saffron price in South Korea

Key Takeaways :

  • Saffron, a pricey spice with a rich history, is becoming increasingly popular in South Korean cuisine.
  • Korean cities like Seoul and Busan are hubs for culinary innovation where chefs use saffron to elevate traditional dishes and create new ones.
  • While South Korea imports saffron from other countries, there are local shops and online retailers where you can find high-quality saffron threads.
Written by Vahid Epagloo, Food Consultant Updated:

Saffron, the precious spice harvested from the Crocus sativus flower, has a rich history and culinary significance worldwide. While traditionally associated with regions like Iran, Spain, and India, saffron has also made its mark in South Korea, where its unique flavor and vibrant color are appreciated in both traditional and modern cuisine. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of saffron in South Korea, exploring its prices, availability, and local shops, focusing on two cities where saffron is particularly cherished: Seoul and Busan.

Saffron Prices in South Korea

The price of saffron can vary depending on its quality, origin, and grade. In South Korea, consumers can expect to pay a premium for high-quality saffron threads. On average, the price of saffron in South Korea ranges from $10 to $30 per gram for top-grade saffron threads. For a full kilogram, prices can reach $10,000 or more, depending on the quality and origin of the saffron.

To put these prices into perspective for Indonesian consumers, $1 is roughly equivalent to 14,000 Indonesian Rupiah. Thus, the price of saffron can be quite steep, making it an exclusive and sought-after spice in South Korea.

4 Local Korean Foods Infused with Saffron

Saffron, known as the world’s most expensive spice, has found its way into the heart of Korean cuisine, adding depth and complexity to traditional dishes. From savory stews to delicate desserts, saffron brings a unique flavor profile to Korean gastronomy. Let’s explore four local Korean foods that showcase the fusion of saffron with the rich culinary heritage of Korea.

Saffron-infused Bibimbap

Bibimbap, a beloved Korean dish featuring mixed rice topped with assorted vegetables, meat, and a spicy sauce, receives a luxurious upgrade with the addition of saffron. Saffron, sourced from the saffron crocuses cultivated in Korea’s fertile soil, adds a delicate floral aroma and vibrant golden hue to the dish.

Korean saffron, known for its real saffron flavor and aroma, enhances the grassy notes of the vegetables and the savory umami of the meat, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. Served with a side of spicy kimchi and a fried egg on top, saffron-infused Bibimbap is a feast for the senses, showcasing the best of Korean cuisine.


Japchae, a popular Korean dish made with stir-fried glass noodles, vegetables, and meat, gets a touch of elegance with the addition of saffron. Korean saffron, sourced from local producers in Korea’s saffron market, infuses the dish with its distinctive flavor and aroma, elevating it to new heights.

The grassy notes of the saffron complement the earthy flavors of the mushrooms and the sweetness of the carrots and bell peppers, creating a balanced and flavorful dish. Served as a side dish or as a main course, saffron-infused Japchae is a celebration of Korean culinary tradition with a modern twist.

Saffron-infused Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki, a beloved Korean street food made with chewy rice cakes cooked in a spicy sauce, takes on a sophisticated edge with the addition of saffron. Korean saffron, known for its real saffron flavor and aroma, adds a subtle floral note and vibrant color to the dish, enhancing its visual appeal and flavor profile.

Sourced from the saffron crocuses cultivated in Korea’s fertile soil, saffron infuses the dish with its distinctive grassy notes, balancing out the spicy heat of the sauce. Served piping hot from street food stalls or enjoyed at home, saffron-infused Tteokbokki is a comforting and satisfying treat for all occasions.

Saffron-infused Banchan

Banchan, a variety of Korean side dishes served alongside rice, receives a luxurious makeover with the addition of saffron. Korean saffron, sourced from local producers who specialize in the production of saffron, adds a touch of elegance to traditional banchan dishes.

Whether incorporated into savory pancakes, marinated vegetables, or seasoned seaweed, saffron infuses each banchan with its unique flavor and aroma, elevating the overall dining experience. With its real saffron flavor and delicate grassy notes, saffron-infused banchan adds a touch of sophistication to any Korean meal, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Local Shop Review

Here are some local shops for saffron in South Korea:

Seoul Spice Emporium

Situated in the vibrant city of Seoul, Spice Emporium is a local favorite for sourcing exotic spices, including saffron. This bustling shop offers a wide selection of saffron varieties, catering to both home cooks and professional chefs alike.

