Table Manners: Art of Eating Korean Food

This is interesting. I did some digging and found some interesting stuff about Korean table etiquettes from Wikipedia. We always assumed that Korean table etiquettes are pretty similar but there are quite a bit of differences.

The biggest difference was that Koreans do not eat rice out from the bowl with chopsticks. We did not realize this but I guess everyone in the Korean restaurant yesterday knew that we were Chinese from the way we ate! Anyway, below is what we lifted out from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_cuisine). Read on:

setting_banchan

Although there is no prescribed order for eating the many dishes served at a traditional Korean meal, many Koreans start with a small portion of soup before eating the other dishes in any order they wish.

Unlike other chopstick cultures, Koreans do not eat rice with chopsticks only but use sujeo a combination of a long shallow spoon and oval-shaped chopsticks. Koreans generally do not pick up their rice or soup bowls, but leave both on the table and eat from them with spoons. Side dishes are eaten with chopsticks.

Bad manners include blowing one’s nose at the table (considered the rudest of acts), picking up chopstick or spoon before the oldest person starts the meal, chewing with an open mouth, talking with food in one’s mouth, making audible eating noises, sticking chopsticks or spoon straight up in a dish, stabbing foods with chopsticks, mixing rice and soup, and picking up food with one’s hands (with certain exceptions). In informal situations, these rules are often broken.

Though diners do not need to finish all the shared food that was provided, it is customary to finish one’s individual portion of rice. Banchan dishes are intended to be finished at each meal, so are presented in small portions and replenished as they are emptied. It is acceptable to ask for refills on any of the side dishes.