Celebrate Korean Lunar New Year (Seollal) with these traditional Korean food recipes. From main dishes to desserts, you will find a range of easy to more advanced recipes that are perfect for sharing moments of new beginnings with your family and friends.

Recipes for Korean Lunar New Year celebration

Seollal is the most important holiday in Korea. It’s New Year’s day! You could say that Koreans celebrate New Year’s day twice. The first is on January 1, and the exact date of the other changes each year depending on the lunar calendar. So when is 2022’s Lunar New Year’s day? It’s on February 1st, and it ushers in the year of tiger!

Just like other Asian countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, Koreans also follow ancient traditions heralding the new year with lots of festive food and drinks.

We also gather with family and relatives. Seollal is the day we wish each family member prosperity and good health throughout the year.

Here are 16+ traditional Korean New Year foods that are among the most commonly enjoyed by many Korean people. They range from easy to more advanced level, but my step-by-step instructions make them accessible to all.

I hope you will find something that you and your family can use to join the celebration of Lunar New Year – the Korean way!

16 Korean New Year Foods

Mandu (Korean dumplings) steamed in a lined bamboo steamer.
1

Homemade Mandu (Korean Dumplings)

Make juicy Mandu (Korean dumplings) from scratch with this step-by-step recipe. Filled with pork, cabbage, chives, and glass noodles using either store-bought or homemade dumpling wrappers. Recipe makes 40 large dumplings.
Tteokguk, Koran rice cake soup in a bowl, garnished with eggs.
2

Easy Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

Tteokguk is a popular Korean rice cake soup enjoyed for Korean New Year’s Day. Soft and chewy rice cakes are simmered in a rich, flavorful broth of beef and vegetables. Perfect comfort food any time.

A plate of japchae glass noodles with vegetables and beef.
3

Easy Japchae (Korean Glass Noodles Stir-Fry)

Make japchae, Korean glass noodle stir-fry, the easy way with this simple recipe. Enjoy chewy sweet potato noodles, colorful veggies, and tender meat for an authentic Korean japchae taste.

Galbi jjim, Korean braised short ribs, placed in a serving dish with rice.
4

Best Galbi Jjim (Korean Braised Short Ribs)

Indulge in Galbi Jjim, a Korean braised short ribs dish, slow-cooked to tender perfection in a rich savory sauce. This recipe showcases succulent beef with a medley of vegetables, ideal for any family dinner or special occasion.
Bulgogi made with classic Korean recipe served in a bowl.
5

Classic Korean Beef Bulgogi

Make classic Korean beef bulgogi with this quick, flavorful homemade BBQ marinade recipe. The beef cooks fast, yielding tender, juicy meat. Serve with rice or in a lettuce wrap for a perfect family meal.
Galbitang soup made with beef short ribs are served with rice and kimchi.
6

Galbitang Recipe (Korean Short Rib Soup)

Galbitang is a hearty Korean short rib soup made with aromatic vegetables. Cook this galbitang recipe in an instant pot or over the stovetop. Making it a day in advance is recommended to achieve a clean taste in the broth.
A bowl of mandu guk, Korean dumpling soup, is served with kimchi.
7

Quick Korean Dumpling Soup (Mandu Guk)

Mandu guk is a Korean dumpling soup often served in the winter, especially at the New Year. You can make this comfort soup quickly with store-bought frozen dumplings and a flavorful broth of your choice.
Yakshik is traditional Korean sweet rice dessert with jujube, chestnut, and seeds.
8

Korean Sweet Rice with Dried Fruit and Nuts (Yakshik)

Korean sweet rice cake (yakshik) is made with sticky rice, jujube, chestnut, and other nuts. An instant pot makes this authentic recipe extremely easy and quick to prepare. It also serves as a good breakfast or snack.
Korean meat tofu patties are served on a bamboo bastket with perilla leaves
9

Korean Meat Tofu Patties (Wanja-jeon)

Korean meat tofu patties (wanja-jeon) are a traditional Korean Chuseok dish, but they are also great for a lunchbox as well. You can use ground pork, beef, chicken, or mixture of any. Makes 3 dozen mini patties.
Korean rice drink served in glass bowls with jujube flower garnish.
10

Easy Sikhye (Sweet Korean Rice Drink)

Sikhye is a sweet, non-alcoholic Korean rice drink made with malted barley and rice. With this simple recipe, you can make it at home using an Instant Pot or rice cooker.

