Halal Korean Food for Muslims

muslim_Korean_food

Although there are not many halal restaurants in Korea, there are many options for Muslims to enjoy a great variety of Korean food. It may seem daunting at first when you see that most of the restaurants serve haram meat or even pork. When you look closely, however, there are many Korean food without meat, pork or even animal ingredients. Of course you can survive in Korea by cooking your own food or eating at middle-eastern halal restaurants in Itaewon or repeating the same menu for your whole stay, but that’s not what you came to Korea for. You are coming to Korea to experience Korean culture and actually try the things you always see in dramas, right? Be adventurous! You’ll be amazed at how much delicious Korean food you can eat without breaking your religious rules.

Note : Since Muslims all differ on their rules when traveling abroad, we’ll include haram beef and chicken menu as well. Just stay away from those if you are uncomfortable with them.
Note : Some of you may not like the idea of vegetable dishes, but we constantly hear Muslims say the vegetable dishes in Korea are not as bad as they thought it would be. So try them out!

1. Everyday food

Korean Pronunciation English Description Order Tip
순두부찌개 sundubu jjigae Soft Tofu Stew Hot and spicy jjigae (stew) made with uncurdled dubu (tofu), seafood (oysters, mussels, clams and shrimp are common ingredients), vegetables, mushrooms, onion, and chili pepper paste. MEAT ALERT: Some restaurants serve with meat (mostly pork), so please check with the waiter. PEPPER GAUGE: May be spicy for some people.
된장찌개 doenjang jjigae Soybean Paste Stew A jjigae (stew) made with doenjang (soybean paste). Common ingredients include vegetables, seafood and dubu (tofu). This is one of the most popular everyday dish in Korea along with Kimchi jjigae. MEAT ALERT: Includes seafood in most cases, but may include meat, so consult your waiter.
차돌 된장찌개 chadol doenjang jjigae Soybean Paste Stew with Beef Brisket A variety of Doenjang jjigae that includes beef brisket. If you like Doenjang jjigae and if you are ok with beef, this is food for you! MEAT ALERT: If you don’t eat beef, you should consult your waiter.
김치찌개 kimchi jjigae Kimchi Stew Hot and spicy jjigae (Korean stew) made with kimchi and other ingredients, such as scallions, onions, diced tofu, pork, and seafood, although pork and seafood are generally not used in the same recipe. One of the most popular everyday dish in Korea – a must try. MEAT ALERT: Ask your waiter to cook it without pork. The stew base is made with seafood ingredients in any case (made with pork in some cases).
비빔밥 bibimbap Bibimbap A signature Korean dish meaning “mixed rice”. Served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and chili pepper paste. A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. In 2011, Bibimbap was listed number 40 of the World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll (CNN Travel). MEAT ALERT: If you don’t want beef, tell your waiter in advance. PEPPER GAUGE: Make sure you don’t put in too much chilly paste, although you can always ask your waiter for extra rice if it’s too spicy.
굴국밥 gul gukbap Oyster Rice Soup A hot oyster soup eaten in a single stone pot with rice. Sometimes a raw egg is added, and is considerd the Korean version of Chicken Soup for beating the common cold. You made add ground chilly according to taste.
콩나물국밥 kongnamul gukbap Bean Sprout Rice Soup A kongnamul-guk (bean sprout soup) served in a hot stone pot with rice. A simple and healthy food, most Koreans seek this dish as a hang-over cure or as comfort food against the cold. Ground chilly added according to taste.
낙지덮밥 nakji deopbap Rice with Octopus An octopus is cut into bite-sized pieces, along with carrots, onions, green onions, and watercress. Fried over a strong fire and mixed with pre-cooked rice and chili powder. If you like the combination of seafood and spice, you will fall in love with this one! PEPPER GAUGE: If you’re not too good with hot spices, ask your waiter to go easy on the chilly paste.
낙지볶음 nakji bokkeum Stir-fried Octopus Chopped octopus and vegetables such as onions, green onions, cabbage, and carrots are marinated with gochujang (red pepper paste), soy sauce, garlic, salt and sugar. Then they are fried altogether. Octopus is a low-calorie food so it is believed to be good for stamina. In Korea, nakji bokkeum is served spicy so people usually eat shellfish soup with it to reduce the sensation of hotness. Mugyo-dong in Seoul has been famous for its delicious nakji bokkeum restaurants since the 1960s.
회덮밥 hoe deopbap Rice with Sliced Raw Fish Rice mixed with sliced or cubed raw fish, various vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber and sesame leaves, sesame oil, and chogochujang (vinegar, chili pepper paste, sugar). Generally use halibut, sea bass, rockfish, tuna, salmon, or whitefish. PEPPER GAUGE : watch how much spicy sauce you mix in.
김치볶음밥 kimchi bokkeumbap Kimchi Fried Rice Kimchi bokkeumbap is a variety of bokkeumbap (fried rice dishes). Its name literally translates as “Kimchi fried rice”. Kimchi bokkeumbap is made primarily with kimchi and rice, along with other available ingredients such as diced vegetables, eggs and/or meats. MEAT ALERT : This dish is often fused with foreign cuisines and may include meat such as bacon. Ask your waiter before making an order.
해물볶음밥 haemul bokkeumbap Seafood Fried Rice Fried rice made with seafood (shrimp, clam, octopus, etc.) and rice, along with other available ingredients such as diced vegetables.
파전 pa jeon Green Onion Pancake Pajeon is a variety of jeon with green onions as its prominent ingredient, as pa literally means ‘green/spring onion’ in Korean. It is a pancake-like Korean dish made from a batter of eggs, wheat flour, rice flour, green onions, and often other additional ingredients depending on the variety. Beef, pork, kimchi, shellfish, and other seafood are mostly used. If one of these ingredients, such as squid, dominates the jeon, the name will reflect that; oh jing uh jeon is ‘squid jeon.’ In most cases, Pa jeon don’t have any meat in it. But ask your waiter just to be safe 😉
김치전 kimchi jeon Kimchi Pancake Korean pancake-like dish, primarily made with sliced kimchi, flour batter and sometimes other vegetables. However, meat (ground pork) is also often added. A folk dish of low profile that anyone could make easily at home to use up ripened kimchi. MEAT ALERT : ground pork is often added so double check with your waiter.

