The most extensive list of vegetables in Korean

You may know already how to read and spell animal-based ingredients in Korean, so how about studying plant-based foods now? Here’s essential Korean vocabulary regarding vegetables! 👇 [Don’t like veggies?! 😱IMPOSSIBLE! But how about fruits? Or cereals, beans, mushrooms, seaweed, nuts or seasonings?] Btw, if you don’t know how to read Korean yet, here’s a free and easy guide to learning the alphabet!

There are SOOOOO many veggies to eat! 🍆🤗🥦 And Korean cuisine features a great diversity of edible plants! Why not discover the taste of new and native vegetables as well as wild herbs, when you have a chance?! If you know some Korean, you can order your veggie-friendly food, enjoy grocery shopping and enjoy getting your share of daily vegetables much more easily~ 💚🥕

Below vocabulary list provides the names of vegetables in Korean language. 🗒🥦🇰🇷🇰🇵 The following words are ordered by “type of vegetable” (?) while considering what part of the plant is consumed, e.g. root or rhizome🥕, botanical fruit🌶 or leaves🌿.

The list may not contain the name of every vegetable or edible plant that exists on our planet, but it aims to represent the common, globally known vegetables🌎 as well as typical Korean 🇰🇷vegetables🇰🇵! It is currently the longest and most extensive list of vegetables in Korean. Is YOUR favorite vegetable missing? Is there a Korean name for it? ❓ Feel free to let me know! ❗️ Comment below or send me a message!

If you want to be able to talk about vegetables in Korean, then you need to learn how to read, spell and write vegetable names, right? First and foremost, however, you ought to know that there are several Korean words which translate to “vegetable”! 👇

yachae 야채 野菜

chaeso 채소 菜蔬

namsae 남새
(more common in North Korea🇰🇵)

In contemporary South Korea🇰🇷, the words yachae 야채 and chaeso 채소 can be used interchangeably, but 야채 seems to be more frequent in spoken language and 채소 in written language. So it’s best to know both! 😉

Note how in Korea, there are precise names for certain types of vegetables and you can specify exactly e.g. what size and shape of scallion or chili peppers you are referring to! There are also regional differences due to dialects, which this list can hardly reflect in detail.

So let’s get started and take a look at the various kinds of vegetables and the names of edible plants in Korean! 🔍👀

⚠️ UPDATE: There are now pictures of food items along with the respective Korean name, pronunciation and English translation. Find the slideshows below!👇

Various vegetables sold at a traditional Korean market in Seoul, 2019.

