Seoul, Korea: Street Food and Street Snacks

Ahh, street food. Nothing quite like those tempting wafts of aromas from street food stands all over Asia. Seoul included. There were quite a number of street food stalls everywhere we went. Pretty curls of potato on a skewer, sausages, crepes etc. I can’t say we loved everything, but there were definitely a few that were heavenly and well-worth the calories. Here are the top 3 snacks we dream about in our bouts of Seoul wanderlust.

1.       Hotteok

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Who can resist the hot and piping hotteok that is pan-fried (actually half-deep-fried) to perfection? Crispy on the outside, and sticky and chewy on the inside, this is definitely one delicious snack that we would want someone to recreate back home in Singapore. Maybe it tasted especially good because it was freezing and this was piping hot. Be careful though, the molten centre filled with sweet syrup and finely chopped nuts might dribble down your chin and hands as you are consuming this little goody.

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Tourists and locals formed long but fast-moving lines near this particular stall on the main Insadong street. The only hotteok stall with a queue, mind you. After being served their hotteoks served in between two little pieces of cardboard, most huddle around nearby, bent slightly forward, nibbling at the snack while it’s still fresh and hot. Nothing like immediate gratification.

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2.       Caramelised sweet potato

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These bite-sized caramelised ingots of fluffy sweet potato might not look very impressive sitting glossy on metal trays. In fact, we went by the stall once and were not tempted to try until the mother insisted we just give it a go. Lesson learnt: Don’t be fooled by looks, these  are crazy good and addictive. One bite into its crunchy caramelised glazed “shell” will leave you clamouring for another, and another… and another. The insides are pillow soft with a subtle hint of sweetness from the potato. It wont be long before you finish them all. The sister, S, loved this and insisted we bought a second box from the ajumma.

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Potato Avenue can be found along the same street as Myeong Dong Gyoja (located on 24 Myeong Dong 2-ga, Myeong Dong station exit 8) and in fact is very close by.
3.        Korean meat skewers

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We stumbled upon this savoury snack after a spot of shopping at the Ewha Women’s University area. Grilled on the sidewalks some distance away from the main road leading to the university, this snack comes glazed in three different sauces – spicy, non-spicy, and medium spicy (if I understood their menu correctly). The spicy is not for the faint-hearted – it gets extremely spicy (even for me) after a bite, and I think my spice tolerance level is more than average. We ended up ordering another non-spicy skewer. Tasty all the same!

 

– Y

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