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    The difference between Philippine and Korean eating culture

    Koreans are fond of eating with plenty of choices having at one main meal and at least two up to 12 side dishes for a regular meal. However, in the Philippines, some might find it overwhelming when we eat about more than three dishes at one seating. What else should you know about the difference in this culture?

    Type of Food

    Koreans - As what I've mentioned earlier, Koreans are commonly eating together in one table and sharing all the side dishes, they don't make use of serving spoons. They share their food with everyone. Banchans or side dishes are handmade and take a lot of time to prepare.

    Filipinos - we often eat with one to two dishes every meal time and more often than not, these dishes even last for a day. Despite that, we use serving spoons when the dishes are shared by the family members or friends. However, when we gather the whole family, we make it so festive!!!


    Koreans - It's important that when you eat together, the oldest or the one with the highest rank sits in the 'head's sit or the corner sit to give respect to position. He or she will also be the first one to try the food.

    Filipinos - We just look for our comfortable areas when we eat. We don't really mind the chair positions as long as we feel comfortable in that area. However, there are families that give respect to the main chair on their parents or often arranged by age.

    Time of Eating

    There is no strict rule on what time to eat but here are some of the most common situations that I encountered:

    Koreans - Breakfast (before going to school), lunch (lunch is served in schools and for working class, they have food in their cafeteria), snacks are usually at 3 to 4 PM, dinner and snacks again (since they study after dinner).

    Filipinos - As for our usual food time, we take breakfast in the morning before going to school or work, lunch in the afternoon, snacks (merienda time!!!) and dinner.

    Frequency of Eating

    Koreans - Most of the time, Koreans eat their meals together in the morning. Lunch would be taken in school or office. Snacks are served in schools while office workers may or may not have snacks during coffee breaks. As for dinner, some do take dinner but there are those who prefer to skip meals.

    Filipinos - It has been a usual practice for Filipinos to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have some snacks.

    Eating Habits

    Koreans - (Eat with chopsticks) It's given that Korean eat using chopsticks and spoon during their meals. They've been trained to use it since they were young and they even have training chopsticks for children.

    Filipinos - (Eat with bare hands or spoon and fork) For the traditional families, they usually eat using bare hands only but for most population today, we use spoon and fork every time we eat.

    Food Styling

    Koreans - They have a saying 'The food tastes better when it's presented well' so they highly appreciate the visuals of the food. Thus, food styling is so important that they must take plenty of hours to prepare it.

    Filipinos -  Some might be so particular with the type of food they eat and its design but most Filipinos don't really practice food styling as long as the food is decent and tastes good.

    **Some of the photos from this article were taken from Korean Dramas. No Copyright infringement intended.

    What are your thoughts on this article? Share with us on the comment section!


    1. I grew up with an exact chair arrangement in my family, hahaha. My mom insisted on that. So, whenever I go to other people's houses, I always wait where I will be seated when we eat together:-)


    2. I don't know but this post made me crave for a Samgyeopsal right now. I'm drooling for the last photo on your post.


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