Some say that love is the common language of the world – wrong! Food is the common language of the world. Particularly, delicious and Seoul-fulfilling food can bring people together no matter the religion or nationality.
For our Muslim friends out there who adore Korea but are concerned about dietary options, fret not! We know how much you guys love Korea, so we’ve put together a list of treats specially for you! We guarantee that your tummies will be happily filled. Happy Korea trippin’!
1. Gyeran-ppang (Egg Bread)
A well-known street food, this beautiful Gyeran-ppang is a simple treat that everyone loves! As its name suggests, it is made of egg and buttery bread, topped with vanilla extract, salt, sugar and mozzarella cheese.
Walk down the street of Myeongdong and you will find it hard to miss the sweet scent of baked Gyeran-ppang. Make it your personal mission in Seoul to find and taste this cute Egg Bread!
2. Pajeon (Green Onion Pancake)
Pajeon are traditional Green Onion Pancakes and a truly must-taste Korean delicacy. Its main ingredients include green onions, pancake mix, tempura flour and eggs. Shrimps and squids may also be added for a seafood twist to your typical Pajeon!
If you happen to pass by street vendors mixing and frying Pajeon, stop and turn around. You have to do yourself a favour and try some of this appetising snack!
3. Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancake)
Hotteok are pancakes made with wheat flour dough and filled with brown sugar syrup and cinnamon. Don’t mispronounce this as “hotdog”! The correct way is “hot-tok”.
There are so many kinds of hotteoks: chewy hotteoks, crispy hotteoks and even fluffy hotteoks! As you take the first bite, brace yourself for the sweet goodness that rushes into your palette. It will be sure to warm you up in the chilly Korean winter!
4. Bungeoppang (Fish-shaped Bread)
Crispy on the outside, soft red bean fillings on the inside – this is the adorable Bungeoppang! “Bungeo” means crucian carp (or in Pokemon terms, Magikarp) and “ppang” refers to bread. There you have it, it’s literally a golden carp-shaped bread! Easily bought from street vendors at incredibly affordable price, this is the perfect snack to munch on as you wander along the streets.
5. Chamchi (Tuna) Kimbap
One cannot visit Korea and not try the yummylicious Kimbap! The Korean version of a sushi roll, Kimbap comes in a myriad of flavours. One of our personal favourite is the Chamchi Kimbap – a scoop of tuna, carrot and radish pickle strips, crab meat and avocado all carefully wrapped in crunchy seaweed. Dip it in soy sauce and relish every bite!
6. Tteobokki (Spicy Stir-fried Rice Cakes)
We love Tteobokki! This is undoubtedly the most famous Korean street food. Fret not about finding it, because it’s more likely to find you! Along the busy streets of Seoul, you can find numerous street vendors selling the mouthwatering Tteobokki.
Its main ingredients include tteobokki teok (long rice cakes pieces) and eomuk (fish cakes slices) drowned in anchovy broth and Korean red chilli pepper. Don’t underestimate these bite-sized rice cakes though! Your tummy is likely to be filled as soon as you gobble down the whole bowl.
7. Bingsu (Korean Shaved Ice)
Ahh, who doesn’t crave for a bowl of refreshing shaved ice on a hot day? Not to mention a GINORMOUS one! Bingsu, referring to shaved ice, is a trendy dessert that has taken Seoul by storm. In fact, there are so many Bingsu flavours in the market now, we don’t even know where to begin! Served with flavored syrup, sweet toppings, fruits and pat (red beans), we bet you’ll be spoilt for choice too!
8. Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch)
Sikhye (pronounced as “shi-keh”) is a refreshing non-alcoholic drink made from malt barley water and cooked rice. This sweet punch contains soft rice that melts in your mouth and is often served as traditional dessert during family gatherings.
Although Sikhye can also be purchased in at local grocery stores and vending machines, nothing beats the original hand-brewed Sikhye! Do look out for those in authentic Korean restaurants!
Feeling hungry yet? We bet you are. Pack your bags, ready your passport and get going! Seoul and its magnificent street food galore are awaiting you!