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10 Korean Street Food You Must Try

10 Korean Street Food You Must Try

TripBlog
May 24, 20217,2191

South Korea has had a very long and rich history with multiple outside cultures influencing and merging with the native culture to create a new dynamic. Nowhere is this more evident than in the food of Korea. Rich, nuanced, layered, and outright delicious, anyone who visits Korea must absolutely indulge in some of Korea’s delicacies. Incredible Korean foods are not restricted to the high-end restaurants but are also a great unifier of people from all social milieus. With a strong work culture, most people of Korea prefer to eat out. This has resulted in a vibrant culture surrounding Korean street food that is not just delicious and pocket-friendly but is also healthy.

Contents

Spicy Rice Cake: Tteokboki 떡볶이
Fishcake: Odeng-Guk
Banana And Strawberry Milk
Korean Fried Chicken
Korean Sushi: Kimbap 김밥
Popcorn Chicken: Dakgangjeong 닭강정
Korean Deep Fried Vegetable: Twigim 튀김
Egg Bread: Gyeran-Bbang 계란빵
Fish Shaped Pastry: Bungeoppang 붕어빵
Gamja Hot Dog 감자 핫도그
Honorable Mentions
Dumplings: Mandu
Fried Chicken Claw
Bibimbap
Bean Bread
Samgyeopsal
Milk Soda

Spicy Rice Cake: Tteokboki 떡볶이

Tteokboki is a small, cylindrical rice cake that is chewy and is served in one of two ways. Either you can have it in a mildly spicy sauce with condiments like eggs, noodles or cheese or have it plain on a skewer. The dish is very healthy and a great snack for those who aren’t too hungry. This is one of the most common Korean street foods and can be found almost anywhere in Seoul. Be sure to ask locals for their favorite place for tteokboki.

The dish is popular in other parts of South East Asia as well, though if you haven’t tasted it before, we recommend that you try it for the first time in South Korea. The glutinous rice cake pairs superbly with the red pepper sauce and you must try it before you leave Korea.

Fishcake: Odeng-Guk

Also known just as odeng, this is a dish perfect for the cold winters of Korea. It comprises of fish cakes that are skewered and served with a hot broth. This dish originated from Japan but is now a permanent fixture of staple Korean street food. Odeng-guk is a light snack that pairs well with a drink or two. When people talk about Korean foods, most Koreans will refer to this dish. Full of complex flavors, you will quickly understand why it is a favorite. Look for the stall with the longest lines of locals, and you will find the best-made version of this dish. You should use this method as a rule of thumb to find the best tasting Korean street food.

Banana And Strawberry Milk

Korea is known for some of the best snacks in the world. One of the most popular snacks with the locals is banana milk. Also known as Binggrae banana milk, named after the largest company behind the drink, it is a staple for those who want to combat the heat of Korean summers. The drink is found in most convenience stores in Korea and is very easy to access. There are several other brands that make this drink with a variety of different flavors. If you don’t like the taste of banana, then go for the strawberry flavor. The drink was made in an attempt by the government to address the issue of malnutrition. Most Koreans did not like the taste of plain milk, and so the flavored banana milk was introduced. It was a runaway success immediately and it continues to have a large following of loyalists. While this is not technically a Korean street food, it definitely is one of the most favorite snacks in the country.

Korean Fried Chicken

Undoubtedly one of the biggest cultural imports of Korea after K-pop, Korean fried chicken is a sweet and sour version of fried chicken you might be familiar with. Made with smaller pieces of the chicken, the dish is somehow crunchy while still having a lovely coating of spicy sweet and sour sauce. The trick lies in that the chicken is double-fried, which gives it an extra crunchy exterior. It is then quickly coated in a sauce made from soy sauce, gochujang, ketchup, and honey. You will also find other variations in the sauce which incorporates garlic. The dish is topped off with white sesame seeds. You will find this dish in most places that serve street food and you cannot go wrong with it. Get a small or bigger portion depending on how hungry you are and enjoy one of the best Korean street foods.

Korean Sushi: Kimbap 김밥

One of the most popular dishes in the country, the Kimbap has become a staple that is synonymous with Korean foods. It is similar to maki rolls and has seaweed that neatly holds together a filling of sticky rice and vegetables with a possibility of meat options that include tuna, chicken, and beef. It is different from traditional Japanese cuisine, in that the flavors are more complex and it is served with kimchi as a condiment. This Korean street food can be found in virtually any street corner in the country and goes very well with Korean milk soda. The dish is surprisingly filling and a single roll is good enough for lunch. Since this is a light meal, it makes a great choice for when you are on your feet exploring.

Popcorn Chicken: Dakgangjeong 닭강정

If you want a quick snack on the go while but cannot let go of Korean fried chicken, then the perfect dish for you is Korean popcorn chicken. It is made only from boneless meat and is in a sauce that has less spice and less garlic. It still retains the crispy texture and complex flavors of the sauce while coming in perfect bite-size pieces. This moreish dish is one of the more popular Korean street foods since it pairs perfectly with a glass of beer. You will see school children enjoying it on their way home and adults sitting down with a drink while they eat the dish with toothpicks. It is found in virtually every street in Korea and is a must-have dish that will change your life. Luckily, this dish is easy to prepare even at home, so you will not feel the agony of separation once you leave Korea.

