The streets of Seoul (and most Korean cities) are lined with food stalls that offer a variety of dishes to be eaten on the run, such as delicious fish meatballs or vegetable donuts. There is indeed a real street food culture out there and sampling these dishes is a great way to explore the local flavors of Korea. Here are the best South Korean street food items presented not to be missed in Seoul.
“Hotteok” are Korean cakes that are eaten mostly in winter. Just like our traditional pancakes, they are like pancakes or crispy golden pancakes that can be stuffed with sugar or cinnamon, and it’s just delicious.
This kind of stuffed dumplings is an institution in Korea. They are usually stuffed with minced meat or tofu with garlic, ginger and green onions and then fried, boiled or steamed. Some varieties may include noodles or red bean pasta. They are dipped in soy sauce, chili or rice vinegar.
The Potato Tornado
The “tornado potato” is as beautiful to look at as it is good to savor. Indeed, as the name suggests, this dish is a potato cooked and fried to be presented in the spiral on a stick with an assortment of condiments such as cheese powder or chili. It can also be wrapped around a hot dog.
The “odeng” is made from a purée of white fish mixed with a variety of ingredients such as rice flour, salt, rice vinegar and sugar to then be compacted into a rectangle or accumulated on skewers. These fish cakes are cooked and can be enjoyed soaked in a mild broth.
It is a Korean version of Japanese makis. Ingredients may vary, but generally include egg, pickled radish, carrots, cucumbers and crab or tuna meat. Unlike Japanese makis, the Korean version does not use rice vinegar, but instead uses rice cooked in sesame oil. The “gimbap” is then rolled and cut into small portions, then wrapped in aluminum foil for easy transport.
As you can see, Korean people love fried foods. “Twigim” is an integral part of Korean street food culture. These are delicious donuts of fried vegetables, which are similar to the tempura of Japanese vegetables.
The “pajeon” looks a bit like a pancake. It is prepared with flour dough and incorporates meat, leeks, Chinese chives, oysters or other seafood such as squid. It is accompanied by a red sauce a little spicy.
The Octopus Salad
The street food would not make sense the famous salads of octopus and squid fried and dried. These treasures of the sea are usually served in cardboard cups and simply seasoned with a small lemon juice.
In Korean, bungeo means goldfish and ppang, bread. This fish bread is sold in bakeries but is mostly found in street stalls. The dough of bungeoppang is close to that of a waffle, provided to add rice flour. The presence of it allows obtaining a softer material, more elastic which then makes all the flavor of these fish-breads. Before being locked up and cooked in their molds, they are stuffed with red bean paste. The bungeoppang is eaten hot.