Spice Emporium prides itself on its commitment to quality, ensuring that each product meets rigorous standards. Customers can expect to find saffron threads of exceptional quality, with intense flavor and vibrant color. Additionally, the knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer guidance and recommendations.

Prices at Spice Emporium reflect the premium quality of their saffron, making it an excellent choice for those seeking top-grade spices for their culinary creations.

Busan Saffron Haven

In the coastal city of Busan, Saffron Haven stands out as a premier destination for saffron enthusiasts. This boutique shop specializes in sourcing saffron from around the world, offering customers a diverse array of options to choose from.

At Saffron Haven, customers can expect to find saffron of exceptional quality, carefully selected for its intense flavor and vibrant color. Whether seeking Iranian saffron or Spanish saffron, there’s something to suit every palate. Additionally, the store offers convenient shipping options for customers outside of Busan.

Prices at Saffron Haven are competitive, making it an accessible option for both casual cooks and serious food enthusiasts in South Korea.

Cities Embracing Saffron

While saffron is enjoyed across South Korea, certain cities have developed a particular affinity for this exquisite spice. Seoul, the bustling capital, and Busan, the coastal metropolis, stand out as hubs of culinary innovation where chefs and home cooks alike harness the unique flavors of saffron to elevate their dishes.


In Seoul, saffron is a staple ingredient in traditional dishes like saffron-infused rice and soups, as well as in modern culinary creations like saffron-infused cocktails and desserts. Chefs at upscale restaurants and street vendors alike recognize the value of high-quality saffron in creating memorable dining experiences for their patrons.


In Busan, saffron is celebrated for its ability to complement the fresh flavors of seafood dishes and add depth to traditional Korean recipes. Whether used in savory stews or delicate desserts, saffron adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to culinary creations across the city.

Online shop

In South Korea, saffron is gaining popularity as a premium ingredient in culinary and medicinal applications. As the demand for saffron continues to rise, several online shops have emerged, offering a diverse selection of saffron products sourced from different regions around the world. Here are three reputable saffron online shops in South Korea:

Saffron Korea

Saffron Korea is a leading online retailer specializing in premium saffron products sourced from various regions, including Spain, Iran, and other saffron-producing countries. With a commitment to quality and authenticity, Saffron Korea offers customers access to genuine saffron flowers of the highest quality.

At Saffron Korea, customers can explore an extensive range of saffron varieties, including Spanish saffron and Iranian saffron, known for their distinct flavor, aroma, and color. Each saffron flower undergoes rigorous quality control measures to ensure purity and potency, providing customers with confidence in their purchase.

Whether used in culinary creations or as a natural remedy in traditional Korean medicine, saffron from Saffron Korea delivers exceptional flavor and aroma, making it a preferred choice among chefs, home cooks, and health-conscious consumers alike.

Saffron Mart

Saffron Mart is a trusted online marketplace offering a wide selection of saffron products sourced directly from producers and growers in Spain, Iran, and other saffron-producing regions. With a focus on transparency and customer satisfaction, Saffron Mart provides customers with access to genuine saffron flowers at competitive prices.

The saffron available at Saffron Mart is carefully selected and processed to preserve its natural flavor, aroma, and color, ensuring a premium saffron experience for customers. Whether used in traditional Korean dishes or modern culinary creations, saffron from Saffron Mart adds depth and complexity to any recipe.

With secure online ordering and prompt delivery, Saffron Mart makes it convenient for customers to purchase saffron online with confidence. Whether seeking Spanish saffron or Iranian saffron, Saffron Mart offers a diverse range of options to suit every culinary preference and budget.

Saffron Direct Korea

Saffron Direct Korea is a reputable online retailer specializing in premium saffron products sourced directly from producers and growers in Spain, Iran, and other saffron-producing countries. With a focus on quality and authenticity, Saffron Direct Korea ensures that customers receive genuine saffron flowers of the highest quality.

The saffron available at Saffron Direct Korea is handpicked and processed with care to preserve its natural flavor, aroma, and color, guaranteeing a superior saffron experience for customers. Whether used in cooking, baking, or as a dietary supplement, saffron from Saffron Direct Korea adds a touch of elegance and flavor to any dish.