Korean Deep Fried Vegetable: Twigim 튀김

Another great beer-friendly dish is Korean deep-fried vegetables. Perfect for even vegetarians, this dish is synonymous with drinking culture in Korea. Strips of vegetables of all varieties wait ready for the customer, which are then freshly fried in a batter that is very similar to Japanese tempura. The rice-based batter is kept cold and then flash-fried in very hot oil. This gives the vegetables a beautifully crisp yet light coating. The flash frying also ensures that it isn’t bogged down by too much oil. Choose this dish when you want an interesting side dish and enjoy the crackling fresh vegetables that are instantly elevated by this method of cooking. Though slightly one of the more complex fried Korean street foods, you can try to replicate it when with a little bit of trial and error.

Egg Bread: Gyeran-Bbang 계란빵

Another popular dish with the locals, this dish is the perfect hangover food. Most locals have their own favorite place that makes Korean egg bread but the most popular with the most die-hard loyal customers is Issac Toast in Myeongdong. The line for this dish can take up to an hour but every minute of the wait is worth it. The bread is toasted perfectly while the egg is cooked to the right consistency, almost like a scrambled egg. The egg is layered with spam or ham and shredded vegetables which add a bite to the sandwich. You might mistakenly label this dish as just another egg and ham sandwich, but it is so much more than that. If you want a quick solution to a hangover, then head to any shop that sells egg brad, otherwise wait in line for Issac Toast. Believe us, you will be singing praises of this excellent Korean street food once you take a bite of it.

Fish Shaped Pastry: Bungeoppang 붕어빵

A Korean take on the Japanese dish Taiyaki, this dish is, in essence, a fish-shaped cake that is extremely popular on the streets of Seoul and Busan in the winters. The dish is traditionally filled with red bean paste or green bean paste but alternatives include the savory sweet potato filling. Bungeoppang is a light but satisfying dish that can make a perfect mid-evening snack. A dish with different textures as well as an adorable aesthetic, it is easy to understand why this Korean street food is a hot-selling favorite.

Gamja Hot Dog 감자 핫도그

Literally translated to potato hot dog, this dish is a decadent delight for all those who love junk food. It comes in a couple of variations, one of which is where the hot dog is coated with a layer of broken up French fries and is then deep-fried. If that doesn’t tickle your taste buds, then opt for the second type where a potato spiral is wrapped around the hot dog and then deep-fried. The dish is served on a skewer and is perfect as a snack on the go. It is sometimes dusted with some spices to add a second layer to the dish. Most Korean street food stalls sell this addictive dish and you must try it at least once on your trip to Korea. The combination of starchy potatoes and flavorful hot dogs is hard to beat, even if it is not the healthiest dish on this list.

Honorable Mentions

While the foods listed above are some of the most popular dishes in the spectrum of Korean cuisine, there is a lot more depth and diversity to it. Here are some honorable mentions that are worth trying on the streets of Korea.

Dumplings: Mandu

Nothing is quite like consuming a hot plate of Korean dumplings on a cold winters day. A favorite among university students for its filling and nutritious nature, this dish is one of the most sought-after in the country during the winters and is available in most small restaurants or streets. A Korean dumpling or mandu is traditionally filled with either pork or shrimp but beef and chicken stuffing is also available in most regions.

Fried Chicken Claw

A dish unique to Korea and a fun snack available in regions of Seoul, the fried spicy chicken claw is a crunchy and delicious delight that is sure to satisfy even the most adamant foodie. This dish is usually popular among the working class as a bar snack but is also available through street vendors in the bustling downtown areas of any major city. Accompany this dish with a small bottle of soju or makgeoli (Korean Rice Wine) for a truly unique Korean street food experience.

Bibimbap

Possibly the most nutritious dish available in the nation, bibimbap is also a dish synonymous with the culture, it has layers of ingredients that start with sticky rice, chili paste aka kochujang and a topping of seaweed, veggies, and meat. The dish is usually served unmixed and allows you to pick out any ingredients you may not like and then mix and consume the rest.

Bean Bread

Mentioning Korean street food without mentioning the scrumptious bean bread on offer would be a shame, these bean bread are often filled with red or green beans and steamed or baked to perfection on the spot. The steaming hot bean bread is often accompanied by a sweet sauce and hot chocolate.

Samgyeopsal

Korea is famous for numerous dishes but possibly the most popular is the delicacy known as Korean BBQ, in its street food form, you can find it served in a bed of lettuce with kochujang or Korean chili, some cucumber and fresh sleek cuts of beef. The samgyeopsal in restaurants is usually more renowned but the street food form is a unique and fun way of experiencing the dish. It is particularly delicious with a glass of soju or a Korean beer.

Milk Soda

Milk soda more commonly known as Milkis is produced a truly unique fizzy experience found in most street-side convenience stores. This fizzy light dairy drink is refreshing and truly an experience that should be tried at least once in a lifetime. It is very popular during the Korean summers when a chill and light drink can offer you a break from the humid temperatures.

Korean street food has had a long time to develop and evolve over centuries of cultural influences. The food celebrates the local produce and the taste of the country and has taken traditional recipes and elevated it to a level that is perhaps the best in the world. There is something available for everyone whether you are a vegetarian or have other food restrictions. While the food in traditional restaurants is also delicious and layered, Korean street food gives the higher priced dishes a run for their money. Be sure to ask locals for their recommendations on where to get the best street food and pay attention to the stalls with the longest lines. These tend to serve better food than in any other place. Korean street food is an extension of the country’s culture and one cannot have experienced Korean culture without tasting a few of these dishes.

Disclaimer: This article has been used directly from the Qingqi Qiu Platform, the copyright belongs to the original author. If there is any discrepancy with the copyright please contact us directly and we will immediately delete the content.Index for Network Information Infringement Protection
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