When you get to Korea there are a few dishes you must try. I have complied some of the most popular, the spiciest, and most delicious dishes here for you. Here are the top 10, but this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of all the awesome Korean fare out there. Dangsin-ui eumsig-eul jeulgil su! (enjoy your food – 당신의 음식을 즐길 수)
1. Kimchi – 김치
Served at nearly every meal is this spicy fermented cabbage dish. Mixed with pepper, ginger, scallion and garlic, this might pack a bigger punch that it looks like! You must at least take a bite of this traditional side dish. It’s likely sitting next to whatever you just ordered.
2. Hangover stew – 해장국
Koreans sure do love throwing back a few drinks and the next morning can sometimes be rough. Thank goodness they have the cure, the hangover stew. Beef broth, bean sprouts, radish, congealed ox blood, and cabbage all mixed together and served up nice and hot. This will surely jump start your day after your crazy night out.
3. Bibimbap – 비빔밥
If you’re looking for something new to eat for lunch, try this dish. It’s an all-in-one kind of deal made of rice, vegetables, beef, and egg. This easy salad is topped with chili paste as dressing with a dash of sesame oil.
4. Soft Tofu Stew – 순두부찌개
This is not your average stew with ingredients that shouldn’t work, but do. This delicious dish consists of clams, soft tofu, and egg all cooked in a spicy broth.
5. Yangnyeom Tongdak Seasoned Fried Chicken – 양념통닭
Korean Fried Chicken. Do I need to say more? It’s a bit sticky and sweet yet spicy at the same time. The chicken is fried up and therefore has an amazing crisp when you bite into it, then the sweet heat comes into play. Yum!
6. Bulgogi Marinated Beef BBQ – 불고기
In a Western country, you might visit a nice Korean BBQ restaurant but it’s nothing like the real thing. This is only one of their renditions of a beef BBQ. Usually with a hot plate in the middle of the table, the succulent and thinly sliced beef is marinated in a pear, garlic soy mixture and then barbecued right in front of your face. It can be eaten in many ways like in a wrap or just the way it is with some vegetables to accompany it.
7. Hobakjuk – 호박죽
This is a yummy porridge like dish made of pumpkin and a glutinous rice flour. That’s it. Simple, yet delicious and is said to help with intestinal problems.
8. Hoeddeok Sweet Syrupy Pancakes – 호떡
Like your sweets? We all do. Just hightail it to your nearest street market and look out for this pancake like dessert. It is a yeast dough mixture filled with brown sugar, cinnamon and crunchy walnuts, then fried. Anything fried is good right? But what make it even better is the yummy ingredients inside all melt to make a built-in syrup. If you aren’t into sweet things then make yours savory with a cheese filling instead.
9. Nakji bokkeum – 낙지볶음
This fiery dish is sure to flare up your taste buds. It’s made of octopus, chili powder, chili peppers, green peppers, and chili paste. Enough heat for you? I hope you have something to cool your mouth down nearby, you will need it.
10. Bingsu – 빙수
A summery dessert, this yummy dish consists of sweet red beans and shaved ice with options to includes other ingredients like ice cream, corn flakes and or condensed milk.