This is the first in a series on Korean local foods: Has anyone tried any of them before?
Can you name these 10 Korean street foods? Don’t peek…
①Dakkochi (Grilled chicken skewer): It is called Dakkochi in Korean, which is a grilled chicken skewer. But why is it so red? Because chilli sauce is put on chicken. Are you already scared of hot tastes? Don’t worry about it! It is optional. You can choose one among salt, chilli and soy based sauces.
Warning: Sauces can stain your clothes.
②Waffle: It is a Korean style waffle. On a round shaped waffle, you put apple jam and cream, and then fold it in half. Apple jam is always a base, but you can choose different flavors of cream like chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, blueberry and etc. If you try a waffle in summer, it is strongly recommend you add ice cream inside.
③Pineapple stick, ④Melon stick: You might have also seen these on the street in Southeast Asian countries. These are fruit sticks, and they are quite popular in summer. You can get the taste of the tropics in Korea, too.
⑤Wang Shu cream (King cream puff): It is a plain puffy pastry with custard cream inside. The size of Wang Shu Cream is as big as your face, so you had better share with your fellow travelers.
Warning: Be careful that you don’t have custard cream all over your face.
⑥Smoothie: This drink might be very familiar to you. You can have fruit or yogurt smoothies in Korea, but if you want something special, I’d encourage you to have mixed grains flavor which has a rich, nutty — as well as healthy — taste.
⑦Mandoo (Korean steamed dumpling): It is a Korean steamed dumpling. Particularly, you should try ‘Kalbi Mandoo’, which is filled with grilled marinated beef short ribs and fresh vegetables including chives and onions.
⑧Sundae (Korean blood sausage): Sundae is made by steaming pig’s intestines that are filled with various ingredients including glass noodles and vegetables. It is a bit similar to black pudding, a type of blood sausage, eaten in Europe. But my British friend told me that Sundae’s taste is stronger than black pudding. Sundae gets along well with tteokbokki (rice cake with Korean chilli paste).
⑨Ssam: Ssam means ‘wrapped’ in Korean. When people eat Korean barbecue, they usually wrap meat and other filling with a leafy vegetables like lettuce. As filling, I like to put grilled garlic and spicy spring onion salad along with a piece of beef or pork. You can include anything you want on your Ssam, but don’t forget to put Ssamjang (red chilli and miso paste)! This paste is a finisher for Korean authentic Ssam.
Warning: Don’t be greedy, otherwise it takes forever to swallow one Ssam.
⑩Soft ice cream: Have you ever seen a 30 cm-soft ice cream? The length of the ice cream is incredible, but you will be even more surprised of the price: 2,500 Won (about US$2). There are many different flavours such as chocolate, yogurt, strawberry, vanilla, and green tea, but the most popular flavours are mixed green tea and yogurt and mixed strawberry and yogurt.
Warning: it melts rapidly, especially in summer, so keep up your speed until you finish it.
By EJ Monica Kim