South Korea is quite famous for its cuisine. Anyone who loves food will be spoilt for choices, from salty, spicy, fermented, sweet or a delectable combination of them. Korean food is almost always accompanied by rice or noodles. Since there are so many great foods to try in Korea, we’ve created a list of 9 foods that you should try. Be sure to let us know what your favourites are!
Bibimbap (비빔밥) – consisting of a bed of rice along with a combination of meat, mushrooms, vegetables, and eggs, it is mixed together with gochujang (spicy red paste) before eating. Bibimbap is a dish that you can customize to your flavour of choice.
Lamb skewers (양꼬치) – originating from China, seasoned lamb is grilled right in front of you. The grill automatically spins the skewers and you can eat them straight off the grill after dipping them in chilli powder. These skewers are often eaten with 꿔바로우, a sweet and sour fried side dish.
Charcoal grill (숯불구이) – Barbecued meat, one of the most famous Korean cuisines. From 삼겹살 to 목살 to 갈매기살 or a combination of all, these are typically eaten by wrapping it in a piece of lettuce with sauce and garlic.
Pig trotters (족발) – These are pig feet cooked in soy sauce and are typically accompanied by Soju or other drinks. The meat is simmered for a long time to make it really tender, and it is a convenient way to eat a lot of meat. These are eaten wrapped in lettuce and dippings similar to Korean barbeque.
Black bean noodles (짜장면) – another popular korean food of Chinese origin. It consists of thick noodles and black bean sauce that is made with onions, vegetables, meat and seafood being optional. Jajangmyeon has been adapted into instant products like Japagetti and Japaguri (made famous by the film Parasite).
Cold noodles (냉면) – a typical summer meal that can be quite surprising at first. It looks like a normal noodle soup, but it is served cold, often with ice. This meal doesn’t suit everyone’s tastebuds, but it’s a good thing to try on a hot day. Naengmyeon can be served with water while others are not. Another popular version is made with marinated raw fish and is commonly found in coastal cities.
Ginseng chicken soup (삼계탕) – another very famous Korean dish that’s nice to have when you are feeling sick and need something to warm you up. The soup is made from Ginseng, so it is understandably believed to improve one’s health.
Rice cakes/fish cakes/blood sausage (분식: 떡볶이/어묵/순대/튀김) – more of a collection of foods than a single dish. Tteokbokki is rice cakes stir-fried in spicy sauce; Eomuk is fish cakes served on a stick in broth; Sundae is Korean blood sausages with glass noodles; Twigim is various battered deep-fried foods, such as sweet potato, squid and shrimp. These foods are often ordered together at small food stores and often eaten with soju and/or makkeoli.
Pork back-bone stew (감자탕) – Despite being translating as ‘potato soup’, the heart of the dish is the pig back-bone meat. It is served on the bone, which makes it somewhat difficult to eat, but the meat is soft after being boiled for an extended period.
Written by Ewan Smith