One of the best ways to explore a city is through discovery of the taste of the city. While visiting South Korea, don’t forget to treat your taste buds to some Korean cuisine.
South Korea has a lot of unique cuisines and this list includes some essential foods that one should try and tick off their foodie list.
p.s. This list is according to the foods I tried or mostly enjoyed while in Seoul.
Below is a list of 10 foods to try in South Korea
Bulgogi is a delicious meal of grilled marinated beef, pork belly or chicken. The marinade is made up of soy sauce, sugar and pear juice. Bulgogi is a popularly recognised Korean dish worldwide. According to CNN Travel 2017, it was ranked 23 in the most delicious foods in the world. It is mostly grilled with some garlic and sliced onion to make it even more delicious.
Samgyeopsal consists of non-marinated grilled slices of pork belly. It is usually dipped in a salt and pepper seasoning. The pork is eaten by being wrapped in lettuce along with grilled garlic slices, onion slices, shredded green onions and kimchi. It is a common dish in many Korean restaurants throughout the world – The famous Korean BBQ dish.
Kimchi is one of the oldest Korean dishes. You probably won’t miss it in any Korean household. I mean we had it in our house and we aren’t even Korean. Kimchi is usually eaten as a side dish. It is a spicy and sour dish made of fermented vegetable. The ingredient used is usually Chinese baechu (cabbage).
Another popular kimchi dish would be the kimchi fried rice, which essentially needs kimchi as an ingredient. It involves mixing fried diced pork, chopped kimchi and cooked rice and to be served with a fried egg on top.
Bibimbap is one of the popularly known Korean dishes. It is a bowl of mixed ingredients including, rice, vegetables, mushrooms, beef, soy sauce and fried egg. The ingredients used in the dish vary according to different regions in South Korea. The dish, in most cases comes out looking attractive.
- Ddukbokki (Tteokbokki)
Ddukbokki is a spicy Korean food made of cylindrical rice cakes, triangular fish cake vegetables and sweet red chilli sauce. It is a common Korean street food.
Sundubu-jjigae is a common spicy Korean stew made of tofu (dubu). In all honesty, I don’t quite enjoy tofu dishes. However, any time we’d go to a Korean restaurant for Koean bbq, we always ordered this soup to go with the rice and I loved it so much.
Galbitang is beef short rib soup. It is a popular delicacy in local restaurants during the winter season. Beef is slowly simmered with onions and green onions to produce rich flavours and tender meat that falls right off the bone. Sometimes, glass noodles are added in the soup. The soup can then be eaten with some rice.
- Japchae (Glass noodles)
Japchae is a classic dish made of Korean sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon). The noodles are often stir fried with shredded vegetables, beef, sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar . It’s popularly referred to as glass noodles because of it’s transparent nature.
- Haemul Pajeon
This is a seafood vegetable pancake made of green onions, egg batter, wheat flour, and seafood (oysters, shrimp, squid and clams). I however didn’t get to try this dish while in Seoul. I ate haemul pajeon in Malaysia, in one of the Korean restaurants while with my friends.
Mandu are Korean dumplings that can either be found in restaurants or even as popular street food. Mandu can come as steamed mandu (jjin-mandu), boiled (kun-mandu) of fried (mul-mandu). It is usually filled with chicken, meat or vegetables for the vegetarian option.