Great Korean food are often found virtually everywhere in vibrant Seoul, from street vendors along narrow alleyways to classy restaurants within 5-star hotels. Many of those delicacies have existed for more 2,000 years, and were only consumed by royal families in Korea.
Today, Korean food has become so popular that locals and tourists alike describe them as savory, spicy, hearty and nutritious delights which will be enjoyed at any time of the day. We’ve compiled an inventory of top Korean foods in Seoul you want to sample during your stay in South Korea’s capital city.
Top Must-Try Foods in South Korea
#1 Ginseng soup (samgyetang)
Locals believe that the body’s energy must be replenished during summer, so it’s a standard practice for them to consume a piping hot bowl of samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup) between the months of June and early September.
This nourishing soup consists of alittle spring chicken full of chestnuts, garlic, dried jujubes, ginseng, glutinous rice, and gingko nuts. The ingredients are then slow-cooked until the meat is extremely tender and therefore the thick broth permeates a rather bitter yet fragrant taste.
#2 Spicy cold noodle (bibim nengmyun)
Bibim nengmyun is served during a chrome steel bowl with a chilly broth, julienned cucumbers, Korean pear slices, coddled egg , and slices of cold boiled beef. The long and thin noodles are made up of flour and buckwheat or sweet potatos, though seaweed and tea also are used for other variations.
Symbolizing longevity of life and healthiness , the noodles are traditionally served without cutting, but diners can request for waiters to chop the noodles consistent with their preference.
#3 Korean fried chicken
Korean fried chicken takes on the quintessential American nutriment with its own unique flair. Unlike its American counterparts, the chicken is coated with a sweet and spicy sauce (some restaurants add sweet pepper inside the batter for a spicier kick) before double frying it in oil .
As a result, the meat is extremely juicy on the within , while the lightly battered skin is crunchy with little or no grease. it’s a well-liked late-night snack that’s typically served with beer.
Samgyeopsal is another staple Korean dish that needs little culinary skills, where chunky slices of side of pork are cooked on a grill at the diners’ table. It’s then wrapped in lettuce or sesame leaf with dipping sauces and accompaniments like button mushrooms, green chili peppers, green onions, raw onions and garlic, also as kimchi.
A Korean-Chinese fusion dish, jajangmyeon uses thick handmade wheat noodles topped with raw cucumber slices and a mix of salty black soybean paste, diced pork and vegetables. Priced from 5,000 won onwards, this hearty noodle dish is great for once you need a fast meal that does not break the wallet.
It s also usually eaten by singles on Black Day, which takes places annually on April 14th. those that don’t receive gifts during Valentine’s Day wear black attire and gather to consume black-colored food like jajangmyeon.
#6 Korean stew (jjigae)
There are many various sorts of jjigae in Seoul, but this Korean stew usually contains meat, seafood or vegetables during a broth seasoned with hot pepper paste (gochujang), fermented miso (gaenjang), soybean paste, or salted fermented shrimp (saeujeot). Usually served as a palate cleanser between heavier dishes, jjigae features a similar consistency to a western stew.
One of the foremost popular jjigae dishes in Seoul is budae jjigae (army stew), which includes bacon, sausages, and Spam meat also as ramyeon noodles and rice cakes mixed with gochujang paste for a spicy flavor.
Bulgogi consists of thin slices of marinated beef sirloin that are cooked alongside sliced onions, green peppers, and garlic employing a charcoal burner, leading to a particular smoky flavor. before broiling, the meat is marinated between 2 and 4 hours during a mixture of soy , vegetable oil , black pepper, garlic, onions, ginger, and sugar to reinforce its flavor and tenderness.
This dish is additionally served with a side of leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach, which is employed to wrap a slice of cooked meat, often times along side ssamjang (spicy paste) and kimchi.
#8 Red rice cakes (tteokbokki)
Tteokbokki may be a traditional Korean street food that’s made with thick slices of garaetteok (boiled rice cake), fish cake, onions, diced garlic, salt, sugar and various vegetables that are stir-fried in sweet red condiment . Distinguished by its bright red-orange ensemble, this popular snack is typically sold at street vendors and independent snack bars.
It’s highly recommended that you try bibimbap while in Seoul, a filling and nutritious dish that can be found in many restaurants, food courts, and street markets. counting on region and ingredients used, bibimbap are often served as a meat-based or vegetarian dish.
The most common bibimbap consists of warm rice topped with mixed vegetables, beef or chicken, and raw egg, also as soy and a dollop of cayenne paste for seasoning. For seafood lovers, you can substitute raw salmon, tuna, or octopus for the meat in this Korean mixed rice dish.
This signature Korean dish has been around for quite 2,000 years, dating back to the Shilla Dynasty. Kimchi consists of Korean cabbage, radish, pumpkin, onion, ginger, and scallion with flavorer , crushed garlic and salted seafood, which is then left to ferment.
With quite 200 variations available in Seoul, this traditional cuisine is eaten on its own or with polished rice , and added into porridges, soups, and rice cakes. Kimchi is additionally the idea for several derivative dishes like kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae), kimchi pancake (kimchijeon), and kimchi Chinese fried rice.
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