Names of vegetables in Korean

plant-based ingredients 식물성 재료 植物性材料 sikmulseong [shingmulseong] jaeryo

🌶 vegetables that grow as fruit 🥒🍆

  • 🥑 avocado – 아보카도 abokado
  • bell pepper, sweet pepper – 피망 pimang / 파프리카 papeurika
  • 🌶 chili pepper – 고추 gochu
    • spicy (green) chili pepper – 청양고추 cheong-yang-gochu
    • small, slightly spicy green chili pepper – 꽈리고추 kkwari-gochu
    • large, non-spicy green chili pepper – 오이고추 o-i-gochu [lit. “cucumber chili”]
  • 🌽 corn – 옥수수 oksusu
  • 🍆 eggplant – 가지 gaji
  • 🥒 cucumber (Cucumis sativus) – 오이 o-i
    • light green Korean cucumber – 백오이 baek-o-i
    • dark green Korean cucumber – 청오이 cheong-o-i
    • Korean cucumber – 조선오이 joseon-o-i
    • old Korean cucumber (large, brown-colored) – 노각 nogak / 늙은 오이 neulgeun o-i
  • 🎃 pumpkin – 호박 hobak
    • sweet pumpkin, kabocha squash – 단호박 dan-hobak
    • mature orange pumpkin – 늙은호박 neulgeun-hobak
    • green Korean pumpkin – 조선호박 joseon-hobak
  • Korean zucchini, Korean courgette (Cucurbita moschata) – 애호박 ae-hobak [lit. “young pumpkin”]
  • zucchini, courgette (Cucurbita pepo) – 주키니 jukini
  • calabash, gourd (Lagenaria siceraria / leucantha) – 박 bak
  • 🥒 sponge gourd, luffa, loofah (Luffa aegyptiaca / cylindrica?) – 수세미오이 susemi o-i
  • 🥒 bitter melon, Chin. kǔguā 苦瓜 (Momordica charantia) – 여주 yeoju
  • 🍅 tomato – 토마토 tomato [actually considered as fruit in Korea!]
    • fully ripe, red tomato – 완숙토마토 完熟 wansuk-tomato
    • cultivar of pink-greenish tomato – 찰토마토 chal-tomato
    • cultivar of dark green tomato – 흑토마토 heuk-tomato
    • cultivar of Korean tomato (tastes slightly salty) – 대저토마토 daejeo-tomato / 짭짤이 토마토 jjapjjari-tomato
    • cherry tomato – 방울토마토 bangul-tomato
    • date tomato – 대추(방울)토마토 daechu-(bangul-)tomato
  • olive – 올리브 ollibeu
  • green bean, French bean, string bean – 그린빈 geurin-bin / 프렌치빈 peurenchi-bin
  • sugar pea, snow pea, snap pea, edible pod pea (Pisum sativum) – 스위트피 seu-witeu-pi / 백설콩 baekseol kong

⚠️ For quick learning and easy remembering: Here’s a slideshow illustrating the vocabulary! 👇 More images will be added continuously!

🥕 underground vegetables / roots & tubers 🥔🍠

  • root vegetables in general – 뿌리채소 ppuri chaeso
  • 🥕 carrot – 당근 唐根 dang-geun
  • radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus) – 무 mu / 무우 mu-u
    • Korean radish – 무 mu
    • young radish – 열무 yeolmu
    • ponytail radish – 알타리(무) altari(mu)
    • chonggak radish, ponytail radish – 총각무 chonggak-mu
    • Japanese radish, Jap. daikon 大根 – 왜무 倭 waemu
    • European radish (small, round, pink outside, white inside) – 방울무 bangul-mu / 적환무 jeok-hwan-mu
  • turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) – 순무 sunmu
  • sugar beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Altissima Group) – 사탕무 satang-mu
  • beetroot, red beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Conditiva Group) – 비트 biteu
  • 🥔 potato – 감자 gamja (Jeju-do dialect: 지슬 jiseul)
  • 🍠 sweet potato – 고구마 goguma
  • ginseng (grown in agriculture) – 인삼 人蔘 insam
    • wild ginseng (grown on mountains) – 산삼 山蔘 sansam
    • “red ginseng” (aged ginseng, steamed and dried) – 홍삼 紅蔘 / 红蔘 hongsam
  • ginger – 생강 生薑 saeng-gang
  • myoga, myoga ginger, Japanese ginger (Zingiber mioga) – 양하 襄荷 yang-ha / 양애 yang-ae
  • 🧅 common onion, bulb onion (Allium cepa) – 양파 yangpa
  • scallion / spring onion – 파 pa
  • 🧄 garlic (Allium sativum) – 마늘 maneul
  • Korean wild garlic, Siberian onion (Allium ochotense and Allium microdictyon) – 명이 茗荑 myeongi / 산마늘 san-maneul
  • garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) – 부추 buchu 韭菜 (Jeollanam Province dialect: 소불 sobul)
  • Korean wild chives (Allium monanthum) – 달래 dallae
  • roots of Hooker chives (Allium hookeri) – 삼채 samchae
  • lotus root – 연근 蓮根 yeon-geun
  • bell flower root (Platycodon grandiflorus) – 도라지 doraji
  • lance asiabell root (Codonopsis lanceolata) – 더덕 deodeok
  • Chinese yam, Chin. shānyào 山药 , Jap. nagaimo 山藥 (Dioscorea polystachya) – 마 ma
    • straight, long variety of Chinese yam – 장마 jangma
    • short variety of Chinese yam – 산마 sanma / 단마 danma
    • bulbils of Chinese yam, Chin. shanyao dou 山药豆 or shanyao dan 山药蛋 – 마씨앗 ma-ssiat / 마씨 ma-ssi
  • burdock root, Chin. niúbàng (牛蒡), Jap. gobō (ゴボウ) (Arctium lappa) – 우엉 u-eong
  • taro, corms of Colocasia esculenta – 토란 土卵 toran
  • 🥔 topinambur, Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) – 돼지감자 dwaeji gamja (lit. “pig potato”) / 뚱딴지 ttung-ttanji
  • yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius) – 야콘 yakon
  • knotroot, crosne, Chinese artichoke, Japanese artichoke, artichoke betony (Stachys affinis) – 초석잠 草石蠶 choseokjam
  • Japanese lady bell (Adenophora triphylla) – 잔대 jandae / 사삼 沙蔘 sasam / 딱주 ttakju / 제니 jeni / 잔다구 jandagu
  • East Asian arrowroot, kudzu, Jap. kuzu, Chin.  葛 (Pueraria montana var. lobata) – 칡 chik / 갈 葛 gal [mostly used in beverages or as a food additive]

