Korea Sandwiched!

By Tiffany Simms

Korean cuisine continues to increase in worldwide popularity each year with everyone craving K-BBQ, bibimbap (비빔밥), and bulgogi (불고기). It has so much to offer, from jjajangmyeon (짜장면) to patbingsu (팥빙수). For many people, when they hear “Korean food,” they usually think of popular  banchan (반찬), kimchi (김치), etc., and not something like sandwiches. One would normally picture lots of rice and noodle dishes.

It is true that sandwiches were not always popular in Korea. Initially, they were considered a novel snack. Today, with the increase of busy lifestyles and convenience stores, sandwiches have become a part of Korean cuisine, and with their own unique flavours. A few of these may seem strange at first, but there is sure to be something new and yummy for you to try!

  • Gilgeori Toast (길거리 토스트) - Korean Toast

This is such a fantastic choice for breakfast that is both delicious and nutritious! Simply, it is an egg sandwich and usually contains additional ingredients like vegetables, especially cabbage and carrots, and meats like ham. If you enjoy omelettes, particularly gyeran-mari, this might be your new favourite breakfast. After the introduction of sandwiches to Korean cuisine, Korean Toast was one of the first sandwiches that gained popularity. It also became a very common street food as well, being a popular choice for breakfast on-the-go. If you are interested in learning how to make it for yourself, check out My Korean Kitchen for an easy how-to!

  • Samsaek Sandwich (삼색샌드위치) - Three-Colour Sandwich

This is a unique sandwich like no other! It’s aesthetically pleasing when placed in one’s lunchbox as it is a layered tricolour meal. Three different fillings make this colourful food. The green filling is a cucumber salad, the yellow filling is an egg salad, and the red/pink filling is a ham salad. Although initially, it may look complex, it is a very simple dish to make! You can learn how to make it at Maangchi’s blog! It is a “cool” sandwich as the weather heats up. The perfect choice for a picnic.

  • Inkigayo Sandwich

Of course, this list would not be complete without the famous Inkigayo Sandwich, the sandwich that has had everyone, especially K-Pop idols talking. Originally, it gained popularity from being served at the Inkigayo cafeteria, but after the idols raved so much about them, many convenience stores started to sell their own versions. Similar to the Samsaek Sandwich, it is a unique combination of flavours with a few layers: potato egg salad, imitation crab meat, cabbage salad, and strawberry jam.

  • Strawberry Sandwich

Speaking of strawberries on sandwiches! For many of us, we would have not thought to put fruit on our sandwiches, even though we love a good strawberry jelly and peanut butter pairing. This sandwich is most common in Asian countries, such as South Korea and Japan. It’s not an everyday snack but rather an occasional treat that’s more for dessert than for lunch! Essentially, it is a Strawberries & Creme sandwich. Most often, the sandwich is simply strawberries and whipped cream in between white bread slices. Sometimes, other ingredients, usually additional fruits like peach or kiwi will be added as well. In this case, 7-Eleven has a version that is mixed with Oreos! That sounds absolutely like the best dessert sandwich, especially in strawberry season.

Have you tried any of these sandwiches before? Which one would you like to eat?

Let us know in the comments below!

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