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Hanjeongsik, Feast for a King
Just like the French can’t imagine dinner without bread within reach, the same is true for a Korean table without rice, soup, and kimchi. A typical home will serve a fair number of small dishes at one meal. But the kings and nobles of royal palaces had as many as 19 small dishes at the most lavish of full-course meals. The good news is that you can still get the royal treatment today at Hanjeongsik. The dishes vary depending on what’s in season and on the regional customs of the area. A cold appetizer and porridge is typically followed by many well-seasoned main dishes of meat, fish, or egg cooked in many possible ways: grilled, boiled, steamed, fried, or salted. These mains are traditionally served all at the same time. After the meal, traditional sweet rice punch (sikhye) or cinnamon-persimmon punch (sujeonggwa) can be served with dessert or fruit.
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