Spicy Korean life

Korea is known for its’ spicy food, specially kimchi. I think in most of the restaurants you get a free side of kimchi with your meal, which usually is not that expensive to begin with.

Side dishes to hotpot

The meal is a social event, where it is not uncommon to share, grill food together or to eat from the same small plates. Usually food is eaten with metallic chopsticks and a spoon. Scissors are used to cut meat and other food into pieces before serving.

Korean bar food: various fried stuff such as fish paste cakes, washed down with soju and magkeolli


Koreans eat a lot of meat. And by a lot, I mean a lot. However, it is possible to find non-meaty foods as well. There are numerous Korean barbecue restaurants, since meat is cheap and apparently rather good quality, too. And when Koreans go drinking, unlike in Finland, they order food as well. Healthy? Could be, if the food wasn’t all (deep)fried.

The bar food is similar, if not the same to the food that can be bought on the streets.

Tokbokki, fish paste and meat skewers and savoury pancake

There are food vendors and stalls in almost every street, and oddly enough most of them seem to sell the same stuff: rice cake stew tokbokki, skewers with fish paste&rice cakes and/or meat, savory pancakes, fried dumplings and the “sushi” rolls.  Generous amount of oil is used for everything, and most are probably rather spicy, too.

“street cooked” dinner, washed down with magkeolli (white fermented rice alcohol)

The “restaurant” stalls are also located in the various markets of Seoul, and in some streets and parks.

Market food
Market food

When a sweet craving hits, not to worry! On the streets, you can easily find the solution.

Fried “fish”cakes with sweet chocolate or bean filling

No pictures of the most famous sweet treat: hotteok pancake.

I wanted to end this post with the Korean equivalent of the Japanese “ittadakimasu” which can be translated to “bon appétit”. Unfortunately I have no clue how Koreans begin their meals.


4 thoughts on “Spicy Korean life

  1. Thank you so much! Sometimes it is a bit challenging to think about what other people might want to read…so mostly I write about things I would like to read in other blogs!

  2. I agree with Leon! And I’m dead jealous that you’re in Japan and travelling as well! 🙂 What was your favourite Korean food? Do you like kimchi? I posted about various ‘smelly foods’ a while back (http://wp.me/pSNdf-yB) including Icelandic hákarl and I think…hákarl wins hands down. Natto and kimchi are a walk in the park compared to eating fermented shark. 😛

    1. Thank you! My everyday life here in Beppu is quite boring, so it is my savior that I am able to enjoy other places too! Right now I am counting days until I go to Tokyo (17 to go!) 😀

      My favorite Korean food…kimchi does not taste the same here in Japan! Besides that, I really enjoyed a seafood hotpot with tofu and various small side dishes. I am a fan of slightly spicy food. My friend’s roommate also made a delicious faux-meat stir fry, the sort of food I really miss here where the only meat “substitute” is regular tofu blocks.
      I also visited the Tteok rice cake museum, which was interesting. I prefer the dry rice crackers to the glutinous cakes.

      Fermented shark…whoa! Maybe it’s a bit like the surströmming in Sweden. When you open a can of surströmming, the whole building has to be evacuated.

      The only thing that revolts me with natto is the consistency. I do not want to eat something that resembles something that came from my nose; not just the look, but the texture as well!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s