Every culture has its list of bizarre foods, and of course Korea is no exception. So, you think kimchi was the weirdest thing you ate in Korea? Well, you’re wrong! Here is a list of the most bizarre Korean snacks you can try the next time you’re in Korea — if you dare, that is.
- Seaweed Crisps
These Seaweed Crisps highlight all the best parts of seaweed — its light, crisp texture when dried, its savory profile, and the health benefits that come from its consumption. They also come in a variety of delicious flavors, so there’s something for every snack lover. Give the ‘Korean BBQ’ flavor a try the next time you see it in a store — the combination of Korean barbecue spice with seaweed’s distinct texture and flavour make it a delectable bite!
- Pumpkin Monaca
It’s that time of year again… the weather is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and you’re about to be slapped in the face with pumpkin flavor taking over a wide variety of food, drinks, and candles. If you happily jump on the pumpkin train every fall, then this is the snack for you! Light and fluffy on the outside, these rice-based biscuits are filled with a thick and sweet pumpkin center. They’re so sweet and they come individually wrapped – probably to deter you from eating more than one or two in a sitting. Don’t let a snack company tell you how to live your life, though! Embrace the pumpkin love and dig into a bag of these snacks while you enjoy the shift in seasons. We personally recommend eating these while sitting on a park bench amidst a bunch of orange leaves, but whatever floats your boat.
Tiramisu may be the dessert to end all desserts – something about the ladyfingers paired with the mascarpone cream frosting makes it a crowd favorite when it comes to sweet treats. Tiramisu can be difficult to find if you’re not in an Italian restaurant, and it’s also not super easy to eat if you’re on the go. What if I told you I have a solution to both of those problems? Orion’s Tiramisu Cupcakes combine all the amazing, unique flavors in tiramisu (coffee, sweet pastry, thick mascarpone) while being super easy to eat on the go. You don’t have to mess around with a fork or spoon, because these cupcakes feature a spongy cake on the outside that will leave your fingers mess-free while the coffee-flavored cream is hidden in the center of the cupcake. Pick up a pack of these cupcakes the next time you want to experience the taste of tiramisu but don’t have time to sit down and indulge at a full-service Italian restaurant – you’ll thank me later.
- Vegetable Cracker
Before the word “vegetable” scares you away, let us tell you a thing or two about this delicious Korean snack. Vegetable crackers are intriguing — first, their name is about as straightforward as you can get. These are crackers infused with a variety of vegetable flavoring. However, there’s something delicious about the buttery texture of the crackers and the slightly savory and relatively faint taste of vegetable ranging from bell peppers to carrots to scallions. These crackers also don’t look like they should necessarily be vegetable crackers — in appearance, they look like ritz crackers, and you wouldn’t know that they have a delectable vegetable kick until you’ve already bitten into one. If you’re looking for a savory snack that will satisfy you, Vegetable Crackers should be on your radar, whether for their addictive texture or their great taste. Pick up a box for your cupboard the next time you’re out and about and see what all the fuss is about!
- Sweet Potato
Sweet potato fries are all the rage right now — something about combining the incredible experience of eating crisp, freshly cooked French fries with a super healthy vegetable like the sweet potato is not only delicious, but also makes you feel less guilty for eating fries in the first place. Goguma kkang is here to save the day. These delicious sweet potato chips are exactly as delicious as they sound — they’re slightly salted and seasoned and feature the distinct flavor of sweet potato as well as a crunch that will satisfy your snack craving in no time. Keep a bag of goguma kkang on hand the next time you have a busy day at work or school so you’re ready with a delicious snack that can tide you over until you break away. This snack has also been around way longer than the sweet potato fry trend, so it won’t be difficult to find when you’re in Korea.
- Shindangdong Tteokbokki
If you’ve had the pleasure of exploring Korea, then chances are you’re already well acquainted with the beauty (and curiosity) that is Korean street food. One of the biggest crowd pleasers when it comes to Korean street food is tteokbokki, which is a dish featuring stir-fried rice cakes with chili paste and other flavors ranging from fish cakes to egg. Tteokbokki is delicious — something about the texture of the rice cakes with the flavor of the sauce used in the stir fry makes it difficult to stay away from. These tteokbokki chips are perfect if you’re craving tteokbokki but can’t break away from your desk or if you don’t feel like leaving your house. The flavors you’ll find in the street food version of tteokbokki really come through in the chips, making this snack a must-have for any street food lover’s pantry.
- Custard Cream Cakes
A sweet potato-based custard treat that will leave you reaching for another as soon as you’re done. We’re not sure if it’s the delicious, pillowy sweet potato pie or the dense and decadent custard filling, but there is something about this snack that we just can’t get enough of. The best (or worst) part about this snack is that they typically come in a box of twelve, so if you pick up a box you’ll be set with delicious snacks for a while. That does rely on you having dessert self-control, which is not something we can say for ourselves.
- Honey Tong Tong
Honey butter chips have taken Korean by storm: since their release, the chips have been sold out nearly everywhere, and when they’re in stock people buy them by the box to make sure they don’t run out right away! If you do happen to stumble upon a bag of honey butter chips in the wild, be sure to snatch them up – these chips are insanely delicious, and popular enough that celebrities have exclusive bags sent directly to them to advertise and post selfies with. Let the hunt begin!
- Novelty Ice Lollies
Whoever thinks up ideas for Korean ice lollies deserves a medal for creativity. The corn ice lolly is made to look exactly like a corn on the cob and filled with cream. Other designs include: the watermelon ice lolly – it has chocolate pieces inside to look like Watermelon seeds, impressive level of accuracy there; ice lollies molded like sharks and ice cream sandwiches made to look like fish. Endless fun, and even better- they taste good too. Win for Korea!
- Crab Chips
Whether it’s chilled, grilled, or shaped into a cake, I think we can all agree that crab is amazing in all of its many forms. That being said, of course crab chips are delicious – who wouldn’t love a snack that focuses on the crunchy, fried goodness of a chip as well as the salty and slightly sweet flavor profile of crab? Slightly sweeter than shrimp snacks, crab chips are more reminiscent of Old Bay than straight up salty seafood, and you will definitely pick up on some interesting flavor notes while you’re enjoying this snack. You should be warned, though – if you eat one, there’s no way that you’ll be able to stay away from the rest of the bag. Pick up a bag of crab chips the next time you’re craving a crunch that packs a flavor punch, and don’t be ashamed if you finish the entire bag in one sitting! It’s an achievement that sets serious snackers apart from the rest.
So, there you have it- a select group of Korean snacks, from the delicious to the disgusting. There are many more foods which could be on the list: if you ever fancy a waffle-on-a-stick, a rice burger or some chicken feet, Korea is the place to be!
Feature Image Source: Sarah Swinton, unsplash.com