What’s for (Korean) breakfast?

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A couple months ago, an article that dissected breakfast in different countries was published in the gastronomy pages of a Brazilian newspaper and it also revealed what Koreans eat in the morning.

Below, a scan of the main, more general piece; the rest of it was divided into sections that dealt with breakfast in specific countries. The title, “Sai um pingado com bulgogui”, makes reference to a very common breakfast drink in Brazil, the pingado, made with coffee and a few drops (pingos, in Portuguese) of milk. Koreans, though, “find nothing as familiar as starting the day with rice, bulgogi, kimchi and some soup”, states the highlighted part.

But this is not the end of it! Korean breakfast got a special, more detailed mention. Click below to see the scan and read the translated text!

The piece translates as follows:

“Koreans, just like Chinese and Japonese people, used to break their fast with a table full of different types of meat, rice, soups, vegetables and a few fried dishes. But due to the lack of time to prepare all that food, more and more Asians have been taking on the Western habit of having a quick meal comprising milk, coffee and bread.

‘Breakfast has changed a lot in South Korea. Ingesting rice, soups, vegetables, kimchi, bulgogi, tofu was pretty common back in the day. Not many families maintain this tradition nowadays’, says Regina Hwang, a Seoulite who owns the restaurant Portal da Coreia.

Living in Brazil for the last 39 years, she recalls the bountiful breakfasts her mother would prepare. ‘Korean women would get up early in the morning to prepare this meal and everything was made then. Only a few people do this now”, she says.

By Paladar’s* demand, Regina rose early to prepare a traditional Korean breakfast. The table was full with small portions of fern and soy sprouts, grilled tofu, pickled turnip, steam-cooked eggs, watercress with sesame oil, rice, bulgogi (sliced sirloin with mushrooms and scallions), cod fish soup, green tea and, of course, kimchi (fermented and spicy pickled Chinese cabbage).

In Korea, it was usual for everyone to gather at the table before starting the day. “Breakfast was more important than lunch and the older Korean women believed that if a wife couldn’t prepare a lavish breakfast for her husband, she wasn’t a good spouse”, explains Regina. Her restaurant does not offer breakfast, but all the dishes she prepared are in the menu and you can taste them all.

Portal da Coreia, R. da Glória, 729, Liberdade, 3271-0924.”

*Paladar (the name we give for the sense of taste) is the title of the gastronomy pages of this newspaper


Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
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