Guest post: Life in Korea – Korean food nutritional information

CHRIS in South Korea note: this guest post comes courtesy of my girlfriend, who after hours of hard work has translated a large part of the nutritional information for almost every Korean food you’ll eat! The words and chart are her own, while the photo below is mine.

As a diabetic living in Korea for some time, I’ve often been frustrated by the lack of nutritional information out there for Korean foods.  Through trial and error, I’ve managed to work things out pretty well, but wouldn’t it be nice if there were readily available information out there?  Well, wait no longer!  Here it is.  This is translated from the information provided by the Korean Diabetes Association (대한당뇨병학회) on the Korean version of their website.  Here it is if you want to see it for yourself in Korean:

http://www.diabetes.or.kr/general/food/sub04.php?idx=2

Additional information comes from 당뇨병 관리의 길잡이, a book I got from Seoul National University Hospital (which is pretty good, by the way, if anyone’s looking for a diabetes doctor.  Their international clinic will help you with everything from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave, and my own doctor there (Dr. Kwak; unfortunate name, but competent guy) speaks fluent English with an American accent.)

A few notes on these tables:

First of all, as you’ll have realized if you’ve lived in Korea any length of time, different Koreans make things different ways.  The bibimbap you get at one restaurant won’t have the same ingredients as the bibimbap you get at another.  Thus all numbers are only intended as rough guides – consider them as a reference point from which to start your “empirical testing”, in the words of my doctor.  I am personally a bit skeptical of the information in the “Western food” section (quite aside from the fact that they evidently consider kimchi bokkumbap to be a “Western” food…)

Also, the original tables included rice in their calculations for a lot of things like dwenjangjjigae, which don’t actually include rice, but which are normally eaten with it.  I’ve removed the rice since it’s easier to calculate the two dishes separately rather than do a lot of math working out what the difference is if you only ate 100 grams of rice rather than 210 or if you didn’t eat rice at all.

Secondly, portion sizes are given where they were included in the original tables.  In most cases you can assume the information is for a standard-sized dish.  Again, empirical testing.

For you diabetics out there, you’ll notice the exchange system is not the same as that used in the West.  Counting carbohydrates, as I do, is easy enough; if you want anything more complex, you should probably ask your doctor.  I’ve included the Korean exchanges where they were available; for some foods, they were not.  Again, consult an expert.  Please be especially careful to note that starches and vegetables have quite different values in Korea than they do in the West, and don’t just assume one Korean starch to be one American starch.

For you Korean speakers out there, a much more comprehensive source (which also includes tons of other useful medical info, such as being able to search for pills by what they look like) is Naver’s 건강 page.  Go to http://health.naver.com/index.nhn and click on 영양/다이어트.  From there you can search for foods by type and get much more info than is available in my own database.  If you want to learn a bit more about how to read that (and Korean nutrition labels in general), please refer to Chris’ previous blog post on how to read nutritional info.

Finally, there’s a little more information in English available from Seoul Eats:

http://www.seouleats.com/2008/08/how-many-calories-are-in-soju-rice-cakes-kimbap-and-other-korean-foods/

(Sadly, the original article they link to seems to have been taken offline.)

Also, a site called MyFitnessPal has values for some Korean food:

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nutrition-facts-calories/korean-food

If you’re aware of any other sources of nutritional information (in English or Korean), please let me know in the comments.  You can also email me at griffon at asia.com with comments or if you’d like a translation for any foods that aren’t on the list.

Nutritional Information for Korean Food

 

S – starches (carbohydrates 23 g, protein 2 g, 100 kcal)

LP – low-fat proteins (protein 8 g, fat 2 g, 50 kcal)

MP – medium-fat proteins (protein 8 g, fat 5 g, 75 kcal)

HP – high-fat proteins (protein 8 g, fat 8 g, 100 kcal)

V – vegetables (carbohydrates 3 g, protein 2 g, 20 kcal)

F – fats (fat 5 g, 45 kcal)

 

Korean-Korean food

Name

Korean name

Ingredients

Diabetic Exchanges

Calories (kcal)

Carbs (g)

Protein (g)

Fat (g)

S

LP

MP

HP

V

Fats

Kimchi stew

김치찌개

(kimchijjigae)

Pork, tofu, kimchi

 

 

1.5

 

2

0.5

175

6

16

11

Soft tofu stew

순두부찌개

(sundubujjigae)

Soft tofu (100g), clam meat, eggs, cabbage

 

1

1.5

 

0.5

 

173

2

21

10

Soybean paste stew

된장찌개

(dwenjangjjigae)

