Being that there are so many food choices in Korea, being able to eat a lot of it and the best of the best is very much needed. In addition to the traditinal ddukbokki, fish cake, and fried goodies you can find at almost every stand, the special ones on my list for a salty and more filling taste include:
Hotba is an extremely popular Korean street food yum where cuttlefish meat and other types of seafoods are actually broken down until its textures becomes like that of mashed potato. This batter is then formed into different shapes and sizes prior to being deep fried.
When purchasing from a street food cart, the Hotba is usually made of fish paste or cuttlefish. Depending on the cart you are purchasing from, the combo varies. The most common forms of fried fish sausages includes the fish paste with a sesame leaf, shrimp tempura, crabmeat, plain, and of course, one with a hot dog. My favorite combination is one with shrimp tempura or plain. Be sure to lather some ketchup on top and eat it fresh!
This cheap eat us usually a dollar or two, maxing out at three dollars and can be found in most street vendors. The best one I have had by far is the one that only serves fried cuttlefish sticks in Myeongdong. They even have a few guts standing around making the actually stick there as you order!
Fried chicken is a popular eat in Korea, particularly bonchon, but there are a few areas that you can find regular fried chicken without all of the crazy flavors and different sauces. The best part about these locations is it being in the street where service is quick, food is fresh, and price is low.
This bucket of salted boneless fried chicken found in the streets of Hongdae was only for the price of five bucks. The best part is, the stand is open late hours for those who are craving something to eat after a night of partying. This cheap eat can be shared between a group of friends or hogged up for one. Regardless of what the intentions are, the purpose of a street food yum to fill a stomach of craving is fulfilled.
One of the popular eats in Korea is the fish shaped cakes that can be found in many street vendors along the train stations. For just two dollars, three pieces of yum that is not as sweet as other pastries in America. I absolutely love the crunchy burnt part that opens to a soft bread layer stuffed with red bean paste.
Korean students love eating these little goodies, but there's no harm in having big kids consume as well. On a personal note, I just wish these goodies were a little sweeter because I have such a sweet tooth.
This street food yum is one of my favorites. For just a dollar, this slightly sweet flavored bread is topped with an egg. Made of a light and fluffy flour, it helps to satisfy any stomach that is craving for a mouth of snacking. It is definitely one of the popular eats in Korea and it does help to temporarily fill up any stomach that is dire need of food because it is made of flour.
You will see a rectangular muffin pan that is filled with a bread mix. This mix is topped with an egg and placed over the fire to gradually cook until the final product is as it looks in the photo (just not as burnt usually). The best part about this egg bread is it being available at all times during the day. For such a cheap eat that you can quickly grab off of a street vendor, it is a must have at all hours!
Squid is a popular street food yum in Korea that comes in all different styles; some are soft, some fried, some grilled. Depending on what you are craving, you will find a kind to satisfy your taste buds. I randomly chose what I thought to be a grilled squid but instead it was a flat slice of squid that was slapped on a press pan. After lathering on some peanut butter, cinnamon and a bit of sugar, this squid is then placed though a machine that slides it through while simultaneously cooking.
I thought it was a weird combination at first to have peanut butter, cinnamon and sugar on something that is supposed to be a salty snack but this baby was delicious! It is the right combo for someone with a sweet tooth like myself who is in love with peanut butter also. For just five dollars, it was not enough to keep me going because it was just that addicting. If you are not so big on the sweet salty combo, be sure to try out the other squid snacks!
Kimbaps are a Korean traditional eat, but this street food yum has taken the traditional eat and turned it into a twist. With so much to choose from, it is practically impossible to make a choice without sampling each! This stand located in Dong Dae Mun whips up baby kimbaps and sells each roll for just fifty cents. The variety of kimbaps include spam, tuna, pork, eel, radish, anchovies, sweet potato, and a handful of others that I just can't remember.
For those of you who are looking for a quick, cheap, and cute eat for a night of shopping in Dong Dae Mun, definitely stop by this stand located across the street from the central malls of attractions which includes Doota, Milagro, and the many wholesale locations as well.
Stay tuned for a list of SWEET street food yums !
Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes. With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer!