Sunday, November 2, 2014

12 Must Try Street Snack In Korea (Part I)

This is a repost from my other blog. I went to backpacking in Korea in July and here is a reblog to share with you what to try while in Korea.

#1 Mandu (만두) - Korean Dumplings

There are different kinds of mandu available here in Korea: Pan-fried, steamed, boiled so you might wanna try out a few versions. The one I had was 찐만두 - Steamed mandu.


I bought mine in Namdaemun market while shopping. There was a huge crowd and I got curious. I waited for some of the crowd to disperse before I was able to get some.

Koreans like to sell things in a pack/bundle so it is always cheaper when you buy more.

The mandu pricing: 1 for 1000 won, 3 for 2000 won and I can't remember how much it is cost for a dozen but it is definitely cheaper. It makes sense to buy 3 at one go.



These are pretty huge, slightly smaller than the diameter of a baseball. There are two flavors available - Pepper pork / Kimchi pork(Bright orange red). By the way a lot of food in Korean especially mandu has pork in it so it's non-halal.


It is not like those Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumpling) but it not too dry. This is pretty peppery stuffed with pork, vegetables and glass noodles. I absolutely love the Mandu skin. Korean love food that are 쯜깃쯜깃 - Chewy. The skin has a chewy texture, in between that of a steam bun and teok (rice cake). I will definitely recommend this if you are popping by Namdaemun market.


The Kimchi flavor one is surprisingly not that Spicy. The stuffings are similar but with additional kimchi. I was pretty stuffed after eating 3! (I think it is because of the mandu skin and generous portion of meat) This is proof that 2000 won can buy you a meal.

#2 Steamed Bun With Red Bean (왕찐빵)



There is a long queue for this at Namdaemun market as well. I forgot to snap a picture of the location but it is easy to spot, with a large banner across the store. Apparently their buns made it on Korean TV.

Pricing 1 for 1000won, 5 for 2000won. I mean how ridiculous can it gets? I was backpacking in Korea alone so only got 1 for myself. Imagine it will only cost 400won if I got 5 and I am paying more than twice the amount for this. Korea is really a place for people travelling in groups.  :(


It was raining so this warm bun made me felt really good! I think it was worth the price though. The bun again is  쯜깃쯜깃 - Chewy! I really love it. Red bean paste is not too sweet and I finished the whole bun within minutes. Kind of missing it back here in Singapore. Thumbs up!

#3 Gyeranbbang (계란빵 - Egg bread)


I saw many recommendations for this Egg bread. You can almost find it at any street food alley but these Gyeranbbang selling near Ewha Womans University are really famous.


Version 1- In the mould. These are flat ovals - 1 for 1000won. The man selling this was really friendly.


Be careful not to scald your tongue because this is pretty hot. The bread is like a cake/waffle slightly sweet and salty with one whole egg in it. Delicious!

Version 2 - Muffin style in a cup. 1 for a 1000 won as well. This one is selling closer to the subway exit while the version 1 is closer to the university.


I really love the fluffy bread. It is larger, sweeter than version one with a completely different texture.


This has a whole egg in it as well. If you ask me, I love both of them and it depends on what kind of texture you want: Chewy soft or fluffy soft?

#4 Hoddeok (호떡 - Brown sugar syrup pancake)


Again, this is a very popular street snack you can find in a lot of places. I saw a lot of blogs mentioning about the Hoddeok but they did not mention that there are several variations of Hoddeok available here in Korea. I shall do just that!


Version 1 - The hollow crispy circle. 1 for 1000 won.



I would have absolutely love this if it is piping hot. I got mine near Ewha Womans University but too bad it is cold. It taste crispy like some Chinese pastry with sweet brown sugar and black sesame seeds inside. The sugar is not liquid like but dried on the inside of the Hoddeok. I would say that this more like a pastry than pancake.


Version 2. - Chewy pancake in a cup! 1 for 1500won selling along the Myeong Dong shopping district.


This is piping hot. I scalded my tongue because of the flowing syrup! Absolutely love this. Sweet pancake!


