If you have been missing South Korea (like I have), you can relive some of your memories by eating Korean street food that you would normally find on the streets of Myeondong or around Ewha Woman’s University Fashion Street. I can still remember how there would be tons of stalls lined up along the streets and you can fill your stomach with simple but delicious Korean street food in between shopping sprees. It might take some time before we can visit the land of the morning calm but thankfully, we can find some of the Korean street food around us here instead!
1) Hotteok (Stuffed pancake)
One of the most popular street food in Korea, hotteok is basically a pancake filled with brown sugar and cinnamon that is fried. When it’s fried, the brown sugar caramelises and makes for a warm and sweet dessert. Some stalls would also put nuts inside to give it that extra crunch. Here in Klang Valley, there are a few Korean restaurants that serve hotteok and even upgraded with new flavours. One such place is Dae Janji, a restaurant that serves contemporary Asian and Western Cuisine. The hotteok is not on their menu though, you’ll have to pre-order them through the form on their Instagram page.
You can find hotteok here too:
2) Korean street toast
The allure of the Korean street toast is how it is made with a thick egg omelette filled with vegetables such as cabbage and carrot, cheese, ham and a generous serving of mayo and tomato/chili sauce. You can find it at Isaac Toast, a popular sandwich toast chain from Korea that has opened several outlets on our shore. Served the same way they do in Korea in the square paper bag, every bite will bring back good memories of Korea. For me personally, the Korean street toast always reminds me of my time as an exchange student in Busan where I would have this for lunch at least once a week.
3) Korean Corndog
The unique thing about the Korean corndog is that it doesn’t necessarily have to have a sausage inside — it can also be mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese or a combination of everything. You can also choose from a variety of toppings and sauces to pair with your corndog. This might seem strange but try your corndog with sugar – that’s how they do it in Korea! I was very happy when I saw that there were a few places that sell Korean corndogs here in Selangor. I have tried the corndogs at Chunz and also Myung Rang and they did not disappoint!
You can find corndog at:
4) Cup chicken
I’m sure you’ve heard and tasted Korean fried chicken. The cup chicken is similar except the fried chicken are bite-sized and usually served in a paper cup to make snacking on them easier. If you have walked the night markets or streets in Korea, you would have definitely come across them. They are so addictive especially with the sweet and spicy sauce that perfectly complements the fried chicken. With the opening of CU convenience stores recently, we can finally get our hands on the cup chicken from their stores. Just like how they sell it in Korea, the cup chicken at CU also has pieces of rice cake mixed in!
5) 32cm Ice-cream
Anyone who has been to Seoul would have eaten and taken pictures of this famous ice-cream that is 32cm tall. It doesn’t matter if it was wintertime, people would still queue and get a taste of this iconic Korean street food. Well, we don’t have to travel to Korea anymore because 32 Parfait will be opening an outlet here in KL. Their opening has been on hold because of the lockdown but we sure hope they will open soon!
6) Eomuk (Fish cake)
While we are familiar with the Japanese version of fish cakes at convenience stores like Family Mart, now you can find Korean fish cakes at emart24 and CU convenience stores. You can eat Korean fish cakes in soup, or you can also find them deep fried, either way they make a great snack that is savoury and scrumptious. In Korea, you will find roadside stalls selling a huge variety of fish cakes displayed the same way lok lok stalls do it here.
7) Tteokbokki (Spicy rice cake)
This list of Korean street food would be incomplete if I do not mention the star and epitome of Korean food — tteokbokki! It is also best paired with Korean fish cakes, and you will usually find them sold in the same stall. But in Malaysia, we can enjoy the Korean delicacy to our heart’s content at Dookki and their tteokbokki buffet. Located in IOI City Mall Putrajaya, you can choose from different tteokbokki sauces, and enjoy other Korean specialties such as fried chicken and fish cakes with free flow of beverages.
And if you are looking for Korean-inspired desserts to round up your meal, check out these places to find fatcarons (fat macarons) that would do the trick.