2. Noodles

Korean Pronunciation English Description Order Tip
잔치국수 janchi guksu Banquet Noodles Wheat flour noodles in a light anchovy broth served with chilli powder sauce and garnishes including thinly sliced fried egg, gim (laver), and zucchini. Traditionally served at wedding banquets. MEAT ALERT: may come with beef topping, you should consult your waiter.
냉면 naengmyeon Cold Buckwheat Noodles Summer dish! Thin noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients: buckwheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes served very cold with ice. Garnishes may include sliced pear, cucumber, boiled egg, and beef. Served at bbq restaurants as dessert although naeungmyeon specialty restaurants boast more authentic taste. MEAT ALERT: may come with beef topping, you should consult your waiter.
콩국수 kong guksu Noodles in Cold Soybean Soup Summer dish! Wheat flour noodles served in a cold soybean broth. Recommended to try at Kong guksu specialty restaurants only. May taste a bit bland so kimchi is a great companion. Recommended to try at Kong guksu specialty restaurants only with kimchi.
바지락 칼국수 bajirak kalgukgu Clam Kalguksu (Hand cut thick noodles) Wheat flour hand cut thick noodles with steamer clams in a light anchovy broth. Zucchini, onions, potatoes, green onions, carrots are usually added.
바지락 수제비 bajirak sujebi Clam Sujebi (Handpulled Dough Soup) Handpulled flour dough dumplings with steamer clams, zucchini in a light anchovy broth.
막국수 mak guksu Buckwheat Noodle Soup Buckwheat noodle dish served in a chilled broth, sometimes served with sugar, mustard, sesame oil or vinegar. It is a local specialty of Chuncheon, Gangwondo. Must-eat when you go to Nami Island!
짬뽕 jjambbong Spicy Chinese Seafood Noodles Originated from China but a very popular spicy seafood noodle dish. PEPPER GAUGE: If you’re not too good with hot spices, stay away from this dish.
비빔면 bibim myeon Spicy Cold Noodles Buckwheat noodles or flour noodles with chili pepper paste sauce and thin slices of vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce and boiled egg.
김치수제비 kimchi sujebi Kimchi Sujebi (Handpulled Dough Soup) Handpulled flour dough dumplings with kimchi, zucchini, potatoes, onions in a light anchovy broth.
들깨수제비 deulkkae sujebi Perilla Seed Sujebi (Handpulled Dough Soup) Handpulled flour dough dumplings in a light anchovy broth with ground perilla seeds as base.
김치냉말이국수 kimchi naengmari guksu Cold Kimchi Noodles Cold noodles with the soup from kimchi as base. White raddish or kimchi is served on top.
샤브칼국수 syabu kalguksu Syabu Kalguksu (Hand cut thick noodles) Most syabu syabu restaurants in Korea offer either a set menu of syabu syabu beef/seafood, vegetables and noodles. The noodles are boiled in light anchovy broth.The fried rice or porridge that follows is extremely delicious. Syabu syabu brands : 1) 등촌 (Deungchon) : order just the noodles, spicy! 2) 정성본 (Jeongsungbon) : seafood syabu set 3) 채선당 (Chaesundang) : seafood syabu set