⚠️ For quick learning and easy remembering: Here’s a slideshow illustrating the vocabulary! 👇 More images will be added continuously!

🌿 leafy vegetables / greens 🥦🥬

  • leaf vegetables in general – 잎채소 ip-chaeso
  • 🥦 broccoli – 브로콜리 beurokolli
  • napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage – 배추 baechu
    • dark outer leaves of napa cabbage – 우거지 ugoeji (sometimes also radish)
    • inner leaves of napa cabbage, core of napa cabbage – 알배기 (배추) albaegi (baechu) [sometimes: 알백이] / 배추속대
    • flat variety of napa cabbage – 봄동 bomdong
    • thin variety of napa cabbage – 얼갈이 (배추) eolgari (baechu) (sometimes: 얼가리)
  • cabbage – 양배추 yang-baechu
  • red cabbage – 적양배추 jeok-yangbaechu / 적채 赤菜 jeokchae
  • brussel sprouts – 미니양배추 mini yang-baechu / 방울양배추 bangul yang-baechu
  • spinach – 시금치 sigeumchi
    • Korean variety of spinach (from Bigeum Island 비금도) – 섬초 seomcho / 비금도 시금치 bigeumdo sigeumchi
  • 🥬 lettuce – 상추 sangchu
    • iceberg lettuce / head lettuce – 양상추 yang-sangchu / 결구상추 結球 gyeolgu-sangchu
    • romaine lettuce – 로메인상추 romein-sangchu
    • lollo rosso lettuce – 꽃상추 kkot-sangchu
    • red oakleaf lettuce – 적상추 jeok-sangchu
    • green oakleaf lettuce – 청상추 cheong-sangchu
    • celtuce, stem lettuce, Chinese lettuce – 줄기상추 julgi-sangchu / 궁채 gungchae / 뚱채 ttungchae
    • central tops of lettuce plant – 쫑상추 jjongsangchu
  • 🥬 chicory leaves – 치커리 chikeori
  • 🥬 kale – 케일 ke-il
  • kohlrabi – 콜라비 kollabi
  • cauliflower – 콜리플라워 kollipeullawo / 꽃양배추 kkot-yangbaechu
  • celery – 셀러리 selleori
  • 🌿 Korean water celery, Java water dropwort (Oenanthe javanica) – 미나리 minari
  • water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) – 공심채 空心菜 / 空芯菜 gongsimchae
  • bok choy, pak choi (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis) – 청경채 靑莖菜 cheong-gyeong-chae
  • tat choy, tatsoi (Brassica rapa subsp. narinosa) 塌菜 – 다채 dachae
  • chard, mangold, silver beet – 근대 geundae
  • vegetable mustard, mustard greens – 갓 gat
  • rapeseed greens – 유채 yuchae
  • 🌿 crown daisy, chrysanthemum greens (Glebionis coronaria) – 쑥갓 ssukgat
  • 🌿 Korean angelica, giant angelica, purple parsnip, dangquai (Angelica gigas) – 당귀 dang-gwi / 참당귀 chamdang-gwi
  • Chinese mallow, leaves of Malva verticillata – 아욱 a-uk
  • sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) – 사탕수수 satang-susu
  • 🌿 vegetable greens in general – 나물 namul
    • taro greens, leaf stems of Colocasia esculenta – 토란대 toran-dae
    • radish greens – 무청 mucheong
      • dried radish greens – 시래기 siraegi (sometimes also from napa cabbage)
    • garlic flower stems – 마늘쫑 maneul-jjong
    • garlic greens – 풋마늘 put-maneul / 마늘잎 maneulip
    • leaves of Korean wild garlic – 명이나물 myeongi-namul
