Bread (Gyeran Bbang)
If you’re looking for a quick and easy breakfast that’s both savory and satisfying, Korean egg bread (gyeran bbang) is a great option. This popular street food consists of a fluffy, muffin-like bread filled with a whole egg and a few simple seasonings.
To make Korean egg bread at home, you’ll need flour, sugar, eggs or quail eggs, milk, baking powder, salt, and vegetable oil. First, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour the batter into muffin tins, crack an egg into each one, ideally a tiny quail egg, and bake until golden brown and cooked-through. Gyeran bbang is delicious on its own, but you can also customize it with additional ingredients like cheese, ham, or green onions.
It’s a great way to start your day with a protein-packed breakfast that’s easy to make and full of flavor.
11. Korean Chicken Porridge (Dakjuk)
If you’re looking for a warm and quick breakfast, Korean chicken porridge (dakjuk) is a great option. You can make this dish by simmering the rice and chicken in water until it becomes a thick and creamy porridge. It’s often served with a variety of toppings, such as scallions, sesame oil, and shredded chicken.
To make Korean chicken porridge, you’ll need to start by cooking rice in a pot with water until it’s soft and mushy. Then, you’ll add shredded chicken and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. Finally, season the porridge with salt and pepper and serve it with toppings of your choice.
Fun Fact: Korean chicken porridge is not only a delicious breakfast option, but it’s also a popular dish when recovering from illness. After I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I had to eat porridge for six days straight!
12. Fried Rice
Fried rice is one of the most popular Korean breakfast dishes, though it’s also commonly enjoyed throughout the day. To make Korean-style fried rice, you just need cooked rice, vegetables, and protein. The vegetables generally used in Korean fried rice include carrots, onions, and green onions.
The protein can be any type of meat or seafood, or you can make it vegetarian by using tofu or vegetables. To make Korean fried rice, you need to start with cooked rice; if using freshly-cooked rice, let it cool down before frying it up. Then just chop up the vegetables and protein into small pieces.
Heat up a skillet or wok with some oil and add the vegetables and protein. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the protein is cooked through. Add the rice to the skillet and stir fry everything together until the rice is heated through and slightly crispy.
13. Kimchi Breakfast Pizza
If you’re looking for a unique breakfast dish that combines traditional Korean flavors with a classic American favorite, look no further than Kimchi breakfast pizza. This dish is easy to make and satisfying, with a crispy crust, gooey melted cheese, and a spicy kick from the kimchi and gochujang sauce.
To make kimchi breakfast pizza, start with a pre-made pizza crust or make your own from scratch. Spread a layer of gochujang sauce over the crust, then top with shredded mozzarella, bacon, and sliced scallions. Next, add a generous amount of chopped kimchi on top, then crack a few eggs over the whole thing.
Bake the pizza in a preheated oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. When it’s done, slice it up and serve hot, garnished with additional sliced scallions and a drizzle of gochujang sauce.
14. Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Jjigae)
Kimchi jjigae is a popular Korean breakfast dish that is hearty and flavorful. This stew is made with kimchi, pork belly, tofu, and other vegetables. The spicy and sour taste of kimchi blends perfectly with the savory pork belly and soft tofu.
To make this dish, first you sauté the pork belly in a pot until it is browned. Then, add the kimchi and other vegetables, such as onion and garlic, and stir-fry for a few minutes. Pour in water or broth and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the tofu and let it cook for a few more minutes until it is heated through. Kimchi jjigae is usually served with a bowl of rice on the side and is probably the most popular Korean breakfast soup around. It is a flavorful dish that will keep you full and energized throughout the day.
15. Korean Breakfast Egg Dumplings
If you’re looking for a savory breakfast dish, Korean breakfast egg dumplings are a great option. These dumplings are made with a mixture of ground pork, egg, scallions, and other seasonings, which are then wrapped in a thin layer of flour dough and steamed until cooked through.
To make these egg dumplings, you’ll need to start by making the dough. This is done by mixing flour, salt, and water together until a smooth dough forms, then forming thin circles, and dolloping a spoonful of the pork and egg mixture in the center.
The edges of the dough are then pinched together to seal the dumplings shut before steaming. Korean dumplings of any type are typically served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and chili flakes.
They’re a great option for a hearty breakfast that will keep you full until lunchtime, and if you don’t have a steamer or you’re short on time to make them from scratch, you can find great Korean dumplings at your local H-Mart or Asian grocer.
16. Korean Egg Roll
Korean egg roll, also known as gyeran mari, is one of the most popular Korean breakfast ideas that are easy to make and delicious to eat. This dish is similar to a Western-style omelet but with a Korean twist.
To make a Korean egg roll, you will need eggs, salt, pepper, and a few other ingredients such as carrots, scallions, and sesame oil. The eggs are whisked together with the other ingredients and then cooked in a pan. Once the eggs are cooked, they are rolled up tightly and sliced into bite-sized pieces.
This dish is often served with a side of rice and a few other Korean breakfast foods such as kimchi or seaweed soup. It is a great way to start your day with a healthy and filling breakfast that is full of flavor and kid-friendly, to boot.
17. Breakfast Kimchi Tacos
If you’re looking for a fun and flavorful twist on traditional breakfast tacos, try making these breakfast kimchi tacos. The combination of spicy, tangy kimchi with savory scrambled eggs and crispy bacon is sure to wake up your taste buds.
To make these tacos, start by making some crispy bacon, then scramble some eggs with salt and pepper. Warm up some corn tortillas, and fill them with the eggs, bacon, and a generous spoonful of kimchi. Top with sliced green onions and cilantro, and serve with a side of hot sauce for an extra kick.
Kimchi tacos are a great way to start your day with a satisfying and flavorful meal. Plus, they’re easy to customize with your favorite toppings and ingredients. Give them a try and see how delicious Korean-inspired breakfast can be!