A Study on Joseon Royal Cuisine through Sachanbalgi of the Jangseogak Archives - Focusing on Royal Birthday, Child birth, Weddings and Funerals-

장서각 소장 사찬발기를 통한 조선왕실의 사찬음식 연구 - 탄일, 출산, 가례, 상례를 중심으로 -

  • Chung, Hae-Kyung (Department of Food and Nutrition, Hoseo University) ;
  • Shin, Dayeon (Department of Food and Nutrition, Inha University) ;
  • Woo, Nariyah (Department of Food Science and Technology, Hoseo University)
  • Received : 2019.05.23
  • Accepted : 2019.06.12
  • Published : 2019.10.31


This study investigated the Sachanbalgi, which record the royal feasts given by the royal family of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. These records are contained within the Gungjung Balgi, which recorded the types and quantity of items used in royal court ceremonies. The Eumsikbalgi is the general name for the records of food found within this document. Using these Eumsikbalgi, and in particular the Sachanbalgi, this study investigated the food eaten and bestowed by the Joseon royal family. The Sachanbalgi describes four categories or occasions of feasts: royal birthdays, childbirth, royal weddings, and funerals. These records allow us to reconstruct who the attendees were and what the table settings and food were for instances not directly indicated in oral records, books, or other documents. The food at these Sachan (feasts) was diverse, being related to the specific event, and its contents varied based on the position of the person who was receiving the food. Usually, Bab (rice) was not found at a Sachanbalgi, and only on two occasions were meals with Bab observed. Specifically, it was served with Gwaktang (seaweed soup) at a childbirth feast. There were seven kinds of soups and stews that appeared in the Sachanbalgi: Gwaktang, Yeonpo (octopus soup), Japtang (mixed food stew), Chogyetang (chilled chicken soup), Sinseonro (royal hot pot), and Yukjang (beef and soybean paste). Nureumjeok (grilled brochette) and Saengchijeok (pheasant), and Ganjeonyueo (pan-fried cow liver fillet) and Saengseonjeonyueo (pan-fried fish fillet) were eaten. Yangjeonyueo, Haejeon, Tigakjeon (pan-fried kelp) and other dishes, known and unknown, were also recorded. Boiled meat slices appeared at high frequency (40 times) in the records; likewise, 22 kinds of rice cake and traditional sweets were frequently served at feasts. Five kinds of non-alcoholic beverages were provided. Seasonal fruits and nuts, such as fresh pear or fresh chestnut, are thought to have been served following the event. In addition, a variety of dishes including salted dry fish, boiled dish, kimchi, fruit preserved in honey, seasoned vegetables, mustard seeds, fish, porridge, fillet, steamed dishes, stir-fried dishes, vegetable wraps, fruit preserved in sugar, and jellied foods were given to guests, and noodles appear 16 times in the records. Courtiers were given Banhap, Tanghap, Myeonhap, wooden bowls, or lunchboxes. The types of food provided at royal events tracked the season. In addition, considering that for feasts food of the royal household was set out for receptions of guests, cooking instructions for the food in the lunchbox-type feasts followed the cooking instructions used in the royal kitchen at the given time. Previous studies on royal cuisine have dealt mostly with the Jineosang presented to the king, but in the Sachanbalgi, the food given by the royal family to its relatives, retainers, and attendants is recorded. The study of this document is important because it extends the knowledge regarding the food of the royal families of the Joseon Dynasty. The analysis of Sachanbalgi and the results of empirical research conducted to reconstruct the precise nature of that food will improve modern knowledge of royal cuisine.


