5 Korean Street Foods You Need to Try STAT

16 November, 2018

The cuisine of Korea has long been synonymous with Korean barbecue and, in more recent years, tremendously crunchy Korean fried chicken doused in spicy-sweet gochujang sauce (not complaining). Street food vendors in Seoul, however, offer a much vaster wonderland of flavours, textures and smells and we urge you to visit one day to experience it in the flesh. For now, meet the top five Korean street foods we can’t get enough of.

1. Fish cake on a stick (odeng)

This is a simple yet beloved Korean mainstay: fish cake tubes twisted onto a skewer and submerged in a light broth or soup. To make the cakes, fish puree is mixed with a variety of stuff, such as rice flour, salt, rice vinegar and sugar, before it’s pressed into long tubes. (Tori Korean Street Food at Chatswood Interchange sells delicious handmade premium fish cakes at 3 for $10.)

2. Spicy rice cakes (tteok-bokki)

Chewy cylindrical rice cakes are boiled, coated in spicy gochujang, and served in a piping-hot, flavour-packed sauce. As a street food, they’re either served in a cup or multiple cakes are crammed onto a skewer. Their unique heat makes tteok-bokki a great partner for Korean beer, FYI.

3. Korean pancakes (pan-jeon)

We gotta say, pancakes of any nature get an instant thumbs up. The Korean version is savoury, deep-fried, airy and oh-so crispy. Here’s the secret: ice-cold soda water keeps the batter, and thus the pancake, light. The OG version features leeks and green onions, then there’s the kimchi or seafood-studded versions. Word to the wise? Strike it through soy dipping sauce the second it comes off the pan.

4. Cheesy egg bread (gyeran-ppang)

Is it a savoury cake? Is it cheese bread? Yes and yes. This fluffy, oblong-shaped street snack is cooked with a whole egg inside the batter. Cheese is one of the more popular toppings for this bread, cooked until golden and near irresistible not to devour upon sight.

5. Filled pancakes (hotteok)

This fried pancake hides a sweet or savoury surprise for punters. The dessert version stars brown sugar or cinnamon pressed into a warm and crispy pancake shell. For those who fall under Team Savoury, the centre holds japchae – a stir-fry of sweet potato noodles, sesame oil and veg. Either way, you’re winning.

Tori Korean Street Food sells a variety of Korean street foods from $3.