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Movies and documentaries on Korean food

The list of the best documentaries and movies on Korean food and Korean cuisine.

Chef's Table

David Gelb (2015, -)

S03 Ep 01

Collection of documentaries developed by Netflix.

The first episode of the third season is totally dedicated to Jeong Kwan, a Buddhist Seon nun and cook of the Baekyangsa temple, a real hermitage.

Jeong Kwan cooks for the monks and the few casual visitors. She did not study cooking, she is self-taught: in the episode she explains the principles of Buddhist cuisine and the creation of some dishes.

Chef's Table cookingwiththehamster
Chef's Table | ©

Chef's Table: Pizza

David Gelb (2022)

S01 Ep 03

Documentary available on Netflix.

The protagonist of this episode is the restaurateur Ann Kim: daughter of Korean immigrants in the United States, in 2010 she opened her local Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis. Later, she opened her second restaurant in New York, Hello Pizza.

She was the first Asian woman from Minnesota to receive the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Midwest. Her specialty? The kimchi pizza.

Chef's Table: Pizza cookingwiththehamster
Chef's Table: Pizza | ©

Date da mangiare a Phil

Somebody Feed Phil

John Bedolis (2018)

S03 Ep 04

Documentary available on Netflix.

The fourth episode of the third season is titled Seoul is obviously set in the South Korean capital. Here Phil Rosenthal tastes some of the most traditional dishes such as tteokbokki at Maboklim tteokbokki. Next, visit the famous Gawngjang Market where he can enjoy mung bean jeons, artisanal kimchi, kal-guksu and sannakji.

Afterwards he tries budae jjigae, visits the Noryangjin fish market, and has a North Korean dinner at Neugra Bapsam with cook Jessie Kim. There is also a two-star Michelin experience at Jungsik (whose chef and owner has another restaurant of the same name in New York), a very interesting visit to the Korean Air catering, the legendary Korean fried chicken at Ddobagi Chicken, ending with an excellent luxury bbq at Cheongmisim (Bongpiyang Suryeo).

Date da mangiare a Phil cookingwiththehamster
Date da mangiare a Phil | ©

Documentary A


Guardalo qui /watch it here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

Documentary about food culture between South Korea and North Korea broadcast by Arirang TV.

The first episode focuses on refugee feeding in Busan (formerly the temporary capital before Seoul), focusing on places that are considered historic yesterday as today: Gukje Market, Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley, 40-step stairway and the Gamchon Culture Village. The dishes presented, however, are milmyeon and pork gukbap.

The second episode presents the historical dishes that unite the two Koreas: kal-guksu, sujebi, tteokbokki and budae jjigae.

The third episode is based on regional dishes: Hamheung nongma noodles, Sokcho sundae and all the North Korean food prepared on Gyodong Island.

The fourth and final episode is based on Pyongyang dishes prepared by North Koreans residing in South Korea.

Globalizing Korea food - Conquering with taste

Guardalo qui/ watch it here: part1, part2

Documentary broadcast by Arirang TV investigating the future of food: Korean cuisine is the first to take this step in anticipation of massive development in a globalized world.

With the participation of chefs Song DeokMo and Lim JungSik.

Globalizing Korea food - Conquering with taste cookingwiththehamster
Globalizing Korea food - Conquering with taste | © arirang tv

Hansik The Taste of Korea


Guardalo qui /watch it here

Documentary in 30 episodes made for television with the aim of spreading authentic Korean food culture around the world. Each episode features one of the basic ingredients of Korean cuisine, which is explored in detail.

Hansik The taste of Korea cookingwiththehamster
Hansik The taste of Korea | ©

John Torode's Korean food tour


Guardalo qui /watch it here

John Torode, acclaimed Australian chef, travels to South Korea between big cities and countryside to discover the local cuisine, oozing a list of the 10 best dishes in the nation.

Among the places visited I mention Jeonju, Busan, Mangwon Market, Majang Meat Market and Noodle Alley.

John Torode's Korean food tour cookingwiththehamster
John Torode's Korean food tour | ©

Kimchi chronicles

Charles Pinsky (2011)

Guardalo qui /watch it here

This is a traveling documentary for television conducted by Marja Vongerichten, an American of Korean origins.

Each episode begins in an area of Korea, discovering local dishes which are then replicated at Marja's kitchen in New York.

The program was sponsored by various entities (including Visit Korea Committee, Korean Food Foundation and the Ministry of Culture) and sees the participation of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and actors Heather Graham, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness.

Kimchi chronicles cookingwiththehamster
Kimchi chronicles | ©

Little forest

리틀 포레스트

Yim Soon-rye (2018)

Based on the manga of the same name by Daisuke Igarashi, it tells of Song Hye-won's return from Seoul to his hometown in the countryside, where he finds childhood friends and a simple and satisfying life.

Divided into four parts, in accordance with the seasons, this movie is a declaration of love for a life passed slowly, the kitchen at home and in harmony with the cyclical nature of nature.

Little forest cookingwiththehamster
Little forest | ©

Midnight Asia

Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream

Joe Evans (2022)

S01 Ep 02

In this episode, of the documentary proposed by Netflix, a nocturnal and fascinating Seoul is proposed. The famous fried and crispy chicken from the local Ungteori Tongdak (located in Itaewon) is presented, and the makgeolli from Hangang Brewery, made with local products.

Midnight Asia
Midnight Asia | ©

Savouring Korea - The taste of home

Adam Hobbs (2013)

Guardalo qui /watch it here

Documentary in which Korean cuisine of the past, present and future is investigated not only in South Korea, but also in London, the city where the evolution of this cuisine has evolved. With the participation of the English cook and writer for the Sunday Times Food Gizzi Erksine, Neil Rankin (cook and expert of Korean cuisine) and the restaurateur Roy Ackerman.

Savouring Korea - The taste of home cookingwiththehamster
Savouring Korea - The taste of home | ©

Street Food Asia

David Gelb (2019)

S01 Ep 05

Documentary available on Netflix.

The fifth episode of the first season develops, as the title suggests, in Seoul. Famous for its food markets, the capital of South Korea boasts one particularly famous: Gawngjang Market, a true paradise of traditional Korean food. This is where Yoonsun Cho works, an excellent cook much appreciated for her handmade noodles and for her homemade kimchi.

Also in the same market is Honglim Banchan, famous for its marinated crabs, and Pakgane mung bean jeons.

Street Food Asia cookingwiththehamster
Street Food Asia | ©

The mind of a chef


S01 Ep 03 (Guardalo qui /watch it here)

S01 Ep 05 (Guardalo qui /watch it here)

Documentary available on Netflix.

In the third episode of the first season, Memory, chef Chang talks about the kimchi whose complete recipe is shown in the fifth episode Rotten.

The Mind of a Chef cookingwiththehamster
The Mind of a Chef | ©

Ugly Delicious

David Chang (2018)

S01 Ep 03

S01 Ep 05

Home cooking is the third episode of the first season: chef Chang shows his Korean breakfast based on Galbitang and shows his mother's home cooking, retracing childhood memories.

In the fifth episode of the first season, Barbecue, the chef talks about Korean barbecue by visiting the Park BBQ restaurant in Los Angeles.

Ugly Delicious cookingwiththehamster
Ugly Delicious | ©

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