3. Snacks

Korean Pronunciation English Description Order Tip
떡볶이 Ttoppoki Spicy Rice Cake Spicy snack consisting of cylinder-shaped rice cake and fish cake with chili sauce. May include other ingredients such as boiled egg, green onions, onions or seseme leaves. Most typical street food but many ttoppoki specialty franchises offer better taste and quality. Sindangdong Ttoppoki Town serves a special cook-at-your-table type.
라볶이 Rappoki Spicy Rice Cake and Ramyeon Ramyeon is added to ttoppoki. This is sold in most gimbap restaurants (Korean-style fastfood). Ramyeon, cylinder-shaped rice cake, fish cakes, carrots and other vegetables. MEAT ALERT : Ramyeon may have been fried with animal fat. Ham, sausage or pork dumpling may be included so ask your waiter to leave them out.
야채김밥 Yachae gimbap Dried Seaweed Roll with Vegetables Sliced vegetables such as spinach, pickeled radish, carrots, cucumber, marinated burdock and rice are wrapped inside dried seaweed. Gimbap is a popular Korean-style fastfood.
치즈김밥 Cheese gimbap Dried Seaweed Roll with Cheese Sliced cheese is added to the original vegetable gimbap. Sliced vegetables such as spinach, pickeled radish, carrots, cucumber, marinated burdock and rice are wrapped inside dried seaweed. Ham is often added too. MEAT ALERT : Mostly contains strips of ham so ask your waiter to leave them out.
참치김밥 Chamchi gimbap Dried Seaweed Roll with Tuna Tuna with mayonnaise is added to the original vegetable gimbap. Sliced vegetables such as spinach, pickeled radish, carrots, cucumber, marinated burdock and rice are wrapped inside dried seaweed. Ham is often added too. MEAT ALERT : May contain strips of ham so ask your waiter to leave them out.
야채튀김 Yachae twigim Fried Vegetables Vegetables such as seseme leaves, potato, sweet potato covered with flour batter is fried. Many ttoppoki stalls or restaurants carry this menu. MEAT ALERT : May use animal oil to fry.
김치만두 kimchi mandu Kimchi Dumpling Kimchi-filled dumpling

4. Seafood

Korean Pronunciation English Description Order Tip
매운탕 maeun tang Spicy Fish Stew Spicy fish soup boiled with chili and variety of vegetable. A fish is cut into several pieces and boiled with green vegetables such as watercress and garland chrysanthemum. Onion, radish, chilis, crown daisy, garlic, and sometimes zucchini and bean curd are added. Seasoned with chili powder, garlic, soy sauce. PEPPER GAUGE : Can be very spicy. If ordered with hoe(raw fish) at a restaurant, the soup is often then made from the leftover parts of the fish.
조개탕 jogae tang Clam Soup Clear soup with clams and often with pepper for tint of spiciness. A popular dish when drinking soju. PEPPER GAUGE : Can be slightly spicy
동태탕 dongtae tang Pollack Soup Spicy fish soup with pollack, green vegetables, bean curd, radish, onion, garlic, etc. PEPPER GAUGE : Spicy
장어구이 jangeo gui Grilled Eel Eel marinated in sweet soy sauce is grilled. Known as stamina food.
조개구이 jogae gui Grilled Clams Clam barbeque seasoned with chogochujang (sauce made with chili pepper paste, vinegar and sugar). Often is accompanied by tasty soup

