Korean Traditional Table Manners: Good to know

These characteristics can be seen in table manners as well. The following information on table manners is from an excerpt of a document, written in the 1700s, by Lee Duk Moo. Table manners are divide into three parts: before eating, during eating, and after eating.


It is best to consume food, immediately after it is presented. This is because the food can lose its heat and cool down. Also, dust can rest on the food if it is not eaten right away. Thus, even if you are busy, try to consume the food right away. There is a Korean saying that expresses the fact that you do not eat your food right away. It is ‘your soft-boiled bap is made for you.’ Also, a table where the food is not consumed immediately is called a “table without incense.” You should also never let someone wait for you before eating.

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Even if you are angry, you should never thump your spoon or chopsticks on the table. You should not sigh, while eating. Also, even if the rice or soup is hot, you should never blow on it. Never beat your chopsticks on the table and the spoon should not make any sound when it touches a plate.


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Once you are done eating, you must organize your spoon and chopsticks so that they do not go over the boundaries of the table. This is done to prevent the falling of the spoon and chopsticks, when clearing the table. You should always keep in hand a toothpick, to take out the food that is stuck between your teeth. This can also prevent bad smell from your mouth.


Korean table manner

Contents by Koran Food Foundation

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