CONTRIBUTED BY ZOE V.
For most people arriving into the country for the first time, Korean street food is their first taste of authentic Korean cuisine. Less daunting than walking into a Korean restaurant that may not be used to foreign clientele, street food is an easy way to experience local cuisine in an easy and inexpensive way! Walking around you will often see locals stopping by a street food stall to grab a quick and inexpensive snack or meal.
So here’s a list of popular Korean street foods:
Tteokbokki (떡볶이 – spicy rice cakes): As common as grabbing a slice of pizza is in the U.S, tteokbokki is a popular hot snack found throughout all of Korea. It consists of soft rice cakes and fish cakes covered in a spicy red sauce.
Odeng (오뎅 – fish cakes): this is the cheapest item found on street food stalls. A skewered fish cake (made from ground white fish, potato starch and other vegetables) is served in a warm savoury broth. Eat like a local and grab one of the paper cups and have a drink of the broth whilst you eat your odeng.
Fried Snacks (Twigim 튀김): Covered in batter and deep fried, twigim consists of just about anything! I have seen fried potatoes, shrimp, squid, pepper, eggplant etc. After picking your chosen twigim, the stall holder will re-fry your food so it is piping hot.
Gimbap (김밥): often described as Korean style sushi, this cheap eat packs a lot of flavor. Gimbap can have a variety of fillings but the standard rolls contain carrot, ham, crab, radish, cucumber and egg, wrapped around rice and seaweed. At 2000 won a roll, they’re a perfect snack to satiate your hunger.
Hot Dog aka Corndogs (핫도그): this heart attack on a stick is a standard U.S hotdog covered in French fries. If found fresh they are definitely worth a try but you can often see stale ones on sale which I wouldn’t recommend.
Chicken skewers (닭꼬치): Grilled chicken skewers have a sweet marinade, similar to teriyaki, and then often topped with ketchup or yellow mustard.
Tornado Potato: A spiral cut potato on a skewer is deep fried and then dusted with a tangy, cheesy powder.
Mandu (만두): Steamed or fried dumplings with pork and vegetable filling. Vegetable-only mandu can be found in restaurants but rarely on street stalls.
Bindaetteok (빈대떡 – Mungbean Pancakes): Cooked like a regular U.S. pancake, this pancake is savoury and made of ground mung beans and filled with green onions, kimchi or peppers. It is often served with soy sauce and is eaten at the stall. One of my favourites!
Roasted Corn (옥수수): everything is said in the name with this one. 2 pieces of steamed buttery corn for 1000 won.
Have you tried any of these savory Korean street foods? What’s your favorite?