A Taste of Summer in Korea: Traditional Recipes for the Perfect Summer Meal


Summer in Korea is a time of heat, humidity, and delicious traditional foods perfect for beating the heat. Whether you're looking for a refreshing cold soup or a spicy noodle dish, plenty of recipes are perfect for a summer meal. 

Here are some of the most famous traditional dishes Koreans enjoy during summer!

Korean Summer Meal


Naengmyeon is a Korean cold noodle soup perfect for a hot summer day. The noodles are made from buckwheat, potato, or sweet potato starch, and they are typically served in a bowl of icy cold broth or with ice cubes. The broth and noodles' cold temperature helps lower body temperature, which is especially important during hot and humid summer days. With its cooling effect, naengmyeon is a light, refreshing dish that doesn't weigh you down.

Naengmyeon can be served in two different styles: mul-naengmyeon, served in a clear broth made from beef or dongchimi (radish water kimchi), and bibim-naengmyeon, which is filled with a spicy sauce made from gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste) and vinegar.

The origins of naengmyeon can be traced back to the early 17th century when it was first introduced in northern Korea, where the cold winters made it difficult to grow rice. Instead, the locals would use buckwheat and other cold-weather crops to make noodles they could store for months. Naengmyeon is enjoyed throughout Korea, a delicious and refreshing dish that is perfect for the summer.


Samgyetang is a traditional Korean chicken soup believed to have medicinal properties. The dish is made by stuffing a whole chicken with glutinous rice, garlic, and ginseng and then simmering it in a broth made from Korean dates, ginger, and garlic. Despite being served hot, the soup helps regulate body temperature and promote sweating, which can cool the body down in hot and humid weather.

The dish is also known for its refreshing and nourishing properties, which help combat fatigue, improve circulation, and boost immunity. The soup is also low in calories and high in protein, making it a healthy and satisfying meal.

Samgyetang is a delicious and nourishing soup that is perfect for the summer. Its therapeutic properties, warming effect, and satisfying flavors make it a beloved and enduring part of Korean cuisine.


Mulhoe is a spicy cold raw fish soup perfect for a refreshing summer meal. The dish has thinly sliced raw fish, vegetables, and a spicy chili pepper sauce. It is typically served with a side of rice and helps cool the body down during the hot summer months.

Mulhoe is typically served with side dishes like sliced scallions, shredded lettuce, and sliced pear or cucumber. The dish can also be topped with a dollop of gochujang for extra spiciness.

The dish is believed to have originated in the coastal regions of Korea, where fresh fish was abundant. Over time, the dish spread throughout Korea and became a popular summer dish.

Vegan Summer Meals:

Kimchi Guksu

Kimchi Guksu is a cold spicy noodle dish made with kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish. The dish is typically made with wheat noodles but can also be made with buckwheat or sweet potato noodles. The noodles are served in a spicy broth made from gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste), vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.

Kimchi Guksu is a relatively modern dish that has only existed for a few decades. It is believed to have originated in the Gangwon province of Korea, where cold noodle dishes are popular due to the region's hot and humid summers. Kimchi Guksu was created to combine cold noodles' refreshing and cooling effect with kimchi's spicy and flavorful taste. 

Kimchi Guksu is enjoyed throughout Korea and has become a popular summer dish for locals and visitors.


Jap-Chae is a stir-fried noodle dish made with sweet potato noodles and vegetables and can be served with meat. The dish is typically served cold and is seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. The dish is a popular summer meal and is enjoyed throughout Korea.

Jap-Chae has a long history and is believed to have originated in the royal palace during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The dish was initially known as "japchae-bap," which means "mixed vegetables and rice" in Korean. It was served as a side dish during royal banquets and was made with various ingredients, including noodles, vegetables, and meat.

Over time, the recipe has evolved, becoming a famous dish people from all walks of life enjoy. Jap-Chae is a staple of Korean cuisine, often served during special occasions, such as weddings and birthdays.

Doenjang Jjigae

Doenjang jjigae is a traditional Korean soup made with doenjang, a fermented soybean paste similar to miso. The soup is typically made with a variety of vegetables, such as onions, garlic, potatoes, and zucchini, and can also include tofu, mushrooms, or meat, such as pork or beef.

One of the reasons why doenjang jjigae is a popular dish in Korea is its health benefits. Doenjang is high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants and is believed to help improve digestion, boost the immune system, and promote overall health and well-being.

During the Joseon Dynasty, doenjang jjigae was a popular dish among the common people due to its affordability and availability. The soup was typically made with leftover vegetables and meat and was considered a humble but hearty meal.

Over time, doenjang jjigae evolved and refined, adding various vegetables and meats depending on the season and region. Today, It is a beloved dish in Korea and is often served in restaurants and households throughout the country.

Grab A Bite!

Traditional Korean dishes are a great way to beat the heat during the summer months. Many options exist if you're looking for a refreshing cold soup or a spicy noodle dish. So, try some of these delicious traditional dishes next time you're craving a refreshing meal!

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