5. Fastfood @ Lotteria

Korean Pronunciation English Description Order Tip
새우버거 saeu burger Shrimp Burger Crunchy shrimp and fish patty topped with thousand island and tartare sauce
오징어버거 ojingeo burger Squid Burger Squid patty and lettice, with thousand island and sweet hot sauce An unusual concoction… even for the locals, but definately worth a try. Probably not as weird as it sounds!
치킨버거 chicken burger Chicken Burger Standard chicken burger, sticking to the basics
텐더그릴치킨버거 tender grilled chicken burger Tender Grilled Chicken Burger Juicy chicken burger with smoking BBQ flavor MEAT ALERT! This dish includes chicken, so if you’re not comfortable with meat, we suggest you try the Shrimp or Squid Burgers.
핫크리스피버거 hot crispy burger Hot Crispy Burger Crispy chicken fillet with fresh tomato and lettice
홍게너겟 honggae nugget Crab Nuggets Soft crab meat in a crunchy golden nugget – Another unusual mix from Lotteria… lighter on the calories though!
쉑쉑치킨 shake shake chicken Shake Shake Chicken (onion, chilly, cheese) Chicken nuggets, shaked up to perfection in three different flavors

6. Porridge
Porridge is a super healthy option. Go to 본죽(Bon juk) or other porridge specialty restaurants and order non-meat porridge. One of the side dish, 장조림(jangjorim, 장조림 영문명) include beef so ask them to leave it out. Their special red pickled radish side dish is good!

