Ever heard of blood sausage? If not, that’s totally all right! In many countries, they eat blood sausage all the time. You can find it many places in Korea, but it's most prevalent at street vendors.
So what exactly is blood sausage? Well, it’s not as bad as it sounds. For centuries, people all around the world have been eating blood sausage, with Korea taking a twist on its traditional sense. Typically sundae (soondae, in Hangul - 순대) or Korean blood sausage is made from animal intestines that are filled with blood. The twist is that they are also filled with vermicelli noodles, rice, as well as ground up pork belly, scallions, and garlic to help soak up the blood.
Sundae has a very distinct taste that you would be able to know right away after trying it. As the name suggests, you will get a very big hint of blood flavor, but the other ingredients can help lessen it as well as lighten the texture of the sausage.
Sundae has been around since at least 918 A.D., stemming from a time when meat in Korea was on short supply, and the whole animal had to be used to waste almost nothing. From then, it has become a traditional food staple! It’s so popular in Korea that Sundae Town was created in the Sillim-dong neighborhood of Seoul, filled with many vendors that serve sundae in different ways, including soups, stir-fried, and steamed.
While blood sausage is available in many countries, Korean sundae—as the name suggests—is very specific to Korea.
Let us know if you’ve ever tried blood sausage from any country, and if you enjoyed it!
Written by Kaitlin Clifford