South Korea has developed a reputation in recent years for its technology rather than its cuisine. Thanks to delicacies like kimchi, which has become a global sensation, things are starting to change. Here is a list of dishes from South Korea that you must try.
Hoeddeok (sweet syrupy pancakes)
Hoeddeok, also known as hotteok, is a popular Korean street food, especially during the winter season. It’s basically a flat, circular dough filled with a cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, and small pieces of peanut and cooked on a griddle. The delicacy has crunchy exterior and soft interior as well as an irresistible flavor.
Bulgogi (marinated beef barbecue)
Bulgogi is a juicy, savory grilled marinated beef dish that is one of the most common Korean meat dishes around the world, and according to CNN Travel’s reader poll in 2011, it was ranked as the 23rd most delicious food in the world. To add spice to the beef, it is often grilled with garlic and sliced onions. The meat is usually wrapped in lettuce and it is also traditionally eaten with ssamjang (a thick, red spicy paste).
Samgyeopsal (pork strips)
Samgyeopsal is a popular South Korean dish made up of grilled slices of pork belly meat that haven’t been marinated or seasoned. They’re typically dipped in a salt-and-pepper seasoning mixed with sesame seed oil, then wrapped in lettuce with grilled garlic slices, grilled onion slices, shredded green onions, and kimchi. It is one of the most common dishes found in any Korean restaurant throughout the world.
Japchae (stir-fried noodles)
Japchae is a traditional Korean noodle dish made with stir-fried sweet potato, thinly shredded vegetables, beef, and a touch of soy sauce and sugar. It’s mostly eaten as a side dish during lunch or dinner. Additional ingredients, such as mushrooms, can be added to the mix depending on the chef. Japchae is known for its sweet, flavorful flavor as well as its smooth, slightly chewy texture.
Kimchi (fermented vegetables)
Kimchi is a spicy and sour fermented vegetable dish that is one of the oldest and most important dishes in Korean cuisine. It can be made with a variety of ingredients, but cabbage is the most common main ingredient. Foreigners love kimchi because of its distinctive taste, as well as its high nutritional value, fiber content, and low calorie content. However, for Koreans, it is most popular due to its significant cultural value. Without kimchi, dinner is considered incomplete.
Ddukbokki (spicy rice cake)
Ddukbokki (also written tteokbokki) is a spicy Korean dish consisting of cylindrical rice cakes, triangular fish cakes, vegetables, and sweet red chili sauce. Pojangmacha sometimes sells it (street vendors). Ddeukbokki is popular because of its spicy and sweet flavors.
Sundubu-jjigae (soft tofu stew)
Sundubu-jjigae is a spicy Korean stew made with dubu (tofu), vegetables, mushrooms, fish, beef or pork, and gochujang, and served in a large stone cup (chili paste). Some ingredients are omitted, substituted, or added to the mix depending on the chef and location. Though different variations exist, traditionally, a raw egg is placed on top of the stew and mixed with the soup before serving to add additional flavor to the dish.
Bibimbap (mixed rice)
Bibimbap is a bowl of mixed ingredients that includes rice, namul (seasoned and sautéed vegetables), mushrooms, meat, soy sauce, gochujang (chili pepper paste), and a fried egg, among other items. The most popular varieties of bibimbap can be found in Jeonju, Tongyeong, and Jinju, and the ingredients used in them differ by area.
Seolleongtang (ox bone soup)
Seolleongtang is a traditional spicy Korean soup made from ox bones, ox meat, and briskets. It is sometimes flavored with salt, ground black pepper, chopped green onions, or minced garlic, depending on the preferences of the user. The broth has a milky white, cloudy appearance and is often served with rice. Seolleongtang is known for its soft yet chewy texture and flavorful broth, and can be found in most Korean restaurants in Seoul.
Haemul Pajeon (seafood vegetable pancake)
Haemul pajeon is a seafood-infused version of pajeon, a traditional Korean pancake-like dish made primarily of green onions, egg batter, wheat flour, and rice flour. Oysters, shrimp, squid, and clams are some of the most common seafood ingredients used. Haemul pajeon is generally eaten as a main dish and is known for its soft and chewy texture as well as its mixture of seafood flavors.
Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup)
Samgyetang is a traditional soup made of chicken, garlic, rice, scallion, Korean jujube, Korean ginseng, and spices that is popular in the summer. It’s well-known for its high nutritional value. It’s famous not only because of its healthy ingredients, but also because of its creamy, meaty taste.
Soondae (blood sausage)
Soondae, or sundae as it is often pronounced, is a unique Korean dish made of pig’s intestines stuffed with a variety of ingredients including noodles, pork blood, and barley. Soondae fillings and wrappings vary by province and city in South Korea, and they are often prepared differently. Nevertheless, though the recipes differ, every soondae is chewy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the side, creating an interesting mix of textures as well as flavors.
Naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles)
Broad, thin noodles, cucumbers, slices of Korean pear, slices of beef, and a hard-boiled egg make up Naengmyeon, a common cold Korean noodle dish. Depending on the form of naengmyeon, the noodles are usually made of buckwheat, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, but they may also be made of arrowroot and kudzu. It is a popular dish especially during the summer to cool off under the scorching heat and thick humid air in South Korea.
Hobakjuk (pumpkin porridge)
Hobakjuk is a sweet and grainy traditional Korean porridge made with steamed pumpkin and glutinous rice that has been soaked in water. Because of the pumpkin, it is exceptionally sweet and flavorful, despite its simple appearance. It is a popular meal during breakfast hours, and is often a perfect meal choice for people who are unwell and unable to consume heavy meals. It is served both hot and cold but is best when hot.