Korean Pronunciation English Description Order Tip
팥죽 pat juk red bean porridge Sweet porridge, eaten with sugar or salt. Served with noodles, or with round glutinous balls depending on region. Red beans were believed to ward off bad spirits, so Pat Juk was traditionally eaten on “Dongji”, the day of the year with the shortest daylight in winter.
야채죽 yachae juk Vegetable rice porridge A filling dish for vegetarians, rice porridge with common ingredients such as carrots, onoins and mushrooms. Add soy sauce according to taste.
게살치즈죽 gesal cheese juk crabmeat and cheese rice porridge Less “traditional”, but an interesting “fusion” dish. Rice porridge with crabmeat, and cheese adds a creamy taste to the traditional juk.
삼복죽 sambok juk chicken, ginseng and abalone rice porridge A variation of Samgye Juk, which is the porridge version of the well-known “Samgye Tang”. This dish includes the special ingredient, abalone, which is one of the most expensive seafood in Korea.
전복죽 jeonbok juk abalone rice porridge Abalone is a stamina booster, and is one of the most expensive seafood ingredients in Korea. Jeonbok juk is a traditional comfort food for special occasions.
삼낙죽 samnak juk chicken and octopus rice porridge An extrodinary concoction of surf and turf, but delicious altogether. MEAT ALERT! If you want to try a similar dish without the chicken, and like spicy food, we recommend Nakji Kimchi Juk.
자연송이죽 jayeon songi juk wild pine mushroom rice porridge A good vegetarian rice porridge with mushrooms. Easy on the stomach, and good to taste.
삼계죽 samgye juk ginseng and chicken rice porridge A porridge version of the well-known “Samgye Tang”. An extra healthy dish, popular and traditional dish among locals.
매생이굴죽 mesengi juk seaweed fulvescens and oyster rice porridge Seaweed fulvescens is a type of seaweed, and is an uncommon ingredient to many foreginers. It is a very thin, stringy seaweed, which results in a greenish color to the porridge.
신짬뽕죽 shinjjambbong juk hot seaweed rice porridge Jjambbong is a Korean version of the Chinese dish “hot and sour soup”, without the sourness. Commonly made with various seafood including shells, octopus, and shrimp. PEPPER GUAGE: If you’re not too tolerant with hot spices, ask the waiter to make the dish less spicy.
게살죽 gesal juk crabmeat rice porridge If you like crab, this dish is a must try. In most cases, however, restaurants use “Matsal” which is preserved razor clam meat, rather than fresh crab meat.
버섯굴죽 beoseot gul juk mushroom oyster rice porridge Oyster is a common stamina booster, and together with wild mushroom, make the perfect healthy combination!
불낙죽 bulnak juk bulgogi and octopus rice porridge A slightly sweet porridge, due to the bulgogi(marinated thin slices of beef cooked with veggies) flavor. If you like bulgogi, this dish is a must try! MEAT ALERT! Bulgogi is made with beef.
해물죽 haemul juk seafood rice porridge Common ingredients includes oysters, shrimp and various vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.
낙지김치죽 nakji kimchi juk octopus and kimchi rice porridge While being less traditional, this is a very popular menu. Some Koreans enjoy this dish as a hang-over remedy. PEPPER GUAGE: If you’re not too tolerant with hot spices, ask the waiter to make the dish less spicy.
새우죽 saeu juk shrimp and rice porridge Made with rice porridge base, adding shrimp, carrots, and shallots. A filling dish with good flavors if you’re a shrimp lover.
참치야채죽 chamchi yachae juk tuna and vegetable rice porridge Tuna adds a slightly salty flavor to the porridge, and is lower in calorie than chicken based porridges. Note that porridge is a high on carbohydrates, and tuna adds a good source of protein if you’re looking for a balanced meal.
자연나물죽 jayeon namul juk seasoned vegetable rice porridge This is similar to the Vegetable Rice Porridge, this dish is made from broiled, seasoned vegetables while Vegetable Rice Porridge is made from fresh vegetables.
소고기버섯죽 soegogi beoseot juk beef and mushroom rice porridge A simple dish, but rich in flavor. Add soy sauce according to taste. MEAT ALERT! An alternative to this dish is the Jayeon Songi Juk made from mushrooms only.
소고기야채죽 soegogi yachae juk beef and vegetable rice porridge A common dish in Korea, easily made from common ingredients including minced beef, carrots, onions and zucchini. Add soy sauce according to taste. MEAT ALERT! An alternative to this dish is the Jayeon Songi Juk made from mushrooms only or Yache Juk (vegetable rice porridge)
소고기미역죽 soegogi miyeok juk beef and seaweed rice porridge The porridge version of Miyeok Guk Bap, which is hot seaweed broth eaten with rice. Miyeok (seaweed) is an excellent source of minerals and good for those with high blood pressure. Miyeok Guk is eaten by women after labor due to its medicinal properties.
해장김치죽 haejang kimchi juk kimchi hangover rice porridge A popular hangover remedy. A spicy juk with lots of Kimchi and sometimes octopus. Some Koreans like to eat the dish extra spicy by adding ground chilly peppers. PEPPER GUAGE: Kimchi adds a hot taste to this porridge. If you’re not too tolerant with hot spices, ask the waiter to make the dish less spicy.
잣죽 jat juk pinenut porridge A semi-sweet porridge made from ground pine nuts. A traditional porridge, which was often enjoyed by Kings and aristocrats in the Chosun Dynasty.
녹두죽 nokdu juk mung bean rice porridge A porridge with subtle sweetness, made from ground mung beans. This dish is low in calories, and is known to be a “healing food”. Nokdu is a common ingredient for rice cakes, or Jun (Korean pancakes).
단호박죽 danhobak juk sweet pumpkin porridge A sweet porridge, made from pureed pumpkins. Whole sweet red beans are added for flavor and color, and white glutinous rice balls add taste.
흑임자죽 hukyimja juk black sesame and rice porridge A sweet porridge, made frrom ground black sesame. Sesame is a common cooking ingredient in Korea, with sesame oil used as frequently as olive oil in Italy.
한우야채죽 (아기죽) hanu yachae juk beef and vegetable rice porridge (baby porridge) Healthy baby food, with lots of minerals, vitamin and protein. Adults are welcome to try as well, but baby juk will be served in smaller portions and the rice will be more thoroughly ground.
시금치고구마닭죽 (아기죽) sigeumchi goguma dak juk spinach, sweet potato and chicken rice porridge (baby porridge) Healthy baby food, with lots of minerals, vitamin and protein. Adults are welcome to try as well, but baby juk will be served in smaller portions and the rice will be more thoroughly ground.