Tofu, squash, onion, green chili

 

 

1

 

1

 

145

3

10

5

Rich soybean paste stew

청국장찌개

(cheonggukjangjjigae)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

128

6

8

3

Army base stew*

부대찌개

(budaejjigae)

Pork (50 g), ham (50 g), sausage 120 g), kimchi (50 g), ddeok (30 g), beans (70 g), onion

 

 

 

 

 

 

710

74

50

23

Bibimbap

비빔밥

 

Rice, beef, eggs, bellflower root, spinach, bean sprouts, squash, carrot, sesame oil, red pepper paste

3

0.5

1

 

2

2

550

75

22

16

Vegetable bibimbap

야채비빔밥

(yachae bibimbap)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

535

75

18

15

Cold noodles

물냉면

(mulnaengmyeon)

Buckwheat noodles (dry, 90 g), brisket (40 g), eggs, cucumber, radish, meat broth

3

 

1.5

 

1

 

514

76

23

17

Cold mixed noodles

비빔냉면

(bibimnaengmyeon)

Buckwheat noodles (dry, 90 g), brisket (20 g), eggs, cucumber, radish, sesame oil, red-pepper seasoning

3

 

1

 

1.5

1

450

74

17

10

Raw fish naengmyeon

회냉면

(hwenaengmyeon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

488

80

27

7

Fried octopus

(one serving)

낙지볶음

(nakjibokkeum)

Octopus

 

 

 

 

 

 

145

15

14

3

Boiled pork wrapped in greens

보쌈

(bossam)

Pork (200 g)

 

 

 

 

 

 

460

6

44

30

Fried chicken stew

닭볶음

(dalkbokkeum)

Chicken (250 g, including skin and bones)

 

 

 

 

 

 

590

41

38

32

Mudfish soup

추어탕

(chueotang)

Mudfish (100 g), cabbage leaves (100 g), onion, chives

 

2

 

 

2.5

 

150

6

21

4

Chicken soup

삼계탕

(samgyetang)

Sticky rice, whole chicken (400 g), chestnuts, ginseng, jujubes, garlic

1.5

 

 

6.5

 

 

800

35

55

52

Beef soup

갈비탕

(galbitang)

Beef (150 g), onion, garlic, radish, jujubes (dried), ginseng

 

 

 

4

2

 

440

6

38

32

Spicy beef soup

육개장

(yukgaejang)

Brisket (40 g), meat broth (200 g), bracken, bean sprouts, mushrooms, cooking oil

 

 

1.5

 

2.5

1

208

8

17

13

Ox bone soup

설렁탕

(seolleongtang)

Beef

 

 

 

 

 

 

163

12

13

8

Beef soup

진곰탕

(Jingomtang)

Beef

 

 

 

 

 

 

163

12

13

8

Organ-meat soup

내장탕

(naejangtang)

Meat

 

 

 

 

 

 

190

6

20

10

Oxtail soup

꼬리곰탕

(kkorigomtang)

Meat

 

 

 

 

 

 

330

5

31

22

Dog meat soup*

보신탕

(boshintang)

Dog meat (60 g), radish, onion, garlic

 

 

 

 

 

 

210

8

14

14

Barbecued beef

불고기

(bulgogi)

Sirloin steak (150 g), green onions, sesame oil

 

 

4

 

0.5

0.5

333

2

33

23

Pork ribs

돼지갈비

(dwejigalbi)

Pork (150 g), green onions, sugar, sesame oil

 

 

 

4

1

1

485

8

34

37

Seasoned barbecued beef

양념갈비구이

(yangnyeom galbigui)

Beef (200 g)

 

 

 

 

 

 

575

10

42

43

Steamed beef

갈비구이

(galbigui)

Beef (200 g)

 

 

 

 

 

 

595

13

44

43

Barbecued pork

삼겹살

(samgyeopsal)

Pork (200 g)

 

 

 

 

 

 

565

3

42

45

Sirloin

생등심

(saengdeungshim)

Beef (150 g)

 

 

 

 

 

 

300

0

32

20

Rice in beef soup

쇠고기국밥

(swegogigukbap)

Rice (210 g), beef

 

 

 

 

 

 

480

78

20

10

 

Japanese-Korean food

Name

Korean name

Ingredients

Diabetic Exchanges

Calories (kcal)

Carbs (g)

Protein (g)

Fat (g)

S

LP

MP

HP

V

Fats

Fish sushi

생선초밥

(saengseon chobap)

Rice, halibut (40 g), salmon (40 g), snapper (20 g)

3

2

 

 

