Best Korean Food To Try
Food is both continental and diverse. In every continent that we travel into the world, and I believe that every traveler and tourist will share the same sentiment with me, who is a certified proud tourist and traveler, from one continent to the other, we can truly feel a sense of excitement and a sense of belongingness, most especially in the aspect of food. Food is the very product of everyone’s creativity and is a spur effect of one’s high interest and inclination in the realms of the kitchen. From tempting appetizers, rejuvenating main courses, mouthwatering desserts and to invigorating drinks, the world of food is indeed multi-faceted and colorful as any dimension, aspect and concept is concerned.
I greatly consider myself as a Food Lover. Whenever I eat different kinds of food, I always have this spirit of being enticed to try out new kinds of food, select my own favorites, recommend it happily to my friends and explore its variation. In this article, I am truly excited and happy to share with you, the best foods that are worth trying for in Korea.
Based on my travel experience in Korea last October 2018, I can proudly say, that the Korean Cuisine, is one of the best cuisines that the Asia can offer to the world and definitely, I can eat anytime that I would want to, since a chain of Korean Restaurants are available here in the Philippines, yet are still in minimal capacity nowadays, due to the ongoing global COVID-19 Pandemic. Now I bring you in this article, the Top 13 Best Korean Foods to try when you are in Korea.
Hoeddeok- Sweet Syrupy Pancakes
Are you a certified pancake lover during breakfast? Well definitely, my advice for you of trying Hoeddeok or commonly called as sweet Korean syrupy pancakes is a must try for you. These pancakes are the sweet version of Western pancakes in Korea, and are sometimes spelled as Hotteok by Koreans. Hotteok is popularly and vividly seen in the streets of Korea, most especially during the winter season. It is described as a flat, circular dough that is embellished with a flavor mixture of cinnamon, honey, brown sugar and small pieces of peanut and is cooked simply by using a griddle.
As a famous Korean delicacy, every tourist and guest who eats it will surely savor its crunchy exterior texture and soft interior texture, which makes it truly irresistible to bite. So if your booked trip in Korea falls during the Winter Season, never miss the opportunity to grab a bite with Korea’s Hoeddeok, and surely, it will warm your senses with its irresistible and majestic taste.
Bulgogi -Marinated Beef Barbecue
Are you the type of person who would like to experiment on marinated and grilled dishes with a twist? Well, I can help you on that, since Bulgogi is the perfect Korean food for you. Bulgogi is a juicy, savory dish that is composed of grilled marinated beef topped with garlic and sliced onions that definitely adds flavor to the meat. In the year 2011, Bulgogi’s popularity in Korea, led its ranking as the 23rd most delicious food in the world according to one of the world’s most renowned television Channel- CNN, through its Travel Reader’s poll. In Korean Tradition, the meat used in preparing and cooking Bulgogi, is usually wrapped in lettuce and is also traditionally speaking, eaten with Ssamjang which is known in Korea as a thick, red spicy paste. Thus, to add up a great spice to your Korean Cuisine adventure, never relent and forget to try the world’s famous Korean Bulgogi, and replenish your every craving for Korean Authentic food.
Samgyeopsal – Pork Strips
Are you the kind of food lover who has high interest in exploring new pork dishes? Then, I would highly recommend to you Korea’s mouthwatering and sumptuous Samgyeopsal. Korea’s Samgyeopsal consists of grilled slices and chunks of pork belly meat that are carefully marinated and seasoned by those who prepare it beforehand. These grilled slices and chunks of Pork Belly are commonly dipped in seasoning to add savor to the faved Samgyeopsal. The seasoning that is a perfect match for the Samgyeopsal is made of salt and pepper and is relinquished with sesame seed oil.
To add more creativity to the Samgyeopsal experience, it is wrapped in lettuce alongside with grilled slices of garlic, shredded green onions and grilled slices of onion, and to complete the food cast, it is partnered with Kimchi. Kimchi is an essential dish that can be paired to any Korean Recipe served for any meal. Wherever you go in Korea, and whether you choose to dine on any available and seen Korean restaurant, they will always offer you through their menu, the sumptuous Samgyeopsal.
As a high recommendation for every tourist and certified food lovers, the Korean Samgyeopsal is a must try and must taste dish when you are in Korea.
