With Gratitude for Life and Prayers for Peace


Where can I learn temple cuisine?

Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism runs an official culinary institute called Hyangjeoksegye, which is located in the International Seon Center, Seoul. Tel: 02-2655-2776
For more information on temple food-related lectures, please refer to the [Temple Food Link] menu. 

Why are those five pungent herbs not used in temple food?

The five herbs have a strong taste and are said to stir the minds of practitioners. Therefore they have been prohibited in temples. Besides they are so smelly, which may disturb other’s practice.

What are the five pungent herbs?

They are green onions, garlic, allium, wild leeks and asafetida. 

What makes temple food different from other vegan food?

Like other vegetarian diets, temple food does not use any kind of meat. It goes further, however, in that it forbids the five pungent herbs. But this is not all…
Temple food is based on compassion for all living beings and every process from farming to cooking to consuming is conducted in the spirit of spiritual cultivation. We prepare every food with a devoted mind as we prepare offerings to the Buddha. It comforts both mind and body so one can become a healthy vessel that holds and fulfills Buddha-dharma. The congregation share food and the natural and nutritious food serves as a medicine for those who endeavor on their spiritual journey. So, it is safe to say that temple food is a food of practice, which distinguishes it from other vegan food. 

Why is meat not allowed in Buddhist temples?

The first of Buddhist Five Precepts forbids taking life. This teaching manifests in many Buddhist texts (sutras), and is followed strictly in Mahayana Buddhism countries, including Korea.