 

 

440

79

22

4

Rice with raw fish on top

회덮밥

(hwedeopbap)

Rice, tuna (150 g), lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, red pepper paste

3

3

 

 

1

0.5

523

79

32

9

Rice wrapped in fried tofu

유부초밥

(yubuchobap)

Rice (210 g), fried tofu, sugar, black sesame

3

 

 

1.5

 

1

515

74

18

17

Cod soup

대구탕

(daegutang)

Cod (fresh, 100 g), radish, bean sprouts, water parsley

 

2

 

 

3

 

160

9

22

4

Buckwheat noodles

모밀국수

(momilguksu)

Buckwheat noodles (boiled, 400 g)

4.5

 

 

 

 

 

450

104

9

0

Noodles in a stone pot

돌냄비우동

(dolnaembi udong)

Noodles (250 g), ddeok (rice cake), shrimp, fish cake (60 g), half an egg

4

 

2

 

 

 

550

92

24

10

Rice with eel and roe

장어날치알밥

(Jangeo nalchi albap)

Rice (210 g), eel, roe

 

 

 

 

 

 

428

75

22

5

Japanese-style lunchbox

(bento)

도시락

(doshirak)

Rice (210 g)

 

 

 

 

 

 

740

86

38

28

Udon (noodles)*

우동

(udong)

Noodles (200 g), fish cake (50 g)

 

 

 

 

 

 

702

121

28

8

 

Chinese-Korean food

Name

Korean name

Ingredients

Diabetic Exchanges

Calories (kcal)

Carbs  (g)

Protein (g)

Fat (g)

S

LP

MP

HP

V

Fats

Noodle soup

기스면

(giseu-myeon)

Chinese noodles (boiled, 300 g), squid, shrimp, pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, onions

3.5

1

0.5

 

1

 

458

84

21

5

Noodles with black bean sauce

자장면

(jajangmyeon)

Chinese noodles (boiled, 300 g), potato, pork, cabbage, onion, cooking oil

4

 

0.5

 

2

4

658

98

16

23

Chinese noodles with vegetables and seafood

짬뽕

(jjambbong)

Chinese noodles (boiled, 300 g), squid, shrimp, clams, cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, onion

3.5

2

 

 

2.5

2

590

88

28

14

Fried rice

볶음밥

(bokkeumbap)

Rice (250 g), pork, egg, carrot, onion, bell pepper, cooking oil, black bean sauce

3.5

0.5

1

 

1.5

5

705

85

22

31

Sweet and sour pork

(one serving)

탕수육

(tangsuyuk)

Pork (80 g), starch, carrot, cucumber, onion, bell pepper

1

2

 

 

0.5

4

470

35

19

24

 

Western-Korean food

Name

Korean name

Ingredients

Diabetic Exchanges

Calories (kcal)

Carbs  (g)

Protein (g)

Fat (g)

S

LP

MP

HP

V

Fats

Pork cutlet

돈까스

(donkkaseu)

Pork

3

2.5

0.5

 

1.5

7

815

75

33

43

Fish cutlet

생선까스

(saengseonkkaseu)

Fish

2.5

2

0.5

 

1.5

7

740

64

28

42

Tenderloin

안심스테이크

(anshim steikeu)

Beef

2

 

4

 

1.5

4

717

52

19

40

Hamburger steak

햄버그스테이크

(hambeogeu steikeu)

Beef

2

 

4

 

1.5

4

717

52

39

40

Kimchi fried rice

김치볶음밥

(kimchi bokkeumbap)

Rice (250 g), kimchi, beef, cabbage, cucumber, carrot, broccoli

3.5

 

0.5

 

2.5

4

618

88

16

23

Omurice

오므라이스

(omeuraiseu)

Rice (100 g), soup, potato (120 g), beef, pork, egg, cabbage, cucumber

3.5

 

1.5

 

2

4

683

87

23

28

Curry rice

카레라이스

(kare raiseu)

Rice (250 g), beef, kimchi (100 g), onion, carrot, pepper

4.5

 

1

 

1.5

1

600

108

20

10

 

Snack food

Name

Korean name

Ingredients

Diabetic Exchanges

Calories (kcal)

Carbs (g)

Protein (g)

Fat (g)

S

LP

MP

HP

V

Fats

Gimbap

김밥

(gimbap)

Rice, egg, razor-clam meat, spinach, pickled radish, carrot, cooking oil

3

 

0.5

 

1

0.5

380

72

12

5

Ramen

라면

(ramyeon)

Ramen (120 g)

3.5

 

 

 

 

