Korean Street Food – The Nutty, The Filled, The Sweet

CONTRIBUTED BY ZOE V.

Last week I wrote a post about popular Korean street foods but didn’t mention any of Korea’s delicious sweet street foods! So here is a list of Korean street foods that make for a great sweet snack or dessert:

Bbokki: A simple Korean street candy made from sugar and baking soda and shaped into a circle. Inside the circle is often a shape or picture. The games goes that if you can break and eat the candy without destroying the picture inside you can get another one for free!

Sweet Korean Street Food

Dragon beard candy: This reminds me of a Korean version of cotton candy. It has a similar yet slightly denser texture and often has a filling such as chocolate or pistachios. The stall vendor will often give demonstrations and make it fresh on the spot before giving out pieces to try. It makes a nice gift to bring home (though its shelf life is short, so be careful!) My favorite vendor is the man on the Main Street in Insadong who puts on quite a show!

Sweet Korean Street Food

Hotteok (호떡): This sweet treat is absolutely delicious and my favourite way to warm up from the Korean cold winter. A fried pancake with a sweet cinnamon, caramel and pumpkin seed filling. Don’t pass this one up if you see it!

Roasted chestnuts: Like waffles, this is another snack that can be found in the states as well as Korea and is a popular winter snack here.

Sweet Korean Street Food

Walnut Cakes: Cake batter is poured into walnut shaped cases and cooked in a similar way to a waffle cooker. In the centre are small pieces of walnut or a walnut paste. Most often found outside subway stations.

Sweet Korean Street Food

Waffles: Tasting just like regular American waffles, these waffles are warm and stuffed with whipped cream or ice cream depending on season. Occasionally you can see specialist waffle stands that will incorporate more exciting ingredients like nutella or diced fruit.

Fish bread (붕어빵): This is a fish shaped bread filled with a sweet red bean filling. The story goes that the way in which you eat your fish bread says a lot about your character. Bite the head first and you’re likely a carefree optimist or a natural leader whereas biting the tail first suggests you’re more of a detail orientated, thoughtful romantic! It’s a win-win really!

Sweet Korean Street Food

Steamed Buns (찐빵 – jjinppang): Steamed bread buns with various fillings. The most popular is red beans but meat ones are common too.

Poolppang: Most vendors describe these as ‘sweet custard breads’. Similar in size and shape to walnut cakes but instead filled with a slightly sweet custard and red bean paste. At first I was disappointed by their lack of sweetness compared to what I‘m used to but I’ve actually come to prefer their mildly sweet flavor to the sugar overload of many American baked treats.

Sweet Korean Street Food

Have you tried any of these sweet Korean street foods? What’s your favorite? Or you you prefer to stick with poop cookies?

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