Korean food is globalizing quickly, and most menus at Korean restaurants outside of Korea are usually filled with galbi, naengmyun, bibimbap, kimchi jjigae and the same dozen other options that everyone knows. Of course they’re delicious, but Korean food has so much more than that. Here’s a list of Korean foods that most people have never heard about but should definitely try!
Note 1: Of course everyone’s knowledge of Korean food is different. This post is meant for those whose Korean food experience is limited to the all stars of Korean food cuisine (galbi, bulgogi, naengmyun, bibimbap, tteokbokki, etc.). Although those are the most popular for a reason, we want to highlight a few not-as-popular, but just-as-delicious Korean foods you have to try when you come visit Korea.
Note 2: There’s hundreds (thousands?) of Korean foods that can be placed on this list. But here’s a quick list of 30 to get you started on your Korean food journey
1. Galbijjim (갈비찜) – braised short rib – You all should know galbi, but galbijjim is a galbi variation that isn’t so easy to get simply because it takes longer and more effort to make. And although it’s not grilled, don’t worry, it’s just as delicious as galbi (maybe even better!). This is a guaranteed instant favorite. We are very serious. Instant. Favorite. Check out Seoulistic’s post for 10 Best Galbi restaurant in Seoul, and see the galbijjim entries.
2. Gopchang Gui(곱창구이) & Daechang Gui (대창구이) – grilled intestines – You all know Korean BBQ, but as some people think intestines are gross, you probably haven’t heard of this one. Although you might think Korean BBQ is just galbi and samgyupsal, gopchang and daechang are two Korean BBQ dishes that are chewy, fatty, and ultra delicious. If you like galbi, definitely give this a try. Not sure where to go? Try hongdae’s Gopchang alley (see this google map). (Click here for image)
3. Jogaegui (조개구이) – grilled shellfish – Meats get the most coverage of the Korean BBQs, but sometimes you just need some good ol’ loving from the sea. Sit down at a Korean BBQ pit and dump a bunch of shelled goodies on the grill and wait for them to crack open on their own. When they’re ready, start digging in. Oh, and don’t forget to slurp up the juices in the open shells. Mmmm, saltwater goodness! Best eaten near the East Sea, but still delicious at all places Korea
4. Andong Jjimdalk (안동 찜닭) – steamed marinated chicken – Rumored to be the anti Korean fried chicken, Andong jjimdalk is a Korean chicken dish that will have you craving non-fried Korean style chicken. With big ol’ pieces of chicken (non-fried of course), glass noodles, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables, this undoubtedly has a very Korean taste. Go to Andong if you can (obviously!), but Andong jjimdalk restaurants can still be found all over Korea. (Click here for image)
5. Bossam (보쌈) & Suyuk (수육) – braised pork loins – This slow-cooked, ultra tender version of samgyupsal is commonly found in Korea at big ol buffets, like the ones you’ll find at doljanchis. But this is also a very delivery-friendly food that is delivered to all parts of Korea. If you’re a carnivorous Korean food enthusiasts and not a fan of making your clothes smell like Korean bbq all day long, this is an excellent alternative. And you’ll get a special kind of kimchi with any order of bossam (not suyuk). Grab a take-out food booklet (or ask your hotel for one). Bossam restaurants deliver to all parts Korea. (Click here for image)
6. Yukhoe (육회) – raw beef slices (aka steak tartare) – Some people are freaked out by eating slices of raw beef, but worry not; this is a safe and delicious Korean food to eat. Sometimes it’s a dish just on its own, and sometimes it’s used as a topping for bibimbap. It can get a bit pricy though as the most tender parts of the beef are used. Give this Korean delicacy a try and discover a new item to add to your list of must eat Korean foods!
Keith Kim is a Korean-American living in Seoul, Korea. He likes espresso shots, photography art and he loves his Playstation 3. He started seoulistic.com as a hobby site, and is now in the process of turning it into a full-time business. Wish him luck! Check out his blog for an uncensored view on entrepreneurship, dating and life in Korea. Personal Blog: gyopokeith.com Facebook: facebook.com/gyopokeithkim Twitter: @gyopokeith Youtube: "Gyopokeith e-mail me anytime at: gyopokeith [at] gmail.com