Top 9 Famous Korean Foods Everyone Needs to Try
Korean food is unique, colorful and full of flavor. Korean food is typically prepared in a way that makes it easy to eat using chopsticks or a spoon and most westerners to Korea quickly fall in love with many of the common dishes listed above.
One of the top contributors to modern technology and culture, South Korea is a small country that is rapidly developing into one of the biggest influences throughout the globe, whether it is through Samsung or K-pop music. Despite the strong desire to become one of the leading countries in the modern world, South Korea proudly maintains several cultural elements, particularly its cuisine, which has become popular internationally, while advancing in the globalized culture.
Traditional Korean food consists of a variety of soups, broths, rice and noodles as main meals and a range of side dishes as accompaniments. From spicy kimchi to sweet red bean paste, much of the ingredients used in Korean cooking have numerous health benefits whilst maintaining a delicious balance of flavour and texture.
Our Top 9 Korean Foods:
One of the oldest and probably the most essential plate in Korean cuisine, kimchi is a spicy and sour dish of fermented vegetables. It is prepared with various kinds of ingredients, but the most common main ingredient is cabbage. Kimchi is popular among foreigners for its unique flavor as well as nutritional value of high fiber content and low calories. However, for Koreans, it is most popular due to its significant cultural value. Without kimchi, the meal is incomplete.
Chicken galbi (Dak-Galbi in Korean) is a mix of chicken and vegetables that you stir-fry in a delicious red chili pepper sauce called gochujang. When you sit down at a table, you will see a grill built into the center of the table that is used for cooking. The vegetables that are served with chicken galbi are usually cabbage, sweet potatoes, scallions, and onions. Rice is also served along as a side, or to mix in with the chicken and vegetables.
Not to be confused with sushi, gimbap is steamed rice and other ingredients rolled up in dried pieces of seaweed. It looks like sushi from the outside, but it tastes much different because there is no fresh fish. Instead, the ingredients consist of cucumbers, spinach, carrots, pickled radish, ham, etc. There are many different variations of gimbap (just like sushi) but it generally always tastes the same.
This is a stew that is made with kimchi and other ingredients such as tofu, seafood (or pork), and onions. It is one of the most common stews in Korea and it is served almost anywhere. Kimchi Jiggae is always spicy (sometimes really really spicy) and always served with rice as a side dish. It’s perfect to eat on a cold wintery day!
Samgyeopsal (Pork Strips)
One of the most popular Korean dishes in South Korea, samgyeopsal is essentially a dish of grilled slices of pork belly meat that is not marinate or seasoned. It is commonly dipped in seasoning made of salt and pepper mixed in sesame seed oil, and then wrapped in lettuce along with grilled slices of garlic, grilled slices of onion, shredded green onions, and/or kimchi. It is one of the most common dishes found in any Korean restaurant throughout the world.
Ground Mudfish Soup
Chuotang is made with the Miggulaji fish (Chinese muddy loach, Misgurnus mizolepis), which usually lives in shallow waters. The fishes are grounded into a powder and then boiled with leak leaves, green onions, soybean paste and red pepper paste. The taste is thought to be strong by some Koreans and it might take you a little while to get used to it, but it really is a must-try.
Ddukbokkie (Spicy Rice Cake)
Ddukbokkie, also spelled tteokbokki, is a common spicy Korean food made of cylindrical rice cakes, triangular fish cake, vegetables, and sweet red chili sauce. It is easily found along the streets sold by pojangmacha (street vendors). Consumers enjoy ddeukbokkie for its unique spicy and sweet combination as well as its outburst of flavors. Though the rice cake does not contribute much to the flavor, its chewy texture does add to the dining experience.
Soondae (Blood Sausage)
Soondae, or sometimes spelled as sundae, is a unique Korean dish made of pig’s intestines stuffed with several ingredients such as cellophane noodles, pork blood, and barley. Versions of soondae differ by fillings and wrappings and are often prepared uniquely according to provinces and cities throughout South Korea. 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.
Hotteok Sweet Syrup Pancakes
If you have a sweet tooth you are guaranteed satisfaction with this amazing pancake sold by street vendors. It is a little more complex than a western style pancake because it is made with a yeast dough but the effort is well worth it. The dough (virtually identical to a western bread dough) is filled with a mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts and fried in a lightly oiled pan until the filling has melted into a syrup. This really is the queen of pancakes and it is incredibly popular with children.