Kimchi- Fermented Vegetables
Are you the type of tourist and traveller that is highly inclined to a fusion spice experience? I would highly suggest that you should try Korea’s finest Kimchi. Kimchi is dubbed as one of the oldest yet essential dishes in the line-up of Korean Cuisine. Kimchi as a description is a spicy and sour dish that is made up carefully of fermented vegetables. The involved ingredients in making Kimchi are varied, yet the most commonly used in making this as an ingredient is cabbage.
For foreigners and tourists alike, Kimchi is very popular and uniquely exquisite because of its flavor and high nutritional value that contributes a lot to our bodily development such as with its low calorie content and fiber content. Culturally speaking, Koreans take pride in eating Kimchi because it plays a great role in their cultural aspect as a country. When in Korea, realistically, dinner is never complete without Kimchi at the side. So for vegetable lovers, Kimchi can be a great addition to your healthy eating lifestyle every day.
Bibimbap- Mixed Rice
Are you a certified rice eater and rice lover? Are you willing to take your rice eating experience, in another dimension and level of creativity? The perfect Korean food for you to try is the Bibimbap. In a total description of this food, the Bibimbap is essentially a bowl that contains mixed ingredients which includes yet not in a limited manner: rice, namul or seasoned and sautéed vegetables, mushrooms, beef, soy, sauce, gochujang or chili pepper paste, and a fried egg. In the regions of Korea, the Bibimbap ingredients vary a lot, yet geographically speaking, the famous versions of Bibimbap are found in the cities of Jeonju, Tongyeong and Jinju. Thus for tourists who are certified rice eaters and would love to carry that love in Korea, then you must include Bibimbap in the must-try food list of yours.
Ddukbokki – Spicy Rice Cake
Level your fascination with spicy foods by dipping your gustatory satisfaction with a bite of Ddukbokki, also known as Korea’s Spicy Rice Cake. Ddukbokki which is also spelled as tteokbokki is famous in Korea for its offered variety of spice excitement to Koreans. It is made out of cylindrical rice cakes, triangular fish cake, vegetables and sweet red chili sauce which create a variant of sensational aroma to its loyal consumers who enjoy eating this famous Korean food.
Ddukbokki is often sold by Korea’s Pojangmachas or most commonly known in the country as Street Vendors. Because of its combination of sweet and spicy flavors, Ddukbokki is truly enjoyed by Koreans, foreigners, guests and visitors alike as a great selection and choice of meal whenever they are in Korea.
Thus, never miss the glam opportunity to try Korea’s Ddukbokki whenever you are in Korea, in order for this best must try food to add spice to your highly anticipated Korean tour.
Are you looking forward for your Korean Lunch and Korean Dinner experience to gain a magical twist through a distinct side dish? Japchae is a Korean Food that can be of great recommendation for you. Japchae is commonly served as a side dish during lunch and dinner whenever you are in Korea, yet its unique taste is surely a certified center of attraction.
Japchae is a traditional Korean noodle dish that is made up of stir-fried potato, thinly shredded vegetables, beef, and a selective hint of soy sauce and sugar, that completes its appealing presentation in the eyes of the tourists and guests. The addition of mushrooms to the famous Korean noodle dish is highly dependent to the chef who prepared the Japchae. What makes Koreans fall in love with this exquisite noodle dish is that it is sweet, savory and flavorful to the taste and is soft and slightly chewy in texture.
Thus, if you are looking forward to level up your experience with noodles as one of your apples of the eye when it comes to food tasting experiences, it will surely be an added plus to include Japchae in your selection and choice in Korea.
Sundubu-jjigae- Soft Tofu Stew
Are you dreaming of extending your Korean Cuisine Experience? Well I would highly suggest that you should try Korea’s Sundubu-jjigae or Korean Soft Tofu Stew. This Korean intricate dish is generally made of dubu or known as tofu, vegetables, mushrooms, seafood, beef, pork and gochujang or more commonly known as chili paste in Korea.
Dependence to the chef, who prepares this Korean dish and as to what region it is served, some of its ingredients are remove, substituted or even added to the mix. A lot of variations are available for this notable Korean dish, yet traditionally in Korea; a raw egg is placed on top of the stew and is mixed with the soup before serving it to its guests, tourists and visitors that adds additional flavor to the dish.
