First time to Korea and you have absolutely no idea what to eat apart from kimchi, bibimbap, Korean BBQ and tteokbukki? You’re in for a treat today — we’ll be sharing five food you have to try in Korea!
1. Macho Bulgogi
Just an hour and a half away from Seoul in Cheongju, Macho bulgogi is something we can totally binge on seven times a week without getting tired of it. Tried and tested.
Before digging in, you’ll be served with fishcake soup and a side of pickled radish as starters.
The rice is topped with kimchi, seaweed and a fry egg, and mixed like bibimbap. For sides, a stir fried chicken/pork with soy sauce paired with chewy rice cakes is a simple fare, but a satisfying one indeed.
2. Beef Gukbap
Located just beside Cheongju National University Hospital, Hanwoo Gamasot Gukbap is a comfort food you must try if you are within the area.
Sogogi gukbap, aka beef soup rice, is a spicy beef soup served with rice. It is a favourite amongst the locals, especially in traditional Korean markets. As boring as it may seem, this is the ultimate comfort food that would warm your body and soul, especially during winter.
The broth is cooked with beef bones for many hours; radish, spring onion and leek are added to give the soup a refreshing after taste. The traditional way of eating gukbap is to mix the rice into the soup, but if you prefer to not have your rice getting soggy, go ahead and enjoy it separately!
Originated a long time ago in the Gyeongsangdo region, jjimdak is now altered to meet the taste of modern diners. The dish is prepared by mixing pre-cooked chicken marinated with Korean soy sauce, and vegetables with cellophane noodles, it is then simmered to perfection at high heat and served on a large plate that would cover nearly half the table.
If you’re curious about your chopsticks skills, this is a good time to put it to test. You will find the noodles slipping out of your chopsticks or falling out your mouth each time you try to capture it. A challenge I may say, but very worth it.
4. Korean Spicy Baby Back Ribs with Cheese
Be prepared to be overwhelmed by one of the hottest food in Korea — ribs with cheese!
You’d never think that they could come together as a perfect match, but they surely did. Melted cheese with the lightly spiced ribs, yum! As you dip the ribs in the pool of cheese, have a quick round of tug-o-war — stretch the cheese as far as you can before it decides to snap!
Popular in Singapore, and a hot favourite among the ladies in Korea, bingsu is a Korean shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings like fruits, condensed milk, fruit syrup or injeolmi powder.
You might think, why go to Korea for bingsu when it’s available here at home? For one, bingsu in Korea is definitely much more affordable and two, it’s so light and fluffy! The ice shavings are exceptionally flaky, refined, rich and milky, just like snowflakes! One serving of bingsu can feed two, so you may want to order one first instead of going straight for two.
If this is your first time to Korea, here are more guides for you!
While you’re planning your trip, consider exploring the mysterious relationship between North and South Korea at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, taking yourself on a unforgettable Paragliding experience or going on a One Day Tour at famous filming site of ‘The Descendants of the Sun’ in Taebaek, Gangwon Province!