Winter Snacks to beat the cold out
Fall didnt last long and has now been replaced by that bone chilling cold that we call Korean winter. And things are only going to get colder until the air starts warming up again in April. April is a long time away when you remember it is still only the second week of November. There are several tricks those not used to such cold weather use to beat the Korean winter such as wearing 10 layers or only leaving their apartment when necessary but the best way is to indulge in some delicious Korean winter food to help ward off the mild frostbie you might encounter! Especially around January or February when the cold snap is more like a cold blizzard every day all day.
So fear not! Here are a few of my favorite foods to eat during the winter in Korea to help you stay warm:
Hotteok is without doubt the most popular Korean winter food which is due to the fact that its available on every street corner during the cold months and a good belly warmer. Street food vendors serve queues of freezing passers with this delicious treat and youll always hear a hearty Maschiso~ (delicious) as you walk past.
Hotteok is a thick rice cake filled with melted red bean paste, sugar and sometimes nuts. It is easy on the tongue, delicious and at only 1,000 won a pop you certainly cant pass it up when you are out and about and freezing your butt off.
Bungeo -ppang is another snack that you can buy from the street vendors around town and is equally as delicious as Hotteok. 5 of these fish shaped snacks will cost only 2,000 won and will leave you satisfied and ready to battle the extreme cold. And try not to mistake it for a cold snack like I did the first time I tried it. Ate it in one go and the vendor and my Koreans friends had a great big laugh at my apparent foolhardiness. I was doing a dance in the street cause there was no water available.
Another street snack here in the form of roasted chestnuts. As you may have guessed, Korea makes it extremely easy to get a warm snack in the winter by selling a large range of warm snacks on the sidewalk. Eating these reminds me of Christmas and chestnuts roasting on the fire always makes me a little home sick honestly.Chestnuts are a delicious treat, either roasted or cooked in soups or other recipes
One of the most famous Korean dishes is called Tteokbokki. This sells like hot cakes all year round but it makes an especially great Korean winter food due it its spicyness and ability to heat you up on the chilliest days!
Tteokbokki is rice cake mixed with fish cake and other fried ingredients before being marinated in spicy red pepper paste. Youll find this snack again on the street but its also sold in restaurants everywhere across the country such is its popularity. Watch out for the level of spiciness, Not all Tteokbokki is the same. Some are mild and some will burn your tongue off.
There are dozens more Korean winter foods that I havent listed here but they are also super easy to find on the street corners and in busy restaurants. Koreans have the same idea as foreigners in the winter time stay warm through food so head to where the locals are eating!
The craziest food I had is called Bundegi, AKA silkworm larvae which while filled with protein can be hard to get down if you look at what your eating. Inexpensive and easy enough to find at select street vendors. Try it if you are feeling up for new experiences. The taste kinda explodes in your mouth. And to be honest there is no real taste from it.If you play your cards right and are drinking alcohol, you may even be able to score some for free just to sample.
Sweet potatoes, Fish cakes and Hoppang among others are also worth keeping an eye out for while out dealing with the chill. Make sure to try out at least a few before Spring comes along but I don’t blame you if some of these snacks are slighty off-putting.