Koreans’ unique culture: Enjoying hot spicy food

Kim Min Jung

Have you ever tried any spicy food in Korea? Maybe you have tried Kimchi and felt it was spicy. However, Koreans are very famous for enjoying hot spicy food. So we do not think Kimchi as a spicy menu and there are a lot of red dishes such as Tteokbokki(떡볶이), Ramyeon, meat stew, and etc. Furthermore, these days, many restaurants or brands are making their menu or products using super-hot chilli sauce.

This leads to a unique culture shared between Korean people, called ‘Mapbusim(맵부심). This means the pride for being able to handle one’s spice. Many Koreans who love those foods feel proud of themselves for being able to handle hot spicy dishes and even compete with others. So, there are some special menu items or products that caters more to those who really love spicy dishes.

So why do Koreans enthusiastically love to eat spicy food? Koreans think they should eat spicy food when they are stressed. When we eat spicy food, we sweat. This will make us cool down from the stress and anger. Also, many Koreans say that when they eat spicy food, it feels like something stuck in the mind goes away. Koreans don’t just eat spicy dishes because of an angry situation; they tend to eat them on a regular basis.

Finally, I will recommend some hot spicy Korean food. If you are interested in those food, try some!



Sin Ramyeon is the traditional spicy Ramyeons in Korea. It’s also exported globally.

Spicy level:3 (for Korean)




Buldak bokkeum Myeon is one of the very spicy noodle with no soup. There are many versions of the noodle, so you can choose the taste you want.

Spicy level:4 (for Korean)



김민정3.jpgAmong many tteokbokki brands, Yeopggi Tteokbokki has the top- spicy and hot sauce. But don’t worry! There are 4 stages for the spiciness, so you can start from the basic one!

(It also has branch near Hanyang university!)

Spicy level:1-5 (for Korean)




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