Late Night Snacking: Korean Street Food Edition

Late Night Snacking: Korean Street Food Edition

Whether you are a night owl or an outgoing person, South Korea has a very active nightlife. Between activities and food, there is something for everyone! To get around town when you’re hungry during those late nights, there are special buses that help tourists and residents travel around the city, operating from midnight to early in the morning. To find out if a bus stop also operates as a late night bus, signs will be specially marked with an “N” for night. Now that you know about buses to help you get around for some mouthwatering food, check out some of the tasty options below to satisfy any craving!

  • Corn Dogs

Corn dogs are a popular street food in Korea. These corn dogs have several special ingredients added that make them different from your average corn dog. Hot dogs or sausages are coated in a batter and topped with crinkle cut french fries! Which is then deep fried and served with ketchup or mustard or even both. Another delicious example of this popular street food is the  cheese corn dog. A hot dog or sausage is wrapped in hot, oh so yummy, melting cheese and then coated in a batter. This is then deep fried and served with your choice of sauce making this snack just as mouth watering as it is satisfying.   

  • Tteokbokki 

Tteokbokki is a yummy option for those late night excursions. These chewy rice cakes are cooked and covered in gochujang. Gochujang is a sweet and spicy fermented red chilli paste that adds a kick and great flavor to almost anything. Some stalls will serve tteokbokki in a bowl or for a convenient option, on skewers. There are also different variations of tteokbokki sold at stalls. Some vendors will cook these chewy rice treats with other delicious ingredients, creating the ultimate fried late night snack in the bright red sauce.These delicious ingredients are then served in a bowl for those customers looking for a delicious snack such as this one. 

  • Mung Bean Pancake

Mung bean pancakes are made of mung beans, flour, water, scallions, minced garlic, and egg. All the ingredients are mixed together to form a thick batter and then fried until golden brown. The outside has a nice crunchy texture whereas the inside is soft making this rather desirable treat.  For more information on mung bean pancakes, head over and read this article. 

  • Hotteok 

Hotteok is another type of pancake. The only difference is this pancake is a sweet option. The base of this pancake is made out of wheat flour, milk, water, sugar, and yeast. The traditional filling is brown sugar, honey, and peanuts You can find many different variations all throughout Korea. One stall in Busan sells these delectable pancakes with a variety of seeds in the middle. After they are fried, they cut a hole in the pancake which acts like a pocket for the filling. They then lay it down in the seeds and scoop good helpings of the seed mixture into the middle and is then put into a cup and served.  

  • Kimbap

Kimbap is an easy bite sized street food that is perfect for on the go. It is made with white rice, dried nori sheets, and other ingredients like yellow-pickled radish, egg, carrot, spinach, ham, beef, imitation crab, and more delicious fillings. It is then wrapped  up like sushi and can be brushed with sesame oil and seeds. Cut into bite-sized pieces, this street food is a very light dish or snack that is convenient when you are on the go. 

  • Gyeran-ppang 

Gyeran-ppang is Korean egg bread made with  all purpose flour, butter, milk, sugar, eggs, and another egg on top. The batter is poured into cast-iron molds that cook the bread. As the bread is cooking on one side, the other side has the egg cooking, this is essential as the egg is not mixed to become the bread. Then both sides are flipped together and cooked for another minute. Sauces are sometimes added in the middle before they are finished cooking adding an alternative to your typical egg bun. Some stalls will serve them in cups or a paper wrapper so you do not burn your hand  it all depends on the owner. Nevertheless, this treat is exceptionally delicious no matter how it is served.

  • Croissant Boong-uh-ppang 

Croissant boong-uh-ppang, also known as goldfish bread, is similar to the way gyeran-ppang is made. It is also similar to Japan’s taiyaki. The difference between these two treats is in the filling and how it is shaped like a goldfish. There are all sorts of flavors ranging from savory to sweet. You can find flavors like Nutella, red-bean, pizza, or apple. After the filling is added, it is then placed onto the hot iron pan and pressed. It cooks long enough to cook all the way through and become a nice golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. So get your camera ready for this Insta-worthy late night snack!

  • Hweori Gamja (Tornado Potato)

Hweori gamja, also known as a tornado potato, is a popular street food in Korea. This fun food-on-a-stick consists of one whole potato. The potato is put through a slicer that helps get that tornado shape, and then the sliced potato is skewered with a long stick. Vendors cook these spirals until the potato is warm and ready to be eaten. Once done, seasonings can be applied such as BBQ, cheese, onion, and many other options. You can also find some stalls that sell tornado potatoes with sausage in the middle, adding something extra to the mouthwatering treat. 

  • Foot-Long Ice Cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? This sweet treat is perfect for ice cream lovers on a hot night. Served in a cone, this ice cream takes skill to make, and is twirled to make it a foot long! There are many flavors to choose from like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coffee, green tea, yogurt, mango, and many more! Flavors vary from stall to stall. This ice cream is also a popular food item to photograph, allowing you to earn some extra likes on social media. 

  • Somsatang 

Somsatang is cotton candy, which is spun sugar that normally contains flavouring and food coloring. You can find these stalls throughout Korea as this treat is quite popular. Each stall specializes in different patterns and characters you can purchase. Some of the fun shapes offered are flowers, spheres, bunnies, bears, and ducks. Although the shapes may seem like they cater to young children, they can be enjoyed by anyone. 

Street food in Korea is very popular and there are a lot of options to choose from. Whether your sweet tooth is going strong or you're craving something savory, there is something around every corner waiting for you. What street food have you tried during your visit to Korea? If you have not visited Korea, what do you want to try?

Written by Brianna Giles