The Top 14 South Korean Foods to Try
South Korea has been better known for its technology than for its food in recent years. Things are beginning to shift, however, thanks to delicacies like kimchi, which has become a global phenomenon. Here's a list of South Korean foods that you need to check out.
Hoeddeok (sweet pancakes with syrup)
A popular Korean street food is known as a sweeter version of the Western pancake, hoeddeok, or sometimes spelled as hotteok, particularly during the winter season. Loaded with a mixture of cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, and small pieces of peanut, it is basically flat, circular dough and cooked on a griddle. As well as an enticing taste, the delicacy has a crunchy exterior and fluffy interior.
Bulgogi (barbecue with marinated beef)
Bulgogi is one of the most popular Korean meat dishes in the world, a juicy, savory dish of grilled marinated beef, and was ranked as the 23rd most delicious food in the world according to the 2011 CNN Travel reader poll. To add spice to the beef, it is also grilled with garlic and sliced onions. Meat is usually wrapped in lettuce and ssamjang (a thick, red spicy paste) is also commonly eaten with it.
The Bulgogi Samgyeopsal (strips of pork)
Samgyeopsal, one of the most common Korean dishes in South Korea, consists of grilled pork belly meat slices that are not marinated or seasoned. They are normally dipped in salt and pepper seasoning mixed in sesame seed oil and then wrapped in lettuce along with grilled garlic slices, grilled onion slices, shredded green onions, and kimchi. It is one of the most common dishes to be found in any Korean restaurant worldwide.
Japchae (noodles stir-fried)
Japchae is a traditional Korean noodle dish consisting of stir-fried sweet potatoes, thinly shredded vegetables, beef, and a touch of soy sauce and sugar, mostly served as a side dish during lunch or dinner. Additional ingredients such as mushrooms are added to the mix, depending on the chef. Japchae is known for its sweet and aromatic taste and its soft texture, which is still somewhat chewy.
Kimchi (vegetables that are fermented)
Kimchi is a spicy and sour dish made up of fermented vegetables, one of the oldest and perhaps the most important dishes in Korean cuisine. It is prepared with several kinds of ingredients, but cabbage is the most common main ingredient. As well as its high nutritional value, fiber content and low calorie content, Kimchi is popular among foreigners for its unique flavor. Nevertheless, for Koreans, it is most popular because of its essential cultural importance. Dinner is considered to be incomplete without kimchi.
Ddukbokki (spicy cake with rice)
A popular Korean spicy food made of cylindrical rice cakes, triangular fish cake, vegetables, and sweet red chili sauce is Ddukbokki, also spelled tteokbokki. It is also promoted by pojangmacha (street suppliers). The combination of spicy and sweet flavors makes people enjoy ddeukbokki.
Sundubu-jjigae (soft stew with tofu)
Sundubu-jjigae, served in a broad stone cup, is a traditional Korean spicy stew typically made of dubu (tofu), vegetables, mushrooms, seafood, beef or pork, and gochujang (chili paste). Some ingredients are omitted, substituted or added to the mix, depending on the chef and location. While there are various variants, a raw egg is traditionally put on top of the stew and combined with the soup before serving to add more spice to the dish.
Bibimbap (rice mixed)
In essence, Bibimbap is a bowl of mixed ingredients, including, but not limited to, rice, namul, mushrooms, beef, soy sauce, gochujang (chili pepper paste), and a fried egg. The ingredients used in bibimbap differ by region, and Jeonju, Tongyeong, and Jinju comprise the most popular versions of the dish.
Seolleongtang (bone soup with ox)
Seolleongtang, a popular hot Korean soup made from ox bones, ox meat and briskets, is a local Seoul dish, frequently flavored with salt, ground black pepper, chopped green onions, or, depending on the taste of the customer, minced garlic. The broth is gloomy, milky white, and is mostly consumed with rice. Seolleongtang is renowned and can be found in most Korean restaurants in Seoul for its soft yet chewy texture and aromatic broth.
Haemul Pajeon (vegetable pancake for seafood)
Haemul pajeon integrates seafood into the popular pancake, a variant of pajeon, which is a pancake-like Korean dish made primarily of green onions, egg batter, wheat flour, and rice flour. Oysters, shrimp, squid, and clams include, but are not limited to, traditional seafood ingredients used. As a main dish, Haemul pajeon is commonly eaten and is known for its soft and chewy texture as well as its combination of flavors of seafood.
Samgyetang (chicken soup with ginseng)
Samgyetang is a conventional soup made of chicken, garlic, rice, scallion, Korean jujube, Korean ginseng, and spices, especially during the summer. It is acknowledged that it has a high nutritional value. Not only is it known for its healthy content, but its creamy and meaty flavor is also common.
Soondae (sausage for blood)
Soondae, or sometimes spelled as sundae, is a special Korean dish made with many ingredients such as noodles, pork blood, and barley stuffed with pig's intestines. In terms of fillings and wrappings, variations of soondae vary and are often prepared differently according to the province or town in South Korea. Every soondae is chewy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the side, however, although the recipes vary, producing a fascinating combination of textures as well as flavors.
Naengmyeon (noodles with cold buckwheat)
Naengmyeon consists of long , thin noodles, cucumbers, slices of Korean pear, slices of beef and a hard-boiled egg, and is a popular cold Korean noodle dish. Depending on the form of naengmyeon, the noodles are mostly made of buckwheat, peas, and sweet potatoes, but may also be made of arrowroot and kudzu. Particularly during the summer, it is a common dish to cool off in South Korea under the scorching heat and thick moist air.
Hobakjuk (porridge with pumpkin)
A traditional Korean porridge made from steamed pumpkin and glutinous rice that has been soaked in water is a sweet and grainy dish, hobakjuk. Though its appearance is plain, because of the pumpkin, it is incredibly sweet and flavorful. During breakfast hours, it is a common meal and is also a great meal option for individuals who are unwell and unable to eat heavy meals. It is eaten both hot and cold, but when hot, it is best.