    • leaves of castor oil plant, castor bean plant (Rhicinus communis) – 피마자(잎)나물 pimaja(ip)-namul / 아주까리나물 ajukkari-namul
    • young leaves of cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) – 삼잎국화 samip gukhwa
    • leaves of chili plants, pepper leaves, chili greens – 고추잎 gochu-ip / 고춧잎 gochunip / 고추순 gochusun
    • tips of perilla plants, young perilla greens – 들깨순 deulkkaesun / 깻단 kkaetdan / 깻순 kkaetsun
  • 🌱 wild herbs, mountain herbs – 산나물 san-namul / 산채 山菜 sanchae
    • 🌿 mugwort (Artemisia princeps) – 쑥 ssuk
    • – 세발나물 sebal-namul
    • stringy stonecrop (Sedum sarmentosum) – 돌나물 dol-namul (also 돈나물 donnamul / 돗나물 dotnamul )
    • 🌿 – 방풍나물 bangpung-namul
    • various plants from the family Asteraceae (primarily Aster and Ligularia) – 취나물 chwi-namul
      • edible aster (Doellingeria scabra) – 참취(나물) chamchwi (namul)
      • Fischer’s ragwort, Fischer’s leopard plant (Ligularia fischeri) – 곰취(나물) gomchwi (namul)
      • Asian goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea subsp. asiatica) – 미역취(나물) miyeok-chwi (namul)
      • (Aster yomena) – 쑥부쟁이(나물) ssuk-bujaengi (namul)
    • (Synurus deltoides) – 수리취 surichwi / 개취 gaechwi / 떡취 tteok-chwi / 산우방 山牛蒡 sanubang
    • Korean thistle, gondre (Cirsium setidens) – 곤드레 gondeure / 고려엉겅퀴 goryeo eong-geong-kwi
    • (Pimpinella brachycarpa) – 참나물 cham-namul
    • shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) – 냉이 naengi
    • tower rockcress, tower mustard (Arabis glabra) – 장대나물 jangdae namul / 장대순 jangdaesun
    • sonchus-leaf crepidiastrum (Crepidiastrum sonchifolium) – 고들빼기 godeul-ppaegi
    • Korean dandelion (Taraxacum platycarpum) – 민들레 mindeulle
    • (Ixeridium dentatum) – 씀바귀 sseumbagwi
    • Canadian hawkweed (Hieracium umbellatum) – 조밥나물 jobap namul
    • greens of edible amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor or Amaranthus mangostanus) – 비름나물 bireum namul
    • Chinese motherwort (Leonurus japonicus) – 익모초 益母草 ingmocho [primarily used in drinks]
    • tips of horseweed (Erigeron canadensis / Conyza canadensis) – 망초(대) 亡草 mangcho (dae)
    • young plants of fleabane, annual fleabane, daisy fleabane, eastern daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus) – 개망초 gae-mangcho
  • leaves in general = 잎 ip / 잎사기 ipsagi
    • leaves used for wrapping – 쌈채소 ssam-chaeso
    • 🍃 perilla leaves – 들깻잎 deulkkaennip / 깻잎 kkaennip
    • mulberry leaves – 뽕잎 ppongnip
    • leaves of pumpkin plants – 호박잎 hobangnip
    • leaves of China root (Smilax china) – 망개잎 mang-gaenip [primarily used in 망개떡 for wrapping Korean rice cakes]
  • aloe – 알로에 alloe
  • 🌵 rock pine (Orostachys japonicus) – 와송 瓦松 wasong / 바위솔 bawisol

