|Tasty street foods to try this winter|
With the arrival of winter’s cold bite comes a variety of Korean winter snacks and foods. Savory and sweet winter street snacks like bungeoppang, hotteok, baked sweet potatoes, and hoppang, along with traditional winter dishes such as gimjang kimchi, tteokguk, and manduguk are some of the most loved winter foods. Not only do they bring back childhood memories for Koreans, but they also help everyone forget about the chilly winter weather.
A common winter street scene in Korea is that of food carts selling bungeoppang (붕어빵) on street corners. Bungeoppang is made by pouring flour dough into the bungeo (carp)-shaped black cast iron mold and filling it with red bean paste. While its red bean paste filling recipe may be similar to that of danpatppang (bread filled with red bean paste), a bite of bungeoppang packs a distinctly warm and sweet taste. Bungeoppang can vary slightly in shape and color depending on the amount of flour used and the baking time, but the taste is a crowd-pleaser.
Hoppang, the pre-cooked treats, are usually warmed in a steamer or microwave before being eaten. Traditionally hoppang is filled with red bean paste, but other fillings include meat, cheese, vegetables, sweet potatoes, pizza toppings, sweet pumpkin, and more. Moreover, the shape of hoppang has become more varied over time.
Roasted Chestnuts (군밤)
Roasted chestnuts (군밤) are one of the most popular winter snacks as they can easily be prepared at home. Roasted chestnuts take a long time to cook thoroughly but long cooking time ensures that you get most flavor out of it. They are usually sold near traditional markets in small paper bags for 2,000 to 3,000 won.
Tteok-bokki (떡볶이) is a widely popular dish in Korea that has a very distinctive spicy, yet sweet, flavor. The main ingredient of tteok-bokki is garae-tteok (rice cake formed into a long white cylinder shape), which is mixed with eomuk (fish cake) and various vegetables like onions, cabbage, and carrots, and red pepper paste. The mixture is heated and served with a hot cup of broth that the eomuk was cooked in.
Kkochi Eomuk (꼬치 어묵)
Yet another favorite street food snack that Koreans like to eat as the temperatures drop is kkochi eomuk (꼬치 어묵; fish cake skewers). Eomuk is prepared on skewers then boiled in a broth flavored with radishes and kelp. Unlike tteok-bokki, eomuk is not spicy and is a great complement to help soothe the spicy taste of tteok-bokki. Kkochi eomuk usually cost anywhere from 500 to 1,000 won and are often sold at the same stands as tteok-bokki.
Hotteok (호떡) is a traditional winter snack that is easy to make. In winter, places such as Insa-dong and Namdaemun Market in Seoul are dotted with hotteok vendors serving up these delicious little pancakes. Hotteok is made with dough from glutinous (sticky) rice flour and filled with a spread made from sugar, peanuts, and cinnamon. The round and flat pancakes are then lightly fried in oil. Some of the recent variations include hotteok stuffed with vegetables or seeds. Be careful when you take that first bite, though the brown-sugar filling is delicious, it is often very hot. Like many of the other street foods in Korea, hotteok is a steal at only 700 to 1,000 won apiece.
Last updated on October 21, 2014