April 17, 2023

Mouthwatering Marvels: 10 Korean Street Foods That Will Blow Your Mind


As a food lover, one of the best ways to experience the culture of a country is through its street food. And when it comes to Korea, there's no shortage of amazing options to choose from. From savory to sweet, spicy to mild, Korean street food has something for every taste bud. In this article, we'll be exploring 10 must-try Korean street foods that will leave you wanting more.

1. Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cakes, 떡복이)

Tteokbokki is an incredibly popular street food in Korea, and for good reason. These cylindrical-shaped rice cakes are coated in a spicy red sauce made from gochujang (Korean chili paste) and served with fish cakes, boiled eggs, and green onions. The chewy texture of the rice cakes combined with the spicy sauce is a match made in heaven. In fact, the dish has gained international recognition, with the chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant from Italy expressing his admiration for its taste.

2. Hotteok (Sweet Korean Pancakes, 호떡)

Hotteok is a sweet pancake filled with brown sugar, honey, and chopped peanuts. The dough is made from wheat flour and yeast and is fried until golden brown. The filling inside is warm and gooey, making it the perfect comfort food for cold winter days.

3. Gimbap (Korean Sushi Rolls, 김밥)

Gimbap is a Korean version of sushi rolls, but with a unique twist. Instead of raw fish, it's filled with a variety of cooked ingredients such as seasoned vegetables, eggs, and ham. The rice is flavored with sesame oil and salt, and then wrapped in dried nori sheets. It's an excellent choice for a light meal or snack. If you visit Gwangjang Market in Seoul, don't miss trying "drug kimbap." It's not named that because it contains drugs, but because its taste is so addictive that you can't resist it. This kimbap is small in size, but big on flavor, especially when paired with wasabi sauce.

4. Japchae (Stir-Fried Glass Noodles, 잡채)

Japchae is a dish that features glass noodles stir-fried with vegetables like carrots, spinach, and mushrooms. The noodles have a chewy texture, while the vegetables add a refreshing crunch. It's a vegetarian option that packs a lot of flavor. If you visit Busan International Market, be sure to try Bibim dangmyeon, a variation of Japchae that mixes sesame oil, gochujang, spinach, chives, carrots, oden, and thinly sliced pickled radish. This dish offers a unique flavor compared to regular Japchae and is definitely worth trying. The taste is simply amazing.

5. Mandu (Korean Dumplings, 만두)

Mandu is a Korean dumpling filled with meat, vegetables, and tofu. They're boiled or steamed and then served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce and vinegar. They're a great option for a quick and filling meal on the go.

6. Dakkochi (Grilled Chicken Skewers, 닭꼬치)

Dakkochi is a popular street food made from grilled chicken skewers coated in a spicy sauce made from gochujang and honey. It's a great option for those who love spicy food and are looking for something protein-packed.

7. Odeng (Fish Cakes, 오뎅)

Odeng is another popular fish cake skewer commonly found in Korean street markets. It's similar to eomuk, but the fish cake is cut into smaller pieces and served on a skewer with a spicy sauce made from gochujang and soy sauce.

8. Bungeo-ppang (Fish-Shaped Pastry with Sweet Red Bean Filling, 붕어빵)

Bungeo-ppang is a pastry shaped like a fish and filled with sweet red bean paste. The dough is made from a mixture of wheat flour and yeast and baked in fish-shaped molds. This is a highly popular street food in Korea, particularly during the winter season. The most commonly used filling is red beans, but other toppings like cream puffs and cream cheese are also available, so you can customize your bungeo-ppang to suit your taste preferences.

9. Pajeon (Scallion Pancake, 파전)

Pajeon is a savory pancake that's made from a batter of flour, eggs, and scallions. It's fried until it's crispy and golden brown and served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. It's a great option for those who love savory and crispy foods. Koreans traditionally enjoy pajeon with makgeolli, a Korean rice wine, on rainy days. If it happens to rain during your trip to Korea, be sure to try this combination for yourself. Not only will you get to experience the amazing flavor pairing of the two, but you'll also get to feel the sentiment and romance that Koreans associate with this rainy day delicacy.

10. Sundae(Korean blood sausage, 순대)

Sundae (순대) is a popular Korean street food made of pig intestines stuffed with various ingredients such as sweet potato noodles, meat, and vegetables. It is typically served steamed or grilled and is often enjoyed with a spicy sauce. Sundae has a chewy texture and a rich, savory flavor that is beloved by locals and visitors alike.

These 10 mouthwatering Korean street foods are a must-try for anyone visiting Korea. From savory dishes like gimbap and tteokbokki to sweet treats like hotteok, Korean street food has something to offer everyone. So, the next time you find yourself in Korea, make sure to hit up the nearest street market and indulge in some of these delicious delights.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these 10 amazing Korean street foods as much as I enjoyed writing about them! If you're feeling overwhelmed with choices, let me help you out by recommending my personal top 5 favorites.

First up is Tteokbokki, a spicy and chewy rice cake dish that's an absolute must-try for any street food lover. Sundae is another delicious option, with its unique blend of pork blood and vermicelli noodles. For a crunchy snack, go for the Twigim, which are deep-fried snacks that come in a variety of flavors.
If you're looking for something light and refreshing, Odeng (fish cake skewers) is the perfect choice. And last but not least, I highly recommend trying the Hotteok, a sweet and savory pancake filled with cinnamon, brown sugar, and nuts.

Trust me, you won't be disappointed with any of these options!

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