⚠️ For quick learning and easy remembering: Here’s a slideshow illustrating the vocabulary! 👇 More images will be added continuously!

🌱 sprouts, shoots and seedlings 🌱🌱

  • 🌱 sprouts – 새싹 saessak
  • 🌱 microgreens, sprouts without seed and roots (e.g. beetroot, chicory, pak choi) – 어린잎채소 eorinip chaeso / 베이비채소 be-ibi chaeso / 아이순 a-isun
  • radish sprouts, radish shoots – 무순 musun
  • buckwheat shoots – 메밀순 memilsun
  • pea shoots, Chin. dòumiáo 豆苗 – 완두순 豌豆筍 wandusun
  • barley sprouts, barley grass – 보리순 borisun / 보리새싹 bori saessak
  • 🌱 mung bean sprouts – 숙주나물 sukju-namul / 녹두나물 nokdu-namul
  • 🌱 soybean sprouts – 콩나물 kong-namul
  • 🎍 bamboo shoots – 대나무순 daenamusun / 죽순 竹筍 juksun
  • 🌿 bracken shoots, fiddlehead fern – 고사리 gosari
  • 🌿 shoots of Korean angelica tree (Aralia elata) – 두릅(나물) dureup (namul) / 두릅나무순 dureup namusun
  • 🌿 shoots of Chinese lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum) – 옻순 otsun
  • 🌿 shoots of tree aralia, prickly castor oil tree (Kalopanax septemlobus) – 엄나무순 eom-namusun / 음나무순 eum-namusun
  • 🌿 shoots of Eleutherococcus sessiliflorus – 오가피순 ogapisun / 오갈피순 ogalpisun
  • 🌿 young leaves of hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta) – 다래순 daraesun
  • asparagus – 아스파라거스 aseuparageoseu

⚠️ For quick learning and easy remembering: Here’s a slideshow illustrating the vocabulary! 👇 More images will be added continuously!

🥗 common vegetable foods 🍟🥣

  • 🥗 salad – 샐러드 saelleodeu
  • 🥗 vegetable side dish – 나물반찬 namul banchan
  • 🌿 dried vegetables and herbs – 묵은나물 mugeun namul / 진채 陳菜 jinchae / / 건나물 乾 geon namul
  • 🥣 vegetable broth – 채수 chaesu / 채소국물 chaeso gungmul
  • 🍟 fried vegetables – 야채튀김 yachae twigim

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✍️ Work is still in progress! This list will be expanded gradually! ✍️

📝 Any questions, comments, vocabulary suggestions and language feedback are welcome! 🤗

11 thoughts on “The most extensive list of vegetables in Korean

Add yours

  1. i want to thank u soooo much for this list!!!!! u guys r awesome!!!! i am korean american but i only know english!! this helps me out when shoppin for korean supplys!!!! i appreciate the time u put into this!!!! & pls keep adding more!!!!! i hope u will expand & include all the different seafoods & fruits of this beautiful country!!! tysm again!!!

    Like

    1. Thank you very much for your comment! 😊 That’s very motivating! I promise, I’ll continue working on the lists! There is SO much diversity, I keep discovering new things, lol! 😆 Btw, a couple of seafood names are listed in the post “Animal-based ingredients” (https://sesamesprinkles.home.blog/2020/01/23/vocabulary-animal-ingredients/).

      Hope you find some Korean ingredients in the US and have fun cooking&eating!
      Love from Seoul 💚

      Like

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