Travelling to Seoul this winter? We hope you’ve done your homework, because January is the coldest month of the year! Thanks to the Siberian winds, the Korean winters typically go into the sub-zero range; especially at night. According to the January 2018 forecast, the average daytime temperatures will fluctuate around 1 to 5 degrees Celsius, while the nighttime weather will be around – 2 to – 9 degrees Celsius. Here’s our advice: Wrap yourself up like a dumpling, and snack on these piping hot street foods!
(Read also: Keep Calm & Stay Warm: How to Dress for Winter 101)
Top 8 Most “Shiok” Korean Street Food for Winter
Much like the local pau, the jjinppang is a soft steamed bun with an indulgently warm filling. Typically it is red bean, but there are also other variations like meat and vegetables. You can find these at small convenience stores and marts too.
#2 Sweet Potatoes
Delightfully fragrant and sweet, these Korean sweet potatoes are either baked in an oven or fire-roasted over charcoal. It’s the snack that you see the ajumma (elderly ladies) carrying around in plastic bags.
#3 Hodugwaja Walnut Cake
Traditionally a symbol of long travels, this sweet treat is sold not just at the roadside stalls, but at the highway stops as well. Its name literally translates to “walnut cake”, and the filling is usually red bean and walnut.
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#4 Tteokbokki Rice Cake
This snack needs no introduction; the tteobokki is popular in Singapore too (you can even get frozen ones to D-I-Y at home). Both sweet and spicy, this makes a great winter snack because of the thick, spicy gravy and characteristically chewy mouthfeel. If you eat it at the roadside store and/or truck, you’ll also get free flow of odeng soup (odeng gungmul)!
#5 Odeng Fish Cake
So what is odeng? Well, it’s a Korean fish cake that’s cooked on a skewer and in a flavourful broth. They are usually sold with tteokbokki, and as long as you order something, you can have your fill of the soup to warm your belly.
#6 Steamed Corn
The Korean steamed corn snack is similar to the ones we have at home, but it’s very popular in winter in Korea because it stays warm! Not only is it very “shiok” to bite the corn off the cob, but it warms your hands as you’re eating too.
#7 Hotteok Pancake
Perhaps one of the most popular sweet snacks in Korea, the hotteok is a deep-fried dough “pancake” that’s stuffed with molten brown sugar, honey, and chopped nuts, with a dash of cinnamon sugar. Yum!
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#8 Meat Soups
If you want to take a seat and sip on some soup, try the beef short rib soup (galbi-tang, pictured above), which is a savoury stew of not just beef short ribs, but beef chunks, radish, and onions. Another hit is the Seolleong-tang—an ox bone and brisket soup. Add the salt and black pepper to taste!
Bonus! Soft Tofu Stew (Sundubu-jjigae)
We can’t help but add one more to the list: The Sundubu-jjigae is a super spicy stew-soup that’s the ultimate wintertime dish! The main ingredient is the soft tofu (sundubu), which is stewed with other vegetables, mushrooms, and shellfish. As you slurp down the spicy soup, you’ll definitely be warm from inside out!
Ready to embark on your adventure?
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