Before visiting Seoul, if you asked me about Korean food, I could probably only name Kimchi. I live in Philadelphia, which has a ton of Asian restaurants (thanks to Chinatown), but for the most part these restaurants are Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine. After spending more than a month in Asia, Korean has to be my favorite Asian food by far, something I may have never realized if I hadn’t visited.
So, what are some foods in Seoul that you should try? Let’s start with the most basic…
Bibimbap is made up of a bowl of warm white rice, topped with sautéed vegetables, chili pepper paste, soy sauce, a fried egg and sliced meat (most likely beef). It is served sizzling hot and is stirred together before eating.
2. Hangover stew
Rough night out in Gangnam, Hongdae or Itaewon? Made from a beef broth, with cabbage, bean sprouts, radish and chunks of ox blood (what?), this spicy stew will help you make it through your day.
3. Egg Bread (Gyeran Bbang)
I’ll admit that the first couple times I walked past this egg bread, I was skeptical. But, after seeing a ton of people trying it out, I had to partake. No regrets here, egg bread is amazing.
If you’re walking through Seoul and you smell something devinely sweet, it’s Hotteok. Hotteok is a desert pancake and one of Korea’s most famous street snacks. It is usually filled with lots of sweets like brown sugar, honey, pine nuts and cinnamon.
5. Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ isn’t just one food item, but rather a bunch of different meats thrown together on a table burner. These BBQs usually include beef, pork, or chicken, along with different vegetables and appetizers. The most popular item is bulgogi which is usually made from thinly sliced marinated beef.
6. Bulgogi Pizza Wrap
I know this one doesn’t sound Korean (with the exception of Bulgogi), but I ‘ve never seen a pizza wrap anywhere else other than the streets of Seoul, so I deemed it just as Korean as any of these dishes.
Yukgaejang is one of my favorites, a spicy shredded beef stew topped with scallions, onions and korean radishes. I will always remember this as my last meal in Korea, and the coughing fit I had after eating it too fast and then trying to remedy that with tons of wine. Really spicy.
9.Naengmyeon (Cold Buckwheat Noodles)
Naengmyeon is a common Korean noodle dish. What makes it different than the mass of noodle dishes, is that it is served cold. Cold noodles are really popular in Korea. Naengmyeon usually consists of long, thin noodles, cucumbers, slices of Korean pear, slices of beef and a hard-boiled egg.
10. And of Course Kimchi
For those of you that don’t know, Kimchi is picked cabbage mixed with red pepper. You don’t really have to worry about ordering Kimchi, since it will likely be served to you as a complimentary side to a variety of dishes. Even if you’ve had Kimchi in America and arn’t a fan, try it in Korea. I swear it’s better.