It’s no secret that Sam and I enjoy food, and Seoul’s Namdaemun Market is just the place to get our fix. Here is a recent video we made in which we tried to sample as much food from the local market vendors as possible, all in the name of ‘research’. We sure were stuffed by the end of it! It is the best way to try local food in Seoul, Busan or other Korean cities and for a cheap price too!
This is my personal favourite and it is a dish that I almost mention bi-postly. I had it for the first time last winter because I was freezing outside and I simply wanted something warm to hold in my hands. If people are lining up for it it must be good, right? It was! Hotteok is a small sweet pancake that is filled with a sweet mixture that consists of brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, and peanuts! It’s a treat that you can’t go wrong with, just be careful because that brown sugar is hotter than you’d think.
This is a snack I had to try because it looks so fun. Tornado chips look like a potato spiral on a stick, and they are deep-fried before your eyes in a matter of seconds. Once the food vendor hands you the skewer with the chips still sizzling, you can sprinkle some cheese powder or chilli powder on top for a little added flavour.
Pajeon is a Korean pancake made with eggs, flour, and a lot of green onions! There are various kinds of pajeon including kimchi, beef, and pork, but my favourite one so far has been the seafood pajeon which has a little bit of octopus – enough to make you feel adventurous, but not so overpowering as to scare off the first timer. This dish is usually enjoyed with a bowl of makgeolli, which is a Korean rice wine that looks a bit milky in colour.
Hot dog / Rice Cake / Fish Cake on a Stick
An assortment of fried things on a stick can be found in the markets. Some of the most popular ones are rice cakes dipped in fish batter. You can also find hot dogs that have been dipped in batter and encrusted with potato chunks. In this video we sampled an assortment which included rice cakes, lobster cakes, and sausage all wrapped in fish batter. A bit unusual but quite tasty!
Mandu are dumplings, the most popular of which are filled with kimchi or beef. I have noticed that most people order them as a precursor to the meal, but I find them filling enough to be enjoyed on their own. Dip them in a little soy sauce while they are still steaming and enjoy!
Soft-Serve Ice Cream
Soft-serve ice cream can be found at market across the city. If you’re looking to try a truly Korean flavour, then go for green tea. Of course you can also enjoy the usual flavours: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
What are some of your favourite street snacks?
They don’t have to be Korean. 😉