From the rustic to the elegant: Jeju traditional food

1477130429555Last weekend the Jeju Food Culture Festival in Jeju City put some of the island’s traditional foods on show. If you couldn’t make it, we have some photos of these culinary delights for you.

What is striking is how color and presentation come together on the table and on the plate. This is not uncommon in traditional cuisine the world over, but for this selection of dishes, both the rustic and the elegant elements of Jeju food come to the fore.

Ingredients like barley, wild bracken, and a variety of fish species are the foundation for these traditional Jeju dishes.
Color plays a big role in the artistry of culinary presentation.
Did you know?

If you’d like to try some of the dishes you see here, the very best way is to ask a Jeju friend to recommend a restaurant in your area. But if you’re just visiting and don’t have someone to ask, there’s always the Korea Travel Hotline (toll free 02-1330 or 064-1330) where someone (available languages are English, Chinese and Japanese) can look online for restaurants serving traditional Korean or Jeju dishes.
Clockwise from left foreground: Braised mackerel (고등어조림), grilled cutlass fish (갈치구이), buckwheat pancakes (빙떡)
More examples of Jeju dishes include urchin soup (성게국), pork noodle soup (고기국수) and raw fish soup (자리물회, 한치물회).
Because Jeju Island was so remote in centuries past, islanders did not have the luxury of using ingredients from the mainland. In fact, many of their daily meals consisted of ingredients that they could grow just outside their homes or buy the same day from local farmers, fishermen and women divers (haenyeo).
Braised mackerel
Grilled cutlass fish
A variety of horse meat dishes

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The Jeju Food Culture Festival was held Oct. 21 to Oct. 23 at the Jeju Citizen Welfare Town in Jeju City.
The Jeju Food Culture Festival was held Oct. 21 to Oct. 23 at the Jeju Citizen Welfare Town in Jeju City.

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