There's an elephant in the room when it comes to Korean cuisine. Are Koreans really fond of tucking into a plate of 'Man's best friend'?

Photo © iStock/hanhanpeggy

Currently, selling dog meat for consumption is illegal in South Korea. However, that doesn't mean it isn't done. Dog meat is a Korean cultural delicacy, and culture trumps law every time.

Is Dog on the Menu in South Korea?

Yes, dog meat is available in South Korea for consumption, however it's important to note that there are other countries which also eat dog, such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, and many more. But, each year, more locals are opting not to consume dog meat.

If the thought of eating dog is unconscionable to you, you may need to do your due diligence before going out to eat. Definitely reconsider buying that unmarked meat kebab being sold in the city square.

Many restaurants will serve a dish called "bosintang", which stands for "dog meat soup". It's a popular dish in South Korea, and is said to act as an aphrodisiac for men.

If you're unconcerned about whether or not to eat dog meat, it's recommended you go to a decent restaurant and try the dog meat soup for a taste of South Korean popular culture. 

Salty & Spicy Foods

South Korean food typically has lots of salt and los of hot spices, which might be difficult for those of you trying to cut back on sodium intake, or anyone who can't handle spicy food.

Generally, when you take a seat at a restaurant, you'll be able to convince the waiter to ask the chef to put less spices and salt on your selected dish.

For travelers with a standard Western sensibility, asking for less salt and spices may be necessary to ensure that your partner enjoys semi-authentic Korean cuisine, without complaining about the price.

Want to know more about South Korea? Listen to the World Nomads podcast. Is it safe to visit right now? - How hikers might find themselves invited to a family picnic - Beyond barbecue (and the secret 'man food') - and how to score yourself the best value round-the-world ticket.


  • None of your bussnes said

    I think that this is STUPID !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "Yes, dog meat is available in South Korea for consumption"

  • none said

    It is weird they eat dog. That is so mean. They are better as pets.

  • None of your bussnes said

    I agree 100% with None! Why would you eat a dog, a loving dog! I will never go to South Korea because of them.

  • YuMin Lee said

    It was not considered odd to eat dog meat in only my parents ' generation. However, with the dog becoming a household animal, there has been a controversy over the use of dog meat as more people are against eating dog meat. The trend is not to eat dog meat. There are also few shops that cook and rarely sell dog meat. In conclusion, eating dog meat is not our popular culture in Korea.

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