Part two of my personal favorite foods that I’ve encountered here in Korea! This is probably not going to be a comprehensive list, nor a list of the most popular foods in Korea.. just foods I love that I actually happened to snap pictures of. Enjoy! 🙂
Bibimbap is the first thing that I ate in Korea, and definitely a very common (and safe) first Korean dish. You can find it in pretty much any Korean restaurant, and it’s really easy to make at home. Bibim means mixed, and bap is rice, so basically it’s various different ingredients mixed into rice, with an egg on top. The vegetables and egg are cooked in sesame oil, giving it a really great flavor (in my opinion) and it is eaten with gochujan (red chili paste). Yum! (Bonus: super easy to make at home!)
Curry is a very common dish in Korea. I think it’s technically more of a Japanese food, but the lines get a bit blurred here. It can have all kinds of different veggies and meats in the curry itself, and lots of the time you can get a pork cutlet on top. It’s definitely one of my favorite foods, and another that’s really easy to make at home, which is always a plus. (I love to add some dried green chile into it to give it a great flavor, but it makes me really nostalgic.)
Pajeon, a green onion seafood pancake, is kind of obnoxiously delicious. There is a restaurant near the university that is a common college hangout that my friends and I frequented during the school year, and it sells half-green onion and seafood and half-kimchi and seafood pancakes. (Fun fact- had a korean not introduced us to the restaurant, there is NO way we would ever have stumbled across it. Very hidden within side streets and narrow alleyways.) Commonly eaten with makgoeli (sweet rice wine), it’s a super cheap and delicious meal, and a great way to start a night out.
In terms of [frozen] desserts, Korea has bingsu. The traditional form of is patbingsu, which is shaved ice with red beans, fruit and sometimes sweet condensed milk on top. The more common and modern form is actually sweet milk flakes, rather than ice, and can have all sorts of different toppings, such as chocolate, peanut powder and sweet cheese powder (it sounds weird… and it is. I can’t really justify it other than saying… it’s Asia.) It’s definitely my favorite dessert, but not really something you can eat after eating a meal, or alone, because it’s so huge.
And now, the final, crowning glory of Korean food: Korean barbecue! Korean barbecue comes in many different shapes and sizes (marinated or not, pork, beef, chicken, duck, etc.) and it’s all delicious! The more side dishes, the better! I have nothing bad to say about it, and luckily there are tons of options right by where I live so if I want it, I don’t have to go far. I will miss this a lot when I leave.
So… I think that’s all of the food that I want to mention! My school semester starts again in less than a week, and while I’m excited for something to do, it has been nice to not worry about assignments and school for a couple of months! Hope everyone is doing well in their endeavors, and have a good semester!