If you are traveling in Korea, you’ll most likely come across lots of spicy foods. But not everyone’s taste buds are created equal. If you happen to get second degree burns from spiciness, we got some anti-spicy foods that’ll help calm you down 😉 And if you’re going to stay away from them all together, we got some flavors that aren’t spicy at all!
Note: This post was done by request from one of our emailers! He’s been living in Korea, but isn’t really such a fan of spicy food. So he asked for a list, and here we are! Hopefully, it’ll be helpful to him and other people who probably get bathroom problems from spicy foods (haha jk :)) or just want other flavors other than spicy!
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Tteokmandu Guk – Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup (떡만두국)
Rice cake and dumpling soup is one of our anti-spicy Korean foods. It’s very hearty and brothy, so if you accidentally eat some super hot pepper, it’ll help take the spices away from your burning mouth. Oh and at the same time give you delicious Korean comfort food. If you don’t like rice cakes, just get it with the dumplings (manduguk – 만두국). Or if you don’t like dumplings, go for just the rice cake soup (tteokguk – 떡국). If you don’t like either, then… you’re kind of out of options 😛
Gyeranjjim (steamed egg casserole) is THE anti-spicy Korean food. Many restaurants that server super spicy dishes will offer gyeranjjim on their menus (like some Seoul tteokbokki restaurants). That’s because after taking a bite of something spicy, most Korean people will take a bite of gyeranjjim to help dissipate the heat. The main ingredients are egg (duh…) and water… with optional green onions or minced meat. If you’re ever caught in a spicy situation, don’t make it worse by pouring water down your throat. Ask for this!
This soup is made by a process of boiling the beef and bones for at least 14 to 16 hours! And this milky broth is a perfect anti-spicy soup. If you want to take a dabble in kimchi (but can’t handle the spices), this will wash it up real nice. And better yet, seolleongtang restaurants are famous for having the best kimchi! So if you want to eat a bit of kimchi and have an anti-spicy Korean food that is also very delicious, try out seolleongtang!
Another dish that is synonymous with Korean cuisine is naegmyeon, with even Korean pop songs dedicated to this dish. Naengmyun is a cold buckwheat-noodle dish that will cool you off during the summer time, and it is usually topped with eggs, meat, vegetables, and a vinegary ice-cold broth. This chilled noodle dish is not an anti-spicy food that’ll fight to cool your taste buds down from spiciness. But it’ll give you the total opposite sensation in your mouth: cool and refreshing.
This is another taste that’s totally different than the spicy dishes your stomach hopes to avoid. Hwedeopbap is essentially a raw seafood salad, and with it you’ll get a combination of seafood and freshness, an impossible combination to find with a spicy dish. Be careful though. Even if you’re mouth doesn’t think it’s spicy, your nose might. Wasabi is included in the dish (you can of course take it out if you want :)).