Cultural Meaning and Analysis of Cooking Methods using Eggs in the Chosun Dynasty

조선조 계란의 문화적 의미와 조리법 분석

  • Cha, Gyung-Hee (Department of Traditional Food Business, Jeonju Graduate School) ;
  • Kim, Seung-Woo (Department of Traditional Food Business, Jeonju Graduate School)
  • 차경희 (전주대학교 일반대학원 전통식품산업학과) ;
  • 김승우 (전주대학교 일반대학원 전통식품산업학과)
  • Received : 2013.10.28
  • Accepted : 2013.12.02
  • Published : 2013.12.30


Egg is a food that has been loved from ancient times by people all around the world. It has been called a present from god because its rounded shape was believed to refer to the earth. We found the oldest and most perfectly preserved egg fossil at Chunmachong (天馬) in Kyungju (慶州). We believe that it was used during the period of the Three States or the unified Silla (新羅), and, accordingly, it was a noble food that has been found at the king's grave of the age. Egg, which is called egg of chicken in Korean, was written as egg of chicken (鷄卵), son of chicken (鷄子), bird's egg of chicken (鷄蛋), and round thing of chicken (鷄丸) in the Korean alphabet and Chinese characters. The ancient countries had the following myths about eggs In myths about offspring by egg, they were born as heaven's will to make them god. There were 19 proverbs: 'Hitting a rock with an egg', 'It's like the yellow part of an egg' and 'Even an egg stops when it rolls', etc. According to a theory of divination based on topography, people use eggs when they find a good place. There are 10 proverbs (四字 成語): Dongjiipran (冬至立卵), Nanyeoseoktu (卵與石投) etc. Studies for analysis of egg recipes found in the old literature (cooking, agriculture and fishing, and medical books) in the Chosun Dynasty recorded 36 times where cuisine with egg was mentioned as the main ingredient, 154 times as a sub-ingredient, 79 times as a garnish, and 20 times etc. As a garnish, they were 'finely sliced', 'thin rectangular and the rhombus form', and 'rounded shape'; after grilling they were divided into yellow and white parts. When cooked, they were used in comparison of the size or shape of an object with that of other objects.


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