Korean Words and Phrases For Food Issues

by Linda McKenna // March 1 // 0 Comments
Words and Phrases for Food Issues

Trying local foods is one of the most exciting parts of traveling. It is possible that local food is not to your taste, however, or it contains ingredients that you cannot eat. Today, we are going to learn Korean words and phrases to express your intolerances and preferences for foods.

저는 OO 알레르기가 있어요. [I HAVE AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO XXX]

If you have an allergic reaction to some ingredients, you can say, "저는 OO 알레르기가 있어요." The word 알레르기 comes from the German word "allergie."

저는 새우 알레르기가 있어요. [I HAVE AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO SHRIMP]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = as for me
  • 새우 [sae-u] = shrimp
  • 알레르기가 [al-re-reu-gi-ga] = an allergie
  • 있어요 [it-eo-yo] = to exist

WORDS FOR COMMON ALLERGENS

Here are words for common allergens:

  • 달걀 [dal-gyal] = egg
  • 우유 [u-yu] = milk
  • 게 [ge] = crab
  • 새우 [sae-u] = shrimp
  • 생선 [saeng-seon] = fish
  • 땅콩 [ddang-kong] = peanut
  • 견과류 [gyeon-gwa-ryu] = nuts
  • 콩 [kong] = beans
  • 밀 [mil] = wheat

저는 OO을(를) 못 먹어요. [I CANNOT EAT XXX]

If you cannot eat something, you can say “저는 OO을(를) 못 먹어요.”

저는 매운 음식을 못 먹어요. [I CANNOT EAT SPICY FOODS]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 매운 [mae-un] = spicy
  • 음식을 [eum-sik-eul] = foods
  • 못 [mot] = not
  • 먹어요 [meok-eo-yo] = to eat

저는 닭발을 못 먹어요. [I CANNOT EAT CHICKEN FEET]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 닭발을 [dak-bal-eul] = chicken feet
  • 못 [mot] = not
  • 먹어요 [meok-eo-yo] = to eat

WORDS FOR UNIQUE KOREAN FOODS

Here are words for unique Korean foods, which many foreigners cannot eat:

  • 순대 [sun-dae] = blood sausage
  • 곱창 [gop-chang] = pig / cow intestines
  • 껍데기 [ggeop-de-gi] = (pork) skin
  • 번데기 [bbeon-de-gi] = pupa
  • 닭발 [dak-bal] = chicken feet
  • 홍어 [hong-eo] = skate

저는 OO을(를) 좋아해요. [I LIKE XXX]

You can say “저는 OO을 좋아해요” when you like a specific food.

저는 삼겹살을 좋아해요.

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 삼겹살을 [sam-gyep-sal-eul] = Korean BBQ
  • 좋아해요 [jo-a-hae-yo] = to like

저는 매운 음식을 좋아해요.

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 매운 [mae-un] = spicy
  • 음식을 [eum-sik-eul] = foods
  • 좋아해요 [jo-a-hae-yo] = to like

Words for popular Korean foods

Here are words for popular Korean foods:

  • 삼겹살 [sam-gyep-sal] = Korean BBQ
  • 비빔밥 [bi-bim-bap] = bibimbap
  • 치킨 [Chi-kin] = Korean fried chicken
  • 삼계탕 [sam-gye-tang] = ginseng chicken soup
  • 김밥 [kim-bap] = dried seaweed rolls
  • 김치찌개 [kim-chi-jji-gae] = spicy kimchi soup

저는 OO이(가) 좋아요. [XXX IS GOOD FOR ME]

The meaning of 저는 OO이(가) 좋아요 is similar to 저는 OO을(를) 좋아해요. Please note that 좋아요 is an adjective while 좋아해요 is a verb.

저는 소고기가 좋아요. [beef is good for me]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = as for me
  • 소고기가 [so-go-gi-ga] = beef is
  • 좋아요 [jo-a-yo] = good

저는 달콤한 음식이 좋아요. [sweet food is good for me]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = as for me
  • 달콤한 [dal-com-han] = sweet
  • 음식이 [eum-sik-i] = food is
  • 좋아요 [jo-a-yo] = good

저는 OO을(를) 싫어해요. [I DO NOT LIKE XXX]

You can say “저는 OO을(를) 싫어해요” when you do not like a specific food.

저는 오리 고기를 싫어해요. [I do not like duck meat]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 오리 [o-ri] = duck
  • 고기를 [go-gi-reul] = meat
  • 싫어해요 [sil-eo-hae-yo] = to dislike

저는 매운 음식을 싫어해요. [I do not like spicy foods]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 매운 [mae-un] = spicy
  • 음식을 [eum-sik-eul] = foods
  • 싫어해요 [sil-eo-hae-yo] = to dislike

저는 OO이(가) 싫어요. [XXX IS NOT GOOD FOR ME]

The meaning of 저는 OO이(가) 싫어요 is similar to 저는 OO을(를) 싫어해요. Please note that 싫어요 is an adjective while 싫어해요 is a verb.