Beef, rice cake, and green onion are skewered together and pan-fried.
11

Beef and Rice Cake Skewers (Sanjeok)

Sanjeok is Korean beef and rice cake skewers and it's a traditional holiday food in Korea. Strips of beef are marinated with a quick and simple bulgogi sauce and cooked together with rice cakes and green onion.

Korean beef radish soup is served with rice and kimchi
12

Korean Beef Radish Soup (Sogogi Muguk)

Korean beef radish soup is a comforting soup that is often served in winter time in Korea. It's worth to look for Korean radish to get the mellow flavor of the soup. Gluten-free!

Honey glazed Korean beef patties are garnished with minced pine nuts are served with rice and kimchi on the side.
13

Easy Korean Beef Patties (Tteokgalbi)

Celebrate a special occasion or holiday with Korean beef patties (Tteokgalbi). The patties are conveniently broiled in an oven, then brushed with soy honey glaze.

LA galbi served with rice and other side dishes.
14

Ultimate LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Make the best LA Galbi at home with this proven recipe. The two-step marination ensures juicy, tender Korean BBQ ribs with unbeatable flavor. Learn different cooking methods for perfect galbi every time. Tested for perfection!

Kimchi seasoning is kept inside of a linen cloth in the nabak kimchi.
15

Nabak Kimchi (Korean Water Kimchi)

Nabak kimchi is a mild Korean water kimchi made with cabbage and other vegetables. It doesn't require fish sauce and uses very little chili flakes. It's a great vegan and vegetarian kimchi and refreshingly tasty.

Cold Korean cinnamon punch (sujeonggwa) is served in a glass bowl with a spoon on the side.
16

Sujeonggwa (Korean Cinnamon Drink)

Sujeonggwa is a Korean cinnamon drink made with cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar, known for its unique and delicious taste.

And there you have it – 16+ Korean Lunar New Year Foods that you can enjoy with your loved ones! I hope this list brought you some inspiration for your Korean holiday celebration.

Yakshik is traditional Korean sweet rice dessert with jujube, chestnut, and seeds.

16+ Korean Lunar New Year Foods (Seollal): Korean Sweet Rice Dessert

Korean sweet rice dessert cooked with sweet rice, jujube, chestnut, and other nuts in instant pot makes this authentic recipe extremely easy and quick to prepare. Plus, 16+ more traditional Korean Lunar New Year foods to enjoy at home.
5 from 18 ratings

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Rinse sweet rice several times and soak the rice in water for 10 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside.
  • Cut the chestnut in halves or quarters depending on the size. Set them aside.
  • Cut the flesh off of dried jujube to separate it from the seeds. Set the flesh on the side and collect the seeds. Put the seeds in a small pot and pour in 2 cups of water. Bring it to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. The water will become dark amber. Discard the jujube seeds and reserve the stock.
  • Pour the jujube stock into an instant pot. Add soy sauce, dark soy sauce (if using), honey (or brown sugar), and cinnamon; stir well until combined.
  • Add the rice, chestnut, and jujube flesh to the stock and mix well. Close the lid and set the instant pot to a rice setting (or 12 minutes on manual setting). Make sure to seal the vent.
  • When cooking is done, move the vent to quick release and let the steam escape. Open the lid and add the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds (or other nuts and seeds of your choice). Drizzle sesame oil and gently toss everything well.
  • Grease a 9-inch squire pan (or similar in size) with sesame oil. Put the rice mixture into the pan and press down with spatula or rice scoop. Let it sit on a wired rack to cool.
  • When fully cooled, turn out the rice on a cutting board and cut into desired size bars. You can garnish with jujube flowers and more seeds as you wish.
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