Seoul: Street Food

2 Nov

Going to Seoul and not sampling its wide array of delicious street food and snacks, is almost akin to going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. Here’s a list of what we tried.

Namdaemun area had many of these big Pojangmachas (covered wagons) where you could sit and have a proper meal. Since we had dinner planned that day, we only ordered one dish.

There was a huge variety of food available including meat skewers, seafood, pajeon (green onion pancake) and of course tteokbokki! Most of the diners washed down their food with beer or soju. Apparently they are open 24 hours!

We got a plate of Stir Fried Octopus with Chilli and Onions. The octopus was so soft and the flavours were so good I wished we were eating our dinner there instead!

These Dried Seafood carts were to be found everywhere in Myeongdong, and you will probably smell them before seeing them. After picking the bag you want, the ajumma will press it for you so that it becomes toasty. We tried a mixed bag that came with cuttlefish and octopus. They were umami-flavourful but incredibly chewy until our jaws almost ached.

This was probably one of my favourites, Dakkochi (Grilled Chicken Skewers with Sweet Soya Glaze) which can be found everywhere. The chicken is always a bit fatty and tender. We first tried it at this kind-looking ajosshi’s cart and he offered us cups of hot tea and tissues.

This was a strange late night snack after shopping at Dongdaemun – a hot dog covered with fries. Super sinful and not very yums if you ask me, probably also because it was already cold.

Another delicious snack, Deep Fried Fishcake somewhere in Myeongdong. The make each piece to order so you get yours fresh from the huge wok of hot oil. The paste also has bits of spring onions and carrots and you can add in items like prawns too.

I dedicated an entire post to this, so this was definitely one of the highlights for me – Hotteok (sugar caramel pancake) in Insadong was the best dessert/sweet snack ever!

While I queued for the hotteoks, the hubs went to join a queue at Jilsiru for Tteok (Korean traditional rice cake). This was red bean flavoured but it was very light. They fill you up well and it seemed very popular with the locals but I’m not quite a fan, heh.

If you’re feeling sinful from all that eating, try having some fruits from one of the many fruit trucks doubling as shops around the city to balance out. Don’t miss out the really sweet tangerines that come from Jeju Island.

The persimmons in Seoul were definitely my favourite though. If you haven’t eaten a persimmon, it’s basically like a really sweet tomato, without the sourness at all, and without seeds.

Other popular street food/snacks include – Tteokbokki (rice cakes), Kimbap (Korean version of Sushi), Sundae (blood sausage), Odeng (fish cake in broth), Tornado Potato and the very tall soft serve (the latter two often feature in tourist shots). Most not tried because of personal preference and because there are simply too many good things to eat in Seoul! :) Happy eating!

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