저는 닭고기가 싫어요. [chicken is not good for me]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = as for me
  • 닭고기가 [dak-go-gi-ga] = chicken is
  • 싫어요 [sil-eo-yo] = dissatisfying

저는 단 음식이 싫어요. [sweet food is not good for me]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = as for me
  • 단 [dan] = sweet
  • 음식이 [eum-sik-i] = food is
  • 싫어요 [sil-eo-yo] = dissatisfying

저는 A보다는 B이(가) 더 좋아요. [I PREFER B TO A]

If you want to express a preference for foods, you can say "저는 A보다는 B이(가) 더 좋아요.”

저는 돼지고기보다는 소고기가 더 좋아요. [I prefer beef to pork]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = as for me
  • 돼지고기보다는 [dwae-ji-go-gi-bo-da-neun] = than pork
  • 소고기가 [so-go-gi-ga] = beef is
  • 더 [deo] = more
  • 좋아요 [jo-a-yo] = good

저는 찌개보다는 구이가 더 좋아요. [I prefer bbq to soup]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = as for me
  • 찌개보다는 [jji-gae-bo-da-neun] = than soup
  • 구이가 [gu-i-ga] = BBQ is
  • 더 [deo] = more
  • 좋아요 [jo-a-yo] = good

저는 채식주의자에요. [I AM A VEGETARIAN]

If you want to let people know you are a vegetarian, you can say, "저는 채식주의자에요.”

저는 채식주의자에요. [I AM A VEGETARIAN]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 채식주의자 [chae-sik-ju-eui-ja] = vegetarian
  • 에요 [e-yo] = (declarative ending)

저는 날생선을 안 먹어요. [I DO NOT EAT RAW FISH]

Many Korean foods include raw seafood, sometimes even live octopus. If you are not into it, you can say, "저는 날생선을 안 먹어요.”

저는 날생선을 안 먹어요. [I DO NOT EAT RAW FISH]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 날생선을 [nal-saeng-seon] = raw fish
  • 안 [an] = not
  • 먹어요 [meok-eo-yo] = to eat

Words for raw seafoods

Here are words for raw seafoods:

  • 굴 [gul] = oyster
  • 산낙지 [san-nak-ji] = live octopus
  • 조개 [jo-gae] = clam
  • 초밥 [cho-bap] = sushi
  • 회 [hoi] = hoi (sashimi)
  • 날생선 [nal-saeng-sun] = raw fish

저는 술을 안 마셔요. [I do not drink alcoholic beverages]

Koreans love to drink. If you have dinner with them, they will likely ask you to drink together. If you do not or cannot drink alcoholic beverages, you can say, "저는 술을 안 마셔요.”

저는 오늘 술 안 마셔요. [I do not drink today]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 오늘 [o-neul] = today
  • 술 [sul] = alcoholic beverage
  • 안 [an] = not
  • 마셔요 [ma-sheo-yo] = to drink

저는 보드카 안 마셔요 [I cannot drink vodka]

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 보드카 [bo-deu-ka] = vodka
  • 안 [an] = not
  • 마셔요 [ma-sheo-yo] = to drink

Words for alcoholic beverages

Here are words for alcoholic beverages:

  • 소주 [so-ju] = soju
  • 맥주 [maek-ju] = beer
  • 막걸리 [mak-geol-ri] = makgeolri
  • 보드카 [bo-deu-ka] = vodka
  • 와인 [wa-in] = wine
  • 위스키 [wi-seu-ki] = whisky
  • 테킬라 [Te-kil-ra] = tequila
  • 사케 [sa-ke] = sake

저는 고기를 안 먹어요. [I do not eat meat]

Most Korean foods contain meat. If you do not eat meat, you can say, "저는 고기를 안 먹어요.”

저는 고기를 안 먹어요.

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 고기를 [go-gi-reul] = meat
  • 안 [an] = not
  • 먹어요 [meok-eo-yo] = to eat

저는 양고기를 안 먹어요.

  • 저는 [jeo-neun] = I
  • 양고기를 [yang-go-gi-reul] = lamb
  • 안 [an] = not
  • 먹어요 [meok-eo-yo] = to eat

Words for different kinds of meat

To indicate different kinds of meat, you can add 고기 (meat) after the name of an animal.

  • 소고기 [so-go-gi] -> 소 (cow) + 고기 (meat) = beef
  • 닭고기 -> 닭 (chicken) + 고기 (meat) = chicken
  • 양고기 -> 양 (sheep) + 고기 (meat) = lamb
  • 돼지고기 -> 돼지 (pig) + 고기 (meat) = pork

Conclusion

Today we learned 11 expressions to talk about your preferences and intolerance for foods. I hope these expressions will help you try new Korean foods at local Korean restaurants, or when you visit Korea next time!

For more useful Korean vocabulary, check out:

Basic Korean Phrases for Travelers and Beginners

Korean Vocabulary: Jobs and Professions

About the Author Linda McKenna

Linda was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the U.S. as a teen. She previously taught at a Korean language school. She is a language enthusiast and loves learning about different languages and cultures