The Chuseok (i.e. the mid-autumn festival), once known as Thanksgiving Day, which is one of the most important holidays in Korea.
People will spend the whole day with their family and loved ones. To visit their relatives or tomb sweeping are the must-do activities of the day.
With such celebrations, food is always part of the essence, to share and to enjoy great food is the perfect way to celebrate a festival.
Now, let’s have a look in some traditional Korean delicacies that you could enjoy during the festive season.
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Songpyeon is a half moon-shaped rice cakes stuffed with honey, sesame walnuts and steamed on pine needles. Preparing songpyeon in Chuseok is a ceremony to honour the ancestors.
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The Koreans believe that the one who makes the most beautiful Songpyeons will meet their dream spouse or give birth to a beautiful child.
Songpyeon is typically flavored and colored with natural ingredients such as wormwood, spinach juice, etc. The delicious chewy texture is really addicting. You can try this rice cake anytime if you go to rice cake shop in Korea.
2. Jeon (Korean pancake)
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Different districts in Korea make different styles of making Jeon. Among all of them, Jeon made from onion, meat and ham skewer, the Mentakiko Jeon, Beef Jeon, Pumpkin Jeon and Mushroom Jeon are the most popular ones.Try prepare Jeon by yourself at home, as it is quite easy to make!
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Yakgwa is made of honey, flour, sesame oil, wine, ginger juice, and without any Chinese medicine ingredients. It is usually presented in a flower shape to show how exquisite it is. It was a royal dish in Chosun era, but you can now find Yakgwa in traditional markets or supermarkets. It would be great if you grab a pack of Yakgwa to visit your friend in Chuseok.
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Chuseok is a major harvest festival where families gather for a meal with a table of freshly harvested ingredients and the Makgeoli serves an important role at all time. It does not only goes well with with Songpyeon but it helps with the digestion after having so many fried Jeon and fried seafood.
If you hope to enjoy a Korean style Mid-Autumn Festival, you might try some of the above traditional food and let us know how you think! Happy Chuseok!