Supported by : 호서대학교


  1. An unknown author. Late 1600s. Jubangmun (酒方文)
  2. Bang SY. 1917. Joseonyorijebeop Shinmungwan, Seoul, 33-45
  3. Bingheogak Lee (憑虛閣 李氏) (Jeong, YW editor). 1809. Gyuhapchongseo, Pochinchai Printing Co., Ltd., Seoul, 88-110
  4. Cho JH. 1938. Joseonyoribeop, Gwanhanseorim, Seoul, 212-214
  5. Chung HK, 2018. Royal Court Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty. Blue History, Seoul, 211-215
  6. Chung HK, Shin DY, Chung KR, Choi SY, Woo N. 2017. Recovering the Royal Cuisine in Chosun Dynasty and its Esthetics. J Ethn Foods, 4: 242-253
  7. Chung HK, Shin DY, Chung KR, Woo N. 2018. Research on Joseon Royal Birthday Cuisine Memos. J Ethn Foods, 5:292-310
  8. Han BJ, Lee SW. 1989. An Analytical Study on the Royal Family Birthday Party Menu of Chosun Dynasty. Korean J. Dietary Culture, 4(1):21-37
  9. Han BR, Chung HK, Chung L, Lee SY. 2017. Significance and Content of BongjeopyoramBased on the Cookbook of Jongga in Hangeul. Korean J. Food Culture 32(6): 498-512
  10. Han BR, Kim GY. 2018. A Study on the Food Culture in the Early Joseon Dynasty through Gyemiseo (癸未書). Korean J. Society of Culture, 33(4): 307-321
  11. Han HJ, Hwang HS, Han BR, Kim SB, Lee SW, Park HW. 1991. A Review Study of the Royal ritual on the 24th of King Kojong in Chosun Dynasty. Korean J. East Asian Society of Dietary Life, 1(2): 151-173
  12. Han HS, Hwang HS, Lee HK. 1957.Lee dynasty Royal Cuisine Tonggo (通考), Hakchongsa Co., Ltd. Seoul, 20-24
  13. Ju YH. 2012. The Identity of Lady Hwa of the Cooking Placein the food 'Balgi (撥記)'. A symposium statement collection of Ancient Writings of Royal Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty for globalizing Korean Food, 127-134
  14. Ju YH. 2013. Introduction to Old Documents Related to Palace Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty. Jangseogak, 30:422-428
  15. Ju YH. 2016. A Study on Wedding-Related Royal Cuisine ‘Balgi’ on the Part of Crown Prince in 1882. A study on Ancient Documents 48(2): 337-371
  16. Kim HS. 2012. 'Bibliographical characteristics of 'Balgi' of the Jangseogak Archives. A symposium statement collection of Ancient Writings of Royal Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty for globalizing Korean Food, 85-98
  17. Kim YS. 1963. Gungjungbalgiui yeongu. Hyangto 18: 79-169. Seoul Historiography Institute. Seoul
  18. Korean Food Foundation. 2014. Joseon Royal Cuisine. Hanlim Publishing Co., Ltd. Seoul. 186-205
  19. Lee JYa .2012. A symposium statement collection of Ancient Writings of Royal Cuisine of the Josen Dynasty for globalizing Hansik on Royal Cuisine 'Balgi' of the Jangseogak Archives. 39-60
  20. Lee JYb. 2012. Examination of Balgi Generated for Birthday Anniversaries of the Royal Family Members, and Currently in Custody of the Jangseogak Archives. Korean studies quarterly, 35(3):269-300
  21. Lee SW. 1988. Study on the Food Menu in the Royal Palace of Chosun Dynasty. Korean J. Dietary Culture, 3(1):29-49
  22. Lee YG. 1943. Joseonmussangsinnsikyorijaebup Yeongchangseogwan, Seoul, 189-194
  23. Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Korean Food Foundation. 2012. Establishment of Ancient Writings Archive on Royal Cuisine of Joseon Dynasty-Cuisine 'Balgi'-type detailed annotation source book (1)
  24. Oh S. 2017. A Literature Review of on the Eumchungru in the Royal Palace of Joseon Dynasty. JCCT 3(2):1-13
  25. Park BY. 2012. A study on the names of dishes in Royal Cuisine 'Balgi' of the Jangseogak Archives, a symposium statement collection of Ancient Writings of Royal Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty for Globalizing Korean Food. 151-159
  26. Park YS. 2012. A symposium statement collection of Ancient Writings of Royal Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty for Globalizing Korean Food on Royal Cuisine 'Balgi' in Gyeongsan National University. 81-84
  27. Hansik Portal. Development of Royal Cuisine Ancient Writings Archive, [accessed 2019.5.8]
  28. Jangseogak Archives., [accessed 2019.5.8]