Annyeong! According to several sources, Korean foods are really known for being healthy. It is because their food are mostly composed of fresh vegetables, fruits, fishes, great beef and many more nutritious ingredients. And not just South Koreans can enjoy these kind of delicacies since most of their products are now being sold on Korean restaurants and shops around the world. Now, I have here a list of some of the most popular, best selling and all-time favorite Korean foods you really have to try
before it’s too late!
Not in particular order, here is a list of those Korean foods:
- Tteokbokki or ddeokbokki (Korean name: 떡볶이, “spicy rice cake”)
|Tteokbokki – Spicy Rice Cake|
- tteokbokki is just a street food in South Korea but today, more and more international restaurants are serving it. In Korea, they are sold on small stalls and usually prepared by the vendor according to their special recipe. That means every tteokbokki has a little variety of taste. It is made up of bite-size cylindrical-shaped rice cake stirred in hot paste. Yes, it is spicy and very great for winter! Check our tteokbokki experience at Shin Dang Dong Korean Restaurant in Makati, Philippines.
Photo credit: http://100percentperfectus.blogspot.com/2009/02/most-koreans-will-be-loyal-to.html
- Odeng (Korean name: 오뎅, “fish cake”)
|Odeng – Fish Cake|
- odeng is one of my favorite Korean food. It is not because I’m influenced by Korean dramas which featured it but it’s because of the taste! Just like the tteokbokki, odeng is usually seen being sold on streets (together with kimbap, mandu and roasted corn.) Good thing that the fish cake is available at the nearest Batangas Korean restaurant. We can enjoy eating odeng-tang anytime we want.
Photo credit: http://www.ifood.tv/network/korean_odeng
- Sundubu Jiggae (Korean name: 순두부 찌개, “soft tofu stew”)
|Sundubu Jiggae – Soft Tofu Stew|
- so happy that sundubu jiggae was also present at their (the Korean restaurant on our place) menu. This food is not too thick nor too thin. I mean the food texture was just right. Delicious fish stock and a little beef, fresh shell fish, hot pepper flakes, silken tofu, and eggs are some of its ingredients.
Photo credit: http://www.kevineats.com/2008/07/young-dong-tofu-arcadia-ca.htm
- Hotteok (Korean name: 호떡, “sweet pancakes”
|Hotteok – Sweet Pancakes|
- hotteok, which are known as sweet pancakes can also be seen sold beside the streets of Korea. Hotteok vendors are holding an oval metal plate with handle used to flatten the hotteok while it is being fried. The hotteok is made up of flour covering with melted sugar and peanuts as filling. What can you say about that?
Photo credit: http://diendan.vietgiaitri.com/lofiversion/index.php?t156413.html
- Bulgogi (Korean name: 불고기, “Korean beef barbecue”)
|Bulgogi – Korean Beef Barbecue|
- this is the Korean version of our favorite barbecue. Usually, Koreans cook it with beef, although chicken and pork can also be used. Very few Korean restaurants doesn’t serve bulgogi because just like the other menu in this list, it is an all-time favorite and best selling! You know, aside from being eaten as bulgogi alone, it is sometimes mixed with other Korean food such as the “lettuce wrap”.
Photo credit: http://www.insanitytheory.net/kitchenwench/bulgogi-traditional-korean-bbq-beef-our-authentic-home-recipe/
- Bibimbap (Korean name: 비빔밥, “mixed rice or mixed meal”)
|Bibimbap – Mixed Rice/Mixed Meal|
- its name actually describe itself. “Bibim” means mixed and “bap” means rice. The rice will be at the bottom of the bowl covered with different vegetables toppings. So, what are those toppings? We have some julienned cucumber, zucchini, mu (daikon), mushrooms, doraji (bellflower root) and gim (seaweed), spinach, soybean sprouts, and gosari (bracken fern stems), dubu (tofu) which is either plain or sauteed, lettuce may be added, or chicken or seafood may be substituted for beef. Wow, that’s what the word “mixed” means!
Photo credit: http://www.buhaybuhay.com/2011/07/brother-sister-korean-restaurant-first.html
- Kimchi (Korean name: 김치, “fermented cabbage”)
|Kimchi – Fermented Cabbage|
- i said fermented cabbage because I am pertaining to the cabbage kimchi. In Korea, there are different varieties of kimchi and as far as I know, almost all vegetables can be turned into kimchi. Kimchi is also one of the world’s healthiest food. Some people can’t even imagine eating without it. It is the national dish of Korea. You can now buy it on packs at some grocery stores worldwide and had a very awesome spicy taste! As a matter of fact and honestly speaking, I have just finished preparing our kimchi before I actually finished this article. OK, too much for a lot of trivia. LOL!
Photo credit: http://www.lovethatkimchi.com/
- Japchae (Korean name: 잡채, “stir fried noodles or mixed vegetables”)
|Japchae – Stir-fried Vegetables/Mixed Vegetables|
- if you’re into eating noodles, then I think japchae is the best one for you. Its cellophane noodles is not just made from common starch but sweet potato starch. But do you know that the original japchae has no noodles at all? It was just made up of lightly cooked vegetables and was invented for the Korean king. The king liked it very much
and ate a lot of it! Later, the dangmyeon (cellophane noodles) is mixed with the vegetables. Thinly sliced carrots, mushrooms, onions and spinach together with the noodles are stir-fried in sesame oil. Some restaurants adds some beef, sugar and a little bit of soy sauce to enhance the taste.
Photo credit: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/japchae
- Kimbap (Korean name: 김밥, “Korean sushi”)
|Kimbap – Korean Sushi|
- if you can’t eat the sushi made by the Japanese because there are uncooked ingredients into it, then kimbap is for you! For foreigners, kimbap is on the top 100 foods of Korea. Certainly, millions of people loves this food, including me! I can even make my own kimbap because this is so easy to prepare if you have the tools needed. By the way, “kim” refers to the sheets of dried laver seaweeds while “bap” as stated above means rice. Yes, you just need to roll the sheet of seaweed with the rice. But don’t forget the fillings which are usually protein-rich ingredients. These may include scrambled eggs, crab meat, fish cake, beef or anything you want to fill in it. You should also include cucumber, carrots, avocados or even slices of mango inside. Just don’t forget to season the rice for taste.
Photo credit: http://www.naokis.net
- Mandu (Korean name: 만두, “Korean dumplings”)
|Mandu – Korean Dumplings|
- the Mongolians have it, the Chinese have it, the Japanese have it, therefore the Koreans have it too! It is the dumpling which is sold as street foods too. There are different ways the Koreans prepare the mandu. They boil it, they pan-fry it, they steam it, mix it on soups and even stuff it with kimchi! In short, do what you want with mandu.
Photo credit: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=18013
And that was list I personally made for all of you. I know that there are a lot more Korean foods available everywhere but I’m sure that the foods listed above was the most popular among them. I really recommend that you should always enjoy eating any Korean food or Korean drinks you will order. Some of those have hundreds years of existence and are only eaten by the royal family. But today, be thankful because most of it are now just around the corner! Kamsahamnida! (^_^)