Version 3. - Crispy and chewy pancake with nuts! 1 for 1500won. I bought mine in the food section (Basement 1 of Shinsegae Department Store)



This is my favourite as it tasted the best out of the 3. Piping crispy and chewy pancake cut opened and showered with different kind of nuts and seeds. If I would to rank them:
1) Version 3
2)Version 2
3) Version 1

Let me know which one you prefer in the comment box! :)

#5 Sausages on a stick



1 stick for 3000 won. This is the first snack stall I found once I exited the subway to Myeong Dong shopping district. It looks pretty ordinary but there different kind of sausages in there. The second and the fourth sausage from the top has teok wrapped in it. One of it has cheese in it and one tasted like curry/paprika?

It is pretty unique but a little oily though.


#6 Cane Ice Cream (지팡이아이스크림)



Original flavor (Vanilla) 1 for 2000 won. These are making a craze in Korea and right now you can only find them in Korea.

There are other flavours like Strawberry and Chocolate which cost more though (3000-4000 won). The cane is made of corn. It kind of taste like breakfast corn cereal but chewy with vanilla ice cream. I really love this! I hope they start selling them in Singapore.

#7 Jajangmyeon (자장면- Black Bean Noodles)




1 bowl for 3000won. I didn't want to eat too much carbs as it is very filling so this small bowl of Jajangmyeon is great. Comes with a slice of pickled radish at the side. Compared to those Jajangmyeon I have in Singapore, these are thicker, slightly chewier that is good for slurping. The sauce is darker with larger chunks of onion and minced meat. Pretty good.

#8 Tornado potato



Super long stick of fried swirly potato at 3000 won per stick. There are different kind of seasoning powder available: Garlic, Cheese and Chilli so you can feel free to roll on it. I purchased mine in Myeong Dong.

This tasted similar to potato chips, just that it is softer, thicker and less crispy. I regret dipping mine in cheese seasoning because I do not like the smell in it. (Smell like those packet cheese that comes with your pizza) and it is sweet.

It is pretty tasty in my opinion. However, I find this really oily so if you don't like oily food you might want to pass this. I found Tornado potato selling Taiwan but they are not available in Singapore yet.


#9 Jeon (전 - Pancake)




There are so many kind of jeon in Korea! The two kind I tried were Bindaetteok, (빈대떡) - made with mung beans, vegetables and some seafood, and Saengseonjeon (생선전) - made with fish.

After negotiation with the ahjumma, I managed to get this Jeon for 10000won. Originally she wanted to sell the Bindaetteok for 7000won and the Saengseonjeon for 5000won. (So it's a 2000 won discount)She was pretty rude though.

Jeon are sold in large portion so if you are backpacking alone you might wanna give it a miss or just you can buy it back and microwave in the hostel as this is pretty filling. Luckily I went with my Korean friend and we shared this huge portion!


#10 Tteokbokki (떡볶이 - Spicy Rice Cake)




1 plate for 2000 won. These rice cakes are larger than the ones I ate in Singapore. Basically it tasted like sweet chilli sauce with chewy rice cake. Pretty good! Some of Tteokbokki comes with Odeng (fish cakes) but this one only has rice cakes in it.

#11 Soondae (순대)



Pork blood sausages! This is selling at 7000 won a plate but I was in Gwangjang market alone so the Ahjumma was kind enough to sell me 5000 won worth of Soondae. She was really friendly and offered me a piece of Tteokbokki and wrapped up the remaining Soondae for me when I was not able to finish it.

Blood sausages are made with pork intestine stuffed with glutinous rice, glass noodles and pork blood. There are however some that uses cow intestines so you will have to ask.

There are different kind of soondae such as the one I had is most common one. It is surprising good. There is no pork smell and it is chewy with a slight pepper taste. The pork livers on top however is overcooked.

This is a must try if you are in Korea!

#12 Odeng soup (오댕국)



2000 won for Odeng Guk. The broth is sweet! Soft odeng with fried beancurd skin. This is one of the most common street food you can find.

I hope you guys find this post useful and have good food when you are in Korea!

There are more Korean street food that I have yet to try so I will continue a Part II my next trip to Korea.(Not so soon - 2015)

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