So for first-time tourists who would like to experience a great cascade of flavor fusion in the realms of Korea, Sundubu-jjigae is a Korean dish that is worth experiencing to taste that will surely satisfy the cravings of your taste buds.
Seolleongtang -Ox Bone Soup
Are you looking forward to experience a rarely different, yet a fantastic addition to your gustatory memory? Well, I am happy to share with you that the Seolleongtang is truly perfect for your taste buds. Seolleongtang is a traditional hot Korean soup that is made from the bones of an ox, ox meat and briskets. It is considered as a local dish in the City of Seoul.
Seolleongtang is seasoned with salt, ground black pepper, chopped green onions, or minced garlic which will greatly depend on the consumer’s taste and want. The broth is made up of a milky white, cloudy color and is often eaten with rice. Seolleongtang is soft and chewy in texture once it is tasted, and has a flavorful broth, that can be found in most of the Korean restaurants in the City of Seoul.
To add up to your Korean Cuisine experience, it is a must for you to experience and taste for yourself, Korea’s Seolleongtang, and definitely, it will create a big mark to your Food Diary.
Haemul Pajeon -Seafood Vegetable Pancake
Would it be a great interest for you to have another mouthwatering experience with one of Korea’s specialties? Then, it would be a great time for you to try Korea’s Haemul Pajeon or famously known as the Seafood Vegetable Pancake of Korea. Haemul Pajeon is a pancake-like Korean Dish that is topped predominantly with egg batter, wheat flour, green onions and rice flour.
Haemul Pajeon is highly incorporated with seafood that makes it uniquely different to the classic and common pancake that we are familiar with. Common seafood ingredients that are used in making Haemul Pajeon, to name a few yet are not limited to such are; oysters, shrimps, squid and clams. In general aspects, Haemul Pajeon is eaten as a main dish and is popularly known as soft and chewy in texture and is distinctly intricate because of its mixture of seafood flavors.
Thus, if you are waiting to have a second chance and shot of extending your pancake experience in the comforts of Korea, then having a bite with Haemul Pajeon is the answer to your conquest.
Samgyetang-Ginseng Chicken Soup
Do you consider as your personal favorite, dishes that are laced with chicken as a majority in its recipe? Then I would highly suggest the Samgyetang of Korea as your food of choice when you travel to the country. During the summer season in Korea, the Samgyetang or Ginseng Chicken Soup is a common dish that Koreans enjoy eating. It is a traditional yet a very sumptuous soup that is made heavenly because of its ingredients which are; chicken, garlic, rice, scallion, Korean jujube, Korean ginseng and spices.
It is highly known to have high nutritional value because of its healthy contents. And an additional fact that is worth-knowing about this amazingly created soup is that it is famous in Korea because of its creamy and meaty flavor. So for tourists and guests that are happily wandering in Korea, dropping by a restaurant that serves the Samgyetang is perfect for you.
Soondae- Blood Sausage
Are you adventurous as a food enthusiast and lover? Are you willing to try out something that is quite unique and exotic? Well then, the perfect dish for you is the Soondae of Korea. Sometimes spelled as Sundae, this dish is uniquely famous in Korea, because it is made of pig’s intestine, stuffed equally with several ingredients such as noodles, pork blood and barley.
A lot of varied versions of Soondae differ both in fillings and wrappings, and are famously prepared differently, in accordance to the province or city in Korea. But despite this practice and fact in Korea, the brilliant and splendid uniqueness of Soondae is never affected because for someone who eats it, it is indeed chewy on the outside yet it is so flavorful on the inside.
Thus, this Korean food would surely leave an impression that this is something interesting to eat and try because of its varied facets in textures and flavors. So for foodies who are up to an exotic yet sumptuous Korean eating experience, I would highly recommend Soondae to be part of your food checklist when you are in Korea.
Hobakjuk- Pumpkin Porridge
Are you on the high of increasing your Vegetable Experience by trying out a dainty porridge recipe that can be seen in Korea? Well, my great advice for you is to try the amazing combination dish of Korea, and that is the Hobakjuk- or Pumpkin Porridge. Hobakjuk is made from steamed pumpkin and glutinous rice that has been early on soaked in water. Though looking at the porridge, it may look simple, yet it is flavorful. It is best served when hot, most especially during breakfast.