Journal List > Korean J Nutr > v.45(6) > 1043962

Korean J Nutr. 2012 Dec;45(6):562-576. Korean.
Published online December 31, 2012.
© 2012 The Korean Nutrition Society
Perception of common Korean dishes and foods among professionals in related fields
Sang Eun Lee,1 Minji Kang,1 Young-Hee Park,2 Hyojee Joung,3 Yoon-Kyoung Yang,2 and Hee Young Paik1
1Department of Foods and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
2National Academy of Agricultural Science, Suwon 441-707, Korea.
3Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. (Email: )
Received November 13, 2012; Revised November 24, 2012; Accepted December 07, 2012.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Han-sik is a term in Korean that may indicate any Korean dish or food. At present, there is no general consensus on the definition of Han-sik among scholars or professionals in related fields. The aim of this study was to investigate perceptions of Han-sik by professionals in the fields of food, nutrition, and culinary arts using 512 dishes and foods commonly consumed by Koreans using the 4th Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey. A total of 117 professionals out of 185 initially contacted professionals participated in this online survey. We calculated the rate of respondents with a positive answer, that is "It is Han-sik', on each dish and food from the 512 items in 28 dish groups. Items were categorized into five groups according to their Han-sik perception rate: over 90%, 75-89%, 50-74%, 25-49%, and below 25%. Most items in the three dish groups 'Seasoned vegetables, cooked (Namul·Suk-chae)', 'Kimchis', and 'Salt-fermented foods (Jeotgal)' showed high perception rates of Han-sik, with a higher than 90% positive response. Items in 'Soups', 'Stews', and 'Steamed foods' dish groups also showed high perception rates of Han-sik. However, no item showed a greater than 90% Han-sik perception rate in 'Fried foods (Twigim)', 'Meat, poultry and fishes', 'Legumes, nuts, and seeds', 'Milk and milk products', 'Sugars and confectioneries', and 'Soup'. Most items in the 'Milk and milk products', 'Sugars and confectioneries', and 'Soup' groups belonged to the lowest perception rate of below 25%. There was a significant difference in the proportion of items perceived as Han-sik by the length of living abroad to (p < 0.05). In summary, the perception rate of Han-sik seemed to be affected by the cooking method, ingredients, and length of time living abroad by the professionals. Further studies targeting subjects with different characteristics and socioeconomic status are warranted to define the concept of Han-sik.

Keywords: Han-sik; Korean foods; perception; common foods; professional


Table 1
General characteristics of respondents (n = 117)
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Table 2
List of prepared dishes categorized by Han-sik perception rate
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Table 3
List of seasonings and commercially prepared and non-cooked foods by Han-sik perception rate
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Table 4
Dish and food items that showed significant difference in Han-sik perception rate by respondent's areas of expertise
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Table 5
Comparison of the number of dish and food items perceived as Han-sik (Korean dish and food) according to characteristics of respondents (n = 117)
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This work is carried out with the support of 'Research Program for Agricultural Science and Technology Development', National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (Project No. PJ007211).

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