TOP 15 street foods you should go to South Korea for
It is impossible to imagine the Republic of Korea without its national cuisine, the popularity of which has gone far beyond the peninsula. As in other Asian countries, it is based on rice, seafood, and meat. At the same time, these dishes can hardly be described as healthy food due to the abundance of oil, carbohydrates, and hot spices.
In order to get acquainted with South Korean culture, it is essential to pay attention to street food tasting. It is expected that tourists will experience a guaranteed explosion of emotions. In turn, it can be explained by the fact that people will have the opportunity to see very strange things on the traders' stalls — maggots, sweet fish, potato spirals, unusual rolls, strange hot dogs, and amazing ice cream.
This dish belongs to the list of the most popular Korean food. Its basis is Garae-tteok — rice flour products in the form of white sticks with a neutral taste. They are usually sold as convenience foods in supermarkets. To prepare Tteokbokki, it is significant to combine Garae-tteok with a paste of fermented soybeans and chili peppers (gochujang). This dish used to be available only to kings and courtiers, although it is one of the cheapest options for a snack today. Most frequently, street vendors sell Tteokbokki in sauce, skewered on special sticks for convenient consumption. Odeng, boiled eggs, green onions, and noodles can also be added to this dish. By the way, tourists should be prepared for the fact that this is a spicy dish that can be considered inedible by some individuals.
It is a variation of Korean pancakes. They consist of wheat and rice flour, eggs, as well as lots of onions. Pajeon does not contain pepper, so it can be bought in any place without fear of experiencing a fire in the mouth. However, these pancakes are fried in a large amount of oil, which is perfectly absorbed into the egg-flour mixture. Due to the high content of fat, they often serve as a snack for alcoholic beverages. There is also a kind of pajeon with seafood (octopus, shrimp, and squid), which is called haemul pajeon.
It is a great breakfast option and one of the best variations of vegetarian Korean food. Gyeran-ppang is a golden bun with a chicken egg on top, while the yolk remains quite liquid. Sometimes ham, cheese, and parsley are added to this dish. This bun is always served as a warm or hot dish that tastes sweet and salty at the same time. Like kkochi eomuk, this dish is quite warming.
Surely numerous people have seen these goldfish on social networks. In fact, these sweet fried cakes usually contain a dark mass that resembles chocolate. It often confuses travelers who rush to buy bungeoppang in hope for a sweet taste. However, there is a red bean paste inside the cakes; it can seem quite specific. At the same time, Koreans consider it as one of the favorite toppings for a variety of desserts. In order to enjoy Bungeoppang to the fullest extent, it is recommended to buy the freshly baked dish when the crust is crisp and the filling is warm. Sometimes you can find options of this dish with nut butter or cream, but the classic recipe with beans remains the most correct.
Nowadays, this dish belongs to the list of the best Korean food. In fact, it is represented by products stuffed with pork, onions, and kimchi. Besides, people have the opportunity to find mandu with tofu, red beans, pork, ginger, mushrooms, seafood, and cabbage on street stalls. Mandu is usually steamed, but it can also be deep-fried. The best accompaniment to these "dumplings" is soy or oyster sauce, as well as sesame oil.
It is an unusual analog of chips, as this dish is represented by a thin spiral of potatoes on a skewer, deep-fried until crispy. Tornado Potato is sprinkled with spices, usually with a spicy cheese flavor. Sometimes, it is combined with a barbecue flavor, onion, or just salt. This relatively new dish comes from Seoul.
Perhaps it is the most specific representative of South Korean street food. Beondegi is silkworm pupae cooked with hot spices. Usually, this dish is sold in small cellophane bags or paper boxes. By the way, these insects do not have a very appetizing appearance. Moreover, the unpleasant smell of this dish can scare off an unprepared person. Sometimes, canned beondegi can be found in supermarkets, although some restaurants offer them as a side dish.
Most of all, this South Korean food resembles an American corn dog. Its basis is a sausage, strung on a skewer. But unlike the overseas counterpart, which has a dough shell, gamja dogo is fried in French fries. It can be topped with ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise.
It is the famous ice cream that became popular on social networks, not because of its taste, as one might think, but because of the shape of the cone. It is made from corn in the form of a large cane, similar to the handle of an umbrella. Most often, chocolate and vanilla fillings are added to this ice cream.
Hotteok is a Korean street food that belongs to the group of desserts. It is a sweet pancake stuffed with cane sugar and cinnamon that turns into granular caramel. Besides, you can find red bean paste, black sesame seeds, peanuts, walnuts, honey, and sunflower seeds inside the pancake.
The name of this dish is derived from two words: the English word “chicken” and Korean word “맥주” (maegju) — beer. For example, сhimaek is a popular combination of fried chicken and beer. The meat is usually served with honey sauce, sesame seeds, garlic, peanuts, and chili flakes. In turn, it gets a crispy crust due to double roasting. In addition to chicken, you can order fries.