Jeju regional dishes that take you back in time

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many of Jeju’s seasonal festivals and tourist destinations have closed. Meanwhile, though, we would like to highlight some of the island’s culinary attractions. We sincerely hope you will visit Jeju once the crisis has passed.

Korean regional cuisine (hyangto) is one of those rare gifts a culture can bestow on both its citizens and its visitors.

Essentially we can travel back in time and enjoy the flavors, techniques and ingredients that have enriched Korean culture for centuries.

Related: Jeju food ideas

Fortunately, you don’t need a time machine. It’s just a quick search online for your nearest well-reviewed traditional Korean food establishment.

Basic ingredients like pumpkin and cabbage are rustic but play a delicate role in balancing out the flavors of the meal.

As it happens there are some rather well-known restaurants serving Jeju regional cuisine around the JTO, near the offices of the provincial government in Jeju City.

Given the cooler weather, we opted to try four traditional Jeju soups for lunch.

They all center around a variety of local ingredients such as pork, fish, seaweed, pumpkin, and cabbage. They were wonderful on their own and in different combinations.

Strips of Jeju black pork serve as a heavy, smoky appetizer.
Hairtail pumpkin soup (갈치호박국)
Tilefish seaweed soup (옥돔미역기국)
Islanders didn’t always eat this well, but today we’re pretty much spoiled for choice. As you can see, this is a very healthy lunch.
Gulfweed soup (몸국)
Urchin roe seaweed soup (성게국)


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