South Korea is a must-visit, not only for K-Culture fans but also for foodies looking to discover the world through its culinary delights. After all, here, you'll find a variety of affordable snacks available everywhere — from markets, street-side carts, and from the countless pojangmacha or small tented stalls you'll find in high-traffic areas. The shopping district of Myeongdong is a go-to for many looking for a whole new world of flavours, but you'll find that a lot of night and food markets throughout the country are also worth checking out. But, since we can't simply jet off to this food haven right when we crave for the taste of their cuisine, ahead, we share South Korean street food recipes so you can take your tastebuds on a journey even while at home.
Remember that scene in Boys Over Flowers where Gu Jun Pyo (played by none other than Lee Min Ho) just gobbled up probably a hundred sticks of fish cakes from a street cart? That scene sure made you want to taste those too, didn't it? One of the most popular Korean street food, these fish cake skewers called eomuk or odeng is a definite must-try for those wanting a taste of Korean cuisine. You'll find that a lot of Korean grocers stock frozen ready-to-cook versions of these, but give yourself a bit of a challenge and do it all from scratch with this recipe from Maangchi. Sure, it takes a lot of effort shopping for fresh seafood to grind into a mixture, but it's quite worth it knowing your dish will be packed with real seafood and less flour.
Tip: Rather than simply frying it, enjoy eomuk as you would on the streets of Seoul. Have it warm in a light savoury broth made with anchovies. Maangchi also did a recipe for that, which you can check out here.
Another Korean street food you'll basically find everywhere are the tteokbokki or spicy rice cakes in gochujang sauce. Like eomuk, the garaetteok (basically the small chewy cylindrical bites) that are the centrepiece of this dish are usually available in Korean marts, but it's actually quite easy to do at home as well. Follow HuiJyak's recipe for DIY rice cakes — all you'll need is a wet-milled rice flour (glutinous rice flour works as a good substitute as well) and a lot of love and kneading. When all that is done and ready, simmer it in a sweet and spicy sauce with eomuk slices, and a whole lot of veggies. Of course, don't forget to top it all with cheese to fight the hotness of the chilli.
Tip: Don't simmer down your tteokbokki and thicken your sauce. Instead, add in a pack of your favourite instant ramyeon, transforming the simple Korean street food recipe into a rabokki. Now that's one satisfying meal to curb your K-food cravings.
South Korea might be known for its hot and peppery flavours, but they also boast a whole lot of other non-spicy dishes that incorporate fresh produce and seafood for a healthy, well-balanced selection. One of such you should definitely try are the haemul pajeon or seafood scallion pancakes. Content Creator Seonkyoung Longest has an easy-to-follow recipe making use of tempura flour to bind together shrimp and scallion slices. But if tempura powder isn't readily available, she also lists down other pantry staples you can substitute for it.
Tip: Go completely vegetarian — do away with the seafood and include other vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, and even sweet potato. If you really want a kick, then go ahead and chop up some kimchi to add as well.
Gamja Hot Dogs
Amped up corn dogs — that's basically what gamja or potato hot dogs are. You'd think that the batter-covered sausages are already sinful, but the ingenious creation of gamja hot dogs in the streets of Myeongdong teaches us there are no bounds to attain the truly indulgent and sumptuous snack. YouTube cooking channel Sweet The Mi has shared the Korean street food recipes for these two crowd-favourites and even swapped out some hot dogs with mozzarella sticks for a cheesy bite. Try them all and decide which one's your fave!
Tip: Don't be afraid to experiment with flavours. Use spicy hot dogs, chicken hot dogs, or whatever you prefer. And, as a final touch, dust your deep-fried sticks with sugar before drizzling with ketchup for a touch of sweetness and sourness in every bite.
Now that we're touching upon the arena of sweets, how about completing your Korean food feast with chapssal doughnuts as your dessert? These bite-sized rounds filled with smooth red bean paste are made with sticky rice flour, making its texture softer than your regular doughnut. Watch the recipe from Aeri's Kitchen above to learn how to make these sugary treats.
Tip: Red bean paste not your thing? Opt for Nutella- or cream cheese-filled doughnuts instead. If you're filling it with Nutella, remember to freeze spoonfuls in your ice cube trays beforehand so it's easier to wrap the dough around when you prepare.