One of many greatest nationwide holidays in South Korea falls Tuesday, Sept. 21 this 12 months. Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving, is usually a time of gathering with household, cooking collectively and celebrating the 12 months’s harvest. On at the present time, many individuals keep in mind their ancestors by honoring them on the dinner desk. A conventional Chuseok dinner desk is full of a balanced, colourful number of candy and savory dishes, lots of which comprise the primary fruit and grain harvested through the season. Listed here are the signature meals you may even see Koreans get pleasure from throughout Chuseok vacation!

Rice cake (songpyeon) and Korean sweets (hangwa)

These are two signature candy treats for the Korean vacation. Songpyeon is a kind of rice cake formed like a dumpling, fabricated from a glutinous shell, typically made with ramie leaf, with a sesame seed or bean filling. Households typically make it collectively, and a few coloration the shell utilizing strong-tinted meals corresponding to pumpkin, purple candy potato and mugwort. Hangwa are conventional Korean sweets in varied codecs — yugwa, yakgwa, gangjung — that are fabricated from grains, popped rice or dough, fried or condensed with rice syrup.

Fruit and dried fruit

As Chuseok celebrates the primary harvest of the season, haetgwail, or the primary fruit of the season, is crucial to a Chuseok celebration. Apples, Korean pears and grapes are the most well-liked as they’re in season for fall. Together with contemporary fruit, dried fruit can be served — most frequently dried dates, chestnut and persimmon. If served on ancestral rites, these fruits are all the time plated in bundles of wierd numbers.

Rice, soup and meat

No Korean meal is full with out rice and soup. On Chuseok, the rice is historically from the primary harvest of the season, known as haetsal. The soup is a traditional broth consisting often of three varieties of protein: in my household, beef, dried pollack and dried shrimp. Together with rice and soup, there are historically three varieties of principal protein dishes — meat, fish and seafood — and infrequently three of every protein. In my household, we cook dinner beef, pork and hen together with pomfret, croaker and snapper fish. For the seafood factor, we cook dinner octopus.

Korean pancake (jeon) and aspect dishes (namul)

Korean delicacies is understood for its colourful aspect dishes, and a Chuseok meal can’t miss the jeon and namul. Jeon, which we name Korean savory pancakes, are ready in three variations: with meat (often beef or pork), fish or greens. Namul is seasoned greens — it may be made with any plant or herb, however for Chuseok, the three mostly seen are stir-fried fernbrake, taro stems and candy potato stems, every with their complementary seasoning.

Rice punch (sikhye), cinnamon punch (sujeonggwa) and rice wine (chungju)

Sikhye is a Korean dessert drink widespread not solely throughout Chuseok however all 12 months spherical. It consists of rice inside a fermented barley drink. Sujeonggwa is a chilly cinnamon drink typically containing ginger and dried persimmon. These candy drinks are sometimes served as a snack or dessert. Chungju is an alcoholic drink — a transparent, refined rice wine — that many serve on ancestral rites throughout Chuseok vacation.

Stability is extremely emphasised when getting ready the dinner desk, so meals is commonly ready in three: three sorts of meat, three sorts of fruit and three sorts of namul. The quantity three signifies “cheonjiin” — heaven, earth and man — valuing the weather and concord of all matter, and candles and incense are additionally positioned throughout ancestral rituals for additional steadiness. Whereas these are the dishes usually seen throughout the nation, particular meals and practices nonetheless fluctuate by area and household traditions. Attempt these dishes whenever you get an opportunity, and blissful Chuseok!

Contact Eunkyo Jo at [email protected].

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