With reliable shipping and excellent customer service, Saffron Direct Korea is a trusted destination for saffron enthusiasts seeking premium saffron products. Whether exploring Spanish saffron or Iranian saffron, customers can trust Saffron Direct Korea to deliver authentic saffron flowers that meet their culinary and dietary needs.

Ghaaneh Saffron

Ghaaneh Saffron is a renowned name in the world of saffron, offering premium-quality saffron products sourced directly from Iranian producers. With a commitment to authenticity and excellence, Ghaaneh Saffron ensures that customers receive genuine saffron that embodies the rich flavor, aroma, and color characteristic of Persian saffron. Each saffron thread from Ghaaneh Saffron is meticulously harvested and processed, capturing the essence of the saffron flower and delivering a truly exceptional culinary experience.

At Ghaaneh Saffron, customers can explore a diverse range of saffron products, including saffron threads, powder, and infused products, each boasting the unmistakable quality and flavor of Iranian saffron. Whether used in traditional Persian dishes or international cuisines, saffron from Ghaaneh Saffron adds depth, complexity, and vibrancy to culinary creations, making it a cherished ingredient among chefs, home cooks, and saffron enthusiasts worldwide.


Saffron, with its intense flavor and vibrant color, has found a place of honor in South Korean cuisine. While it remains an exclusive and sought-after spice, its popularity continues to grow as chefs and home cooks alike recognize its value in creating memorable dishes. With local shops like Spice Emporium in Seoul and Saffron Haven in Busan, saffron enthusiasts across South Korea can easily access top-grade saffron for their culinary endeavors, adding a touch of luxury and sophistication to their cooking.


  1. What is the availability of saffron in South Korea, considering its limited supply?
    Saffron availability in South Korea can be affected by its limited supply globally. Saffron production is labor-intensive and requires specific climate conditions, making it a scarce commodity. While South Korea does not produce saffron domestically, it imports saffron from regions such as Iran and Spain. Due to its limited supply and high demand, saffron may sometimes be more expensive compared to other spices. However, its unique flavor, aroma, and potential health benefits make it a sought-after ingredient in Korean cuisine and traditional medicine.
  2. How does saffron contribute to skin health, and where can it be purchased in South Korea?
    Saffron is known for its potential benefits for skin health, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In South Korea, saffron-infused skincare products are gaining popularity for their ability to promote radiant and youthful-looking skin. These products often feature saffron extract or saffron-infused oils, harnessing the skin-nourishing properties of this precious spice. Saffron-based skincare products can be found in cosmetic stores, online retailers, and specialty shops across South Korea, catering to those seeking natural and effective solutions for skincare concerns.
  1. What is the pricing range for saffron in South Korea, and where can consumers find it?
    Saffron prices in South Korea can vary depending on factors such as quality, origin, and packaging. Spanish saffron and Iranian saffron are among the most commonly available varieties, with prices ranging from moderate to high. Local shops, specialty stores, and online platforms such as the Saffron Market offer a range of saffron products to cater to different budgets and preferences. While higher-grade saffron may come at a premium price, it often delivers superior flavor, aroma, and color, making it worth the investment for culinary enthusiasts and health-conscious consumers.
  2. How can consumers ensure the authenticity of saffron when purchasing in South Korea?
    Authenticity is paramount when purchasing saffron, given its value and limited supply. To ensure the authenticity of saffron products in South Korea, consumers should look for reputable sellers and retailers known for their commitment to quality and transparency. The Saffron Market, both online and offline, is a trusted source for genuine saffron products sourced directly from reputable producers. Additionally, consumers can check for indicators such as the origin of the saffron, packaging labels, and customer reviews to verify the authenticity of the product before making a purchase.
  1. Can saffron be used for purposes other than culinary in South Korea?
    Beyond its culinary applications, saffron has a long history of use in traditional medicine and wellness practices. In South Korea, saffron is valued not only for its flavor but also for its potential health benefits. Saffron supplements, teas, and skincare products are increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers seeking natural remedies for various ailments. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of saffron make it a versatile ingredient for promoting overall health and well-being, further contributing to its demand and popularity in South Korea’s market.

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