Can you believe it, I’m back in Seoul. Sadly I will not be back forever, but a few days will give me another chance to see all the people I love and eat everything I am missing. So I thought I should compile a list of my my top ten favourite Korean foods to eat whist I’m here.
1. BBQ – The first thing I plan to eat of course is BBQ. Give me some galbi and some samgyupbsal and I am one happy camper. I plan to eat my weight in ssamjang alone which I have seriously been craving. I shall probably stop by my favourite spot Itaewon Gogit Jip because I love their all you can eat, because I’m greedy and I love a bargain.
2. KFC – You guys know I live for anything deep fried, I’d eat a sock if you breaded it and fried it first, and Korean fried chicken is the love of my life. My favourite take out is kyochon, their garlic soy chicken has been my go to since I first moved here more than ten years ago. The tender chicken with the crispy outside paired with those sweet and sour pickled radishes are the best combo ever. I can’t believe I hated it at first but then grew to love it.
3. Naengmyeon – It took me a long time to warm up to the idea of eating cold noodles, but once I did there was no stopping me. Once the weather gets above 30 degrees I live for a bowl of delicious ice cold buck wheat noodles in vinegar and mustard laced broth. There is nothing else in the world quite like it.
4. Kimbap – Not a week went by when I didn’t eat kimbap in some shape or form. Either a small triangle as an after work snack to keep me going until dinner time, or a full bulgogi filled roll as a hearty lunch for when I just needed that extra carb load. Whilst you can’t always find a a good sandwich in Korea, you an always get great kimbap.
5. Tornado Potato – One of the most unique and recognizable Korean street foods I don’t think I could not include these babies as its rare I don’t get one when I’m in Myeongdong. They offer a range of seasonings that the fried potato is roilled in. The BBQ flavoyred is my favourite, or failing that the onion. For the bargain price of 3,000 won this is one dish I love to indulge in.
6. Jeon – This savoury Korean pancake is all kinds of delicious. Whilst there are varieties made with kimchi and seafood, my favourite is the simple green onion version. Traditionally its paired with maekgeoli the fermented rice drink, though personally I have never really cared for the stuff. I find the pancake tasty enough by itself though.
7. Japchae – The one dish that I grew very good at making over the years. Whilst I’m back in Seoul I plan to stock up on sweet potato noodles so that I can make this delicous dish back in England. Whilst I would occasionally eat it from the department stores, the best japchae is always home made and laden with plenty of bulgogi.
8. Hotteok – Call me controversial but traditional Korean desserts are not generally sweet enough for my palate, however one that never fails to impress me is Heotteok. The traditional Korean chewy and glutinous pancake filled with a sweet and delicious brown sugar and sesame inside is one of my favourite street foods. I can rarely pass a cart without getting one.
9. Bingsu – This was another dish that seemed so bizarre to me at first, but I grew to love it over the years. While I never got on board with the red bean variety I loved the chewy rice cakes and the grain powder mixed with the sweet frozen milk flakes. Then when stores started busting out the fun and fruity and alternative toppings I was truly in love.
10. Ice Coffee – This usually would not be on my list, but since I moved to London I have realised that not all ice coffee is created equal. I miss being able to get a good ice vanilla latte on every corner, in the UK I have found nothing but watery melted cups of crap. I will be drinking so many I leave the country vibrating.