3.5

503

81

7

17

Knife-cut noodles

칼국수

(kalguksu)

Noodles (150 g), Beef brisket (30 g), squash, onion, sesame oil

5

 

1

 

0.5

0.5

608

117

19

8

Ddeokbokki*

떡볶이

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

304

60

8

3

Hand-tossed noodle soup

수제비

(sujebi)

Flour (100 g), potato (50 g), clams, young squash, radish, onion, cooking oil

3.5

1

 

 

1

0.5

443

84

17

5

Dumpling soup

떡만두국

(ddeok manduguk)

Rice cake (150 g), flour, pork, tofu, kimchi, bean sprouts, scallions, onion, sesame oil

4

 

1

 

3

1

560

98

20

10

Meat dumplings

고기만두

(gogimandu)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

338

52

16

8

Kimchi dumplings

김치만두

(kimchimandu)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

305

51

15

5

Seafood pancakes

해물파전

(haemul pajeon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

325

25

23

17

Mung bean pancakes

녹두전

(nokdujeon)

Mung beans (120 g), pork, bean sprouts, cooking oil

1.5

 

0.5

 

0.5

2

288

36

8

13

Kimchi pancakes

김치전

(kimchijeon)

Flour (60 g), cabbage kimchi (100 g), cooking oil

2

 

0.5

 

2

2

368

52

12

13

Jangteoguksu

장터국수

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

475

81

19

9

Fried chicken*

후라이드 치킨

Chicken (1 piece)

 

 

 

 

 

 

221

2

15

18

 

Porridge (congee)

Name

Korean name

Ingredients

Diabetic Exchanges

Calories (kcal)

Carbs  (g)

Protein (g)

Fat (g)

S

LP

MP

HP

V

Fats

Abalone porridge

전복죽

(jeonbokjuk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

395

69

14

7

Vegetable porridge

야채죽

(yachaejuk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

265

49

6

5

Nutritious porridge

영양죽

(yeongyangjuk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

343

72

8

3

Others

Name

Korean name

Amount

Diabetic exchange

Calories (kcal)

Carbs (g)

Protein (g)

Fat (g)

Rice

70 g (1/3 bowl)

Starch

100

23

2

0

Congee (juk)

140 g (2/3 bowl)

Starch

100

23

2

0

Grain powder

미숫가루

30 g (1/4 cup)

Starch

100

23

2

0

Dry noodles

마른국수

30 g

Starch

100

23

2

0

Boiled noodles

삶은국수

90 g (1/2 small bowl)

Starch

100

23

2

0

Rice cake (ddeok)

50 g (11-12 sticks or 3 squares)

Starch

100

23

2

0

Jellied acorn or buckwheat (muk)

묵 (도토리묵, 메밀묵)

200 g (1/2 a block)

Starch

100

23

2

0

Persimmon (dangam)

단감

50 g (1/3 medium persimmon)

Fruit

50

12

0

0

Mandarin orange (gyul)

120 g (1 orange)

Fruit

50

12

0

0

Chinese pear (bae)

110 g (1/4 large pear)

Fruit

50

12

0

0

White peach

복숭아 (백도)

150 g (1 small peach)

Fruit

50

12

0

0

Plum (jadu)

자두

150 g (1 large plum)

Fruit

50

12

0

0

Oriental melon (chamoe)

참외

150 g (1/2 medium melon)

Fruit

50

12

0

0

Leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, mallow)

잎채소류

70 g

Vegetable

20

3

2

0

Radish

70 g

Vegetable

20

3

2

0

Dried seaweed

2 g (1 slice)

Vegetable

20

3

2

0

Sea mustard

미역

70 g

Vegetable

20

3

2

0

Mushrooms

버섯류

50 g

Vegetable

20

3

2

0

Kimchi

김치류

50 g

Vegetable

20

3

2

0

Soybean milk

두유

200 g (1 cup)

Milk

125

10

6

7

Anchovies

멸치

15 g (1/4 cup)

Low-fat protein

50

0

8

2

Squid

물오징어

50 g (1/3 squid)

Low-fat protein

50

0

8

2

Tofu

두부

80 g (1/5 block)

Medium-fat protein

75

0

8

5

Soft tofu

연두부

150 g (1/2)

Medium-fat protein

75

0

8

5

Black beans

검정콩

20 g (2 tbsp)

Medium-fat protein

75

0

8

5

Fish cake (fried)

어묵

50 g

Medium-fat protein

75

0

8

5

Fried tofu

유부

30 g (5 slices)

High-fat protein

100

0

8

8

*Information from health.naver.com