South Korean Foods To Try

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Eating the local cuisine is one of the best ways to experience a country's culture. Like most cuisines around the world, traditional Korean food has been influenced over the centuries by conquests and the conquerors. Traditional Korean foods include subtle elements from Japan, Mongolia and China that have enhanced the flavor of Korean cuisine. When you visit South Korea you will find plenty of traditional Korean dishes from barbeque (gui) to stews (jjigae) to soups (guk) to side dishes (banchan) and something sweet (saidoteu) that will surely please your palate.

From meat grilled on the table before you, to boiling hot stews, to chilies and pickles, Korean food is almost impossible not to fall in love with.

In this Korean food guide, I'm going to share with you the best tasting dishes you should eat.

Bulgogi 불고기

A juicy, savory dish of grilled marinated beef,  bulgogi  is one of the most popular Korean meat dishes throughout the world, and was ranked as the 23rd most delicious food in the world according to CNN Travel's reader's poll in 2011. It is often grilled with garlic and sliced ​​onions to add flavor to the meat. The meat is usually wrapped in lettuce and it is also traditionally eaten with  ssamjang.

Another famous Korean specialty barbecued meat is known as Bulgogi. While it's normally made from beef,  bulgogi  can also be made with thin strips of pork or chicken.

Before the meat is grilled, it's marinated in sweet soy sauce with lots of garlic and sesame oil. The version I ate above was from the New Valley restaurant in Seoul that specializes in pork bulgogi known as  Dwaeji Bulgogi .

Samgyeopsal 삼겹살

One of the most popular Korean dishes in South Korea,  samgyeopsal  consists of grilled slices of pork belly meat that are not marinated or seasoned. They are commonly dipped in seasoning made of salt and pepper mixed in sesame seed oil, and then wrapped in lettuce along with grilled slices of garlic, grilled slices of onion, shredded green onions, and  kimchi . It is one of the most common dishes found in any Korean restaurant throughout the world.

Fatty slices of pork belly grilled before your nose is a South Korean foodie favorite. A few slabs of this ultra-tasty pork along with garnishes of lettuce leaves, garlic and chili paste, and you've got a flavor to  cherish .

It's not the healthiest South Korean food, but if you are a lover of pig,  samgyeopsal  is something you can't miss eating when you're in Korea!

Japchae 잡채

Often served as a side dish during lunch or dinner,  japchae  is a traditional Korean noodle dish made up of stir-fried sweet potato, thinly shredded vegetables, beef, and a hint of soy sauce and sugar. Depending on the chef, additional ingredients like mushrooms are added to the mix. Japchae is known for its sweet and flavorful taste and its soft yet slightly chewy texture.

I've always been a lover of stir fried translucent noodles. The Korean version is wonderful - chewy stir fried sweet potato noodles mixed with slivers of carrots, cucumber, onions, mushrooms and sometimes pieces of meat.

Fried in sesame oil and garnished with toasted sesame seeds,  japchae  has a mouthwatering fragrance that a taste you'll love.

Kimchi 김치

One of the oldest and probably the most essential dishes in Korean cuisine, kimchi is a spicy and sour dish made up of fermented vegetables. It is prepared with various kinds of ingredients, but the most common main ingredient is cabbage.  파워 볼 게임  Kimchi is popular among foreigners for its unique flavor, as well as its high nutritional value, fiber content and low calorie content. However, for Koreans, it is most popular due to its significant cultural value. Without  kimchi , dinner is considered incomplete.

Ddukbokki 떡볶이

Ddukbokki , also spelled  tteokbokki , is a common spicy Korean food made of cylindrical rice cakes, triangular fish cake, vegetables, and sweet red chili sauce. It is often sold by  pojangmacha  (street vendors). People enjoy  ddeukbokki  for the combination of spicy and sweet flavors.

Bibimbap 비빔밥

Bibimbap  is essentially a bowl of mixed ingredients including, but not limited to, rice,  namul  (seasoned and sautéed vegetables), mushrooms, beef, soy sauce,  gochujang  (chili pepper paste), and a fried egg. The ingredients found in bibimbap vary by region, and the most famous versions of the dish are found in Jeonju, Tongyeong, and Jinju.

Soondae 순대

Soondae , or sometimes spelled as sundae, is a unique Korean dish made of pig's intestines stuffed with several ingredients such as noodles, pork blood, and barley. Versions of soondae differ in fillings and wrappings, and are often prepared differently according to the province or city in South Korea. Nevertheless, though the recipes differ, every soondae is chewy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the side, creating an interesting mix of textures as well as flavors.

Samgyetang 삼계탕

A common dish particularly during the summer, samgyetang is a traditional soup made of chicken, garlic, rice, scallion, Korean jujube, Korean ginseng, and spices. It is known to have a high nutritional value. Not only is it known for its healthy contents but it also is popular simply for its creamy and meaty flavor.