7. Chicken dish

Korean Pronunciation English Description Order Tip
닭도리탕 dakdori tang spicy chicken stew Chicken broiled in spicy hot sauce, with chilly oil, often served with potatoes, carrots and sometimes rice cake. PEPPER GUAGE: May be slightly spicy. Ask your waiter to make it less spicy if you’re not fond of hot food. You can always ask for more rice as well.
찜닭 jjim dak braised spicy chicken with vegetables Spicy chicken dish with braised chicken. Similar to dakdori tang, but is served with rice noodles. You can order extra add-ons such as rice cake or potatoes, depending on the restaurant. PEPPER GUAGE: May be slightly spicy. Ask your waiter to make it less spicy if you’re not fond of hot food. You can always ask for more rice as well.
닭갈비 dak galbi spicy chicken Dak galbi is a spicy chicken dish with stir-fried chicken ribs. Koreans like to eat it with rice, or sometimes eaten as a Ssam (rice and condiments wrapped in leaves of lettice, cabbage, sesame, or other greens). PEPPER GUAGE: May be slightly spicy. Ask your waiter to make it less spicy if you’re not fond of hot food. You can always ask for more rice as well.
삼계탕 samgye tang ginseng chicken soup Probably one of the most well-known dishes in Korea, a whole chicken stew served in an individual hot stone pot with rice. The chicken is often filled with glutinous rice, dried jujube, and ginseng. It is a Korean version of chicken soup, and is eaten in the hot summer months when people tend to get worn out from the heat.
오리고기 보쌈 origogi bossam napa wraps with duck Smoked sliced duck meat served with leaves of lettice, cabbbage, sesame or other greens and Doenjang (soybean paste). Also eaten with sweetened radish slices with mustard sauce.
후라이드치킨 fried chicken fried chicken Koreans love their CHI-MAEK (Fried chicken and beer)! You can often see fried chicken stands filled with locals sipping a cool beer, or couples sitting along the Han River eating fried chicken and beer. Surprisingly enough, you can order fried chicken almost anywhere, including packed beaches. Often, you can also order beer with your chicken.
양념치킨 yangnyum chicken fried chicken with sweet chilly sauce Crispy chicken coated in a sweet chilly paste, often topped with crushed nuts. A very popular snack, and excellent with a cool beer. You can also order half & half (half fried chicken, half spicy chicken) in most restaurants. PEPPER GUAGE: May be slightly spicy for some. Order half & half if you’re unsure of your tolerance level.
오야꼬동 oyakodong A Japanese dish, also popular in Korea. Oya means parents, and Ko means child. The name comes from the fact that the key ingredients is stir-fried chicken(parents) topped with sweet soy sauce and raw egg(child).

8. Beef

Korean Pronunciation English Description Order Tip
불고기 bulgogi bulgogi Most typical Korean dish among foreigners. Sliced beef is marinated in soy sauce, seasame oil and sugar, and cooked over medium heat. Koreans like to mix the sauce with rice after eating the meat.
규동 kyudong kyudong A Japanese dish, also popular in Korea. Thinly cut beef and onoin slices marinated in sweet soysauce is served on top of steamed rice. Sometimes topped with raw egg.
샤브샤브 shabu shabu shabu shabu Origninated from Japan or Mongolia, this dish has become a popular choice in Korea. Often the meal comes in three courses; first you eat thinly sliced beef and greens cooked in hot water. Then, a noodle soup is made from the remaining vegetables and beef broth. Finished off by making a rice porridge from extra broth or fried rice. Syabu syabu brands : 1) 등촌 (Deungchon) : order just the noodles, spicy! 2) 정성본 (Jeongsungbon) : seafood syabu set 3) 채선당 (Chaesundang) : seafood syabu set

(Photo: By Park Sang-moon, courtesy of Jooongang Daily)

 

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