South Korea is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia. Because of its rich culture and let’s admit it, because of the hype of K-Pop and K-Dramas, everyone is excited to step in the land of Oppas.
South Korea is also a haven for food lovers. Korean Cuisine or Hansik, is diverse and full of surprises. It’s colorful and of course, unlimited side dishes! The list of Best Korean Food that every visitor should try is long.
Here is a list of the best Korean food to try in South Korea that you should not miss.
Travel Guide: Book your fun food tour and activities via Klook!
On top of the list of the best Korean food to try in South Korea is this popular spicy stir- fried pork dish is cooked with gochujang. Made with thinly sliced pork meat marines in spicy seasoning. Once you marinate this pork, you can keep some uncooked in the freezer to fry and eat later. It is usually eaten by wrapping the cooked meat with lettuce and different kinds of vegetables, garlic, onion, carrots, cucumbers, sesame leaves, napa cabbage, and many more.
Second on the list of best Korean food to try in South Korea is Gabi jjim or simply braised short ribs that are soft and tender. A popular dish served during special occasions. Other ingredients include carrots, gingko nuts, chestnut and shitake mushroom. It is sweet, rich, and savoury. It is simply served with a bowl of steaming rice and some aged kimchi on the side, this stew is a cure for even the darkest winter-blues.
Another best Korean food to try in South Korea is this beef sweet treat. It is a grilled dish made of marinated beef that is thinly sliced in a mixture of soy sauce and garlic. One of the most popular of Korean dishes, it is usually accompanied with lettuce wraps and spicy red pepper paste for wrapping and spicing up the meat. The sweet-and-salty marinade is an essential component of this traditional dish that helps to tenderize the meat and give it lots of flavors.
A whole chicken stuffed with herbs and spices such as ginseng, garlic, jujubes, milk vetch root and sweet rice, is simmered for hours. This best Korean food to try in South Korean is a popular dish being served during summer to rejuvenate. A whole young chicken is served in a large earthenware pot. By the time you are done with the chicken, you would be sweating so much from the warmth of the soup.
This simple best Korean food to try in South Korea is a chicken dish, made by coating the chicken meat with flour then deep- fried then smothered in a boiled sweet and spicy sauce. It’s traditionally made with a whole chicken that’s been cut up. However, dak gangjeong made with bite sized boneless chicken pieces has become a recent food craze in Korea, adding to the growing trends of Korean fried chicken.
Another on the list that you should not miss among best Korean food to try in South Korea is the pajeon. Eaten as a snack, this green onion pancake is made with batter and scallions then fried. Vegetables are battered and pan fried, cut into either rectangles or triangles, (or served whole) and served warm or hot. This is a basic version, there are many others which include meats, seafood, kimchi, or a larger variety of vegetables.
Your immersion to Korean cuisine is not complete without trying this another best Korean food to try in South Korea. Japchae is a glass noodles dish made with stir-fried meat and vegetables. It is a star in all Korean family celebrations. The texture and taste of the noodles is chewy are made from sweet potato starch.
A popular colorful best Korean food to try in South Korea is a simple street food and snack made with rice cakes seasoned with spicy gochujang paste. Tteokbokki can be plated in various ways and there are best places in South Korea that are especially famous for serving unique yet super tasty tteokbokki.
Similar to sushi, it is a full meal in a single roll, and one of the best Korean food to try in South Korea. Made with rice on a sheet of gim or dried laver with layers of spinach, carrots, egg, pickled radish and of course, beef. There are few types of it, from Kimchi Gimbap, Cheese Gimbap, Tuna Gimbap, Beef Gimbap and more.
This best Korean food to try in South Korea is a bowl of cooked rice mixed with vegetables and beef. Dash of nori or a sheet of seaweed is also added. The artfully arranged little piles of vegetables may include carrots, spinach, mung bean sprouts and cucumbers. This tasty version has grilled portobello mushrooms and shrimp.
Originally served during summer, this cold noodle soup is made with buckwheat noodles and broth with brine of dongchimi or radish water kimchi. Naengmyeon is literally translated as “water cold noodle”. It is a favorite for many gourmands seeking a reprieve from the sweltering heat of Summer, and this makes unique and one of the best Korean food to try in South Korea.
This is the Korean version of dumplings, another best Korean food to try in South Korea. Made with ground meat and vegetables in a thinly rolled wrapper. Mandu was initially prepared for ancestral rites or banquets and enjoyed as a special dish for cold winter days.
The last but not the least among best Korean food to try in South Korea is Sundubu jjigae, a soupy dish made with tofu and Korean spices. It is an iconic stew that is a staple go-to-stew for Koreans. It is spicy and has a clean tasting broth bubbling in extra soft, velvety, lighter-than-jello texture tofu that just dissipates and melts away in your mouth in seconds. It is one of Korea’s national stews that is known for its soul-satisfying and hits-the-spot comforts foods.