Here we go.. the first guest post of the year on Cumi & Ciki. She is Juno from Seoul, Korea and she will share her travel tip on street food in Korea.
Guest Writer : Juno
Website: Runaway Juno
Eating is really important factor in many countries. Korea is definitely one of them. In the big holiday season everyone in Korea makes tons of foods for neighbors, friends and family. Having a big meal is really important to us Koreans. Every season we eat differently, everyone has specific memories about food they eat while growing up. Even if those were junk food, we still love ’em! There are lots of stories about food and we do have great foods. Now I would like to introduce some of the great street snacks you can find in Seoul.
1. Dak-ggo-chi: Chicken on a stick.
It is a basically barbecued chicken on a stick with sweet barbeque sauce. (Sounds similar to Satay, the Malaysian counterpart, but is totally different in taste) Vendors are barbecuing it right in front of you. Hot, sweet, just so delicious! You should try it. Some sauces can be spicy (Koreans use hot ingredients a lot) but normally it’s quite sweet. I find lots of foreign friends love ’em. 1000 won for one stick. (about $1 USD)
2. Man-doo: Dumpling
A bun stuffed with meet, pork and vegetables. It’s sold more during fall and winter than in summer. Because mandoo is steamed food it is ideal for the colder climate. Mandoo tastes very fresh and feels like country food. The procedure of making this Mandoo is totally fascinating. First prepare the stuffing. Then make the mandoo skin – a little circle, flat dough. Put a right amount of stuffing on the dough then wrapped around it while making the shape. You will see then make it when you eat it. And there is wang-mandoo means very big mandoo. Twice the size of the plain mandoo. Taste your mandoo with a little bit of soy sauce. There is no way you won’t love them! 1000won for 5~7 mandoo.($1 USD )
3. Tteok-bok-i: Rice cakes in hot sauce
If you dare, taste the most popular street food of all time! It called Tteokbokki. Cylinder shaped rice cakes cooked with Korean hot pepper sauce as a main ingredient. A lot of malt is in it, so we can taste the sweetness. But for people who are not familier with spicy food, it can be just too damn hot! Usually these stores are located infront of schools as they are cheap, school kids love it and can afford it. Actually one can find these vendors on every corner. Another popular food along with tteok-bok-I is Umuk. Umuk is a fish cake in different shapes. These are usually sold with tteokboki and dipped in hot tasty soup. Eaten with a little bit of soy sauce they are delicious. These two foods sell throughout all seasons of the year, but in the winter with a cup of Umuk soup, the tteokboki couldn’t be better. 2000 won for a plate of Teokboki. ($2 USD) 500 won for a stick of Umuk.($0.5 USD)
Tteok-bok-i, spicy baby!
These look like pancakes but are different in terms of ingredients and how it is made. The Ho-teok are hot pancakes with brown suger based filling. First you make the dough with filling and toast it on the pan. In the mean time you have to gently press the dough with a spatula. That is the key.. the technique of pressing it just right! 500 won for one Ho-teok ($0.5 USD)
Ho-teok, check out the spatula!
A bun that looks like a fish: carp. The Bung-u-bbang is filled with sweet red bean paste and is another winter snack. There are molds for fish shaped buns that you can buy. When I was a kid, I went to the vendor and watched how he made these for a long time. He filled the molds with dough (there are 10~15 molds all connected) and put in the stuffing, and then he covered it with a little more dough then shuts in the ingredients. Every so often, flip the mold on its other side and cook some more. It just looked so cool! 1000 won for 4 buns($1 USD)
Fish Bun, Bung-u-bbang
These food travel tips are literally everywhere in Seoul. If you want some recommendations, I would say go to Jong-ro and Shin-chon, and check out the towns which have got a university. These are the best for food. There are so many more delicious foods out there. Try it when you visit Seoul.
Books on Seoul and Korean Food:
About this week’s guest writer
Jiyeon Juno Kim or affectionately knows as JUNO, is an avid traveler and writes a travel blog entitled “Runaway Juno” describing her love for traveling, food and seeing the world. Her favourite quotation that pretty much sums up her life’s motto – “Travel is not New. People have never been happy to stay in one place .. – on the wall of Chch, NZ Museum. ” Juno is based in Seoul, Korea.
Follow Juno on twitter.
*all photos above are credited to the guest writer, Juno