Winter is setting in gradually, and Korea is definitely one of the best places to experience the cooling effect. Korea serves as the playground for the Siberian winds during the winters. Not only is Korea famous for its natural beauty and weather in winter, but also the Korean winter food. Korean cuisines have some delicacies specially designed for foodies to enjoy during the season of snow.
Here is a list of the best Korean food options that can keep you warm during these freezing hours.
Warm yourself up this winter season with the best Korean food
#1 Jjimdalk (Korean braised chicken)
The name jjimdalk comes from the Korean words jjim (찜), which means “braise”, and dalk (닭), which means “chicken”. This delicacy is specially curated with love in Korea for the winter. It is made up of sweet potatoes, chunks of chicken, pepper, and sweet potato noodles cooked in some thick brown sauce. The Andong’s special Jjim Dalk has a secret ingredient, though, rumored to be Coca-Cola in reality. It is one of the most special ones from the Korean Food Culture.
Sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon) are a distinguishing feature of jjimdalk. The noodles are added to the dish towards the end of the cooking time, and they absorb the flavors of the sauce. Jjimdalk is often served with rice and can be topped with sesame seeds and green onions.
#2 Galbi Jjim
Galbi Jjim is a Korean dish of braised beef short ribs, vegetables, and a sweet and savory sauce. The name Galbi Jjim comes from the Korean words galbi (갈비), which means “short ribs”, and jjim (찜), which means “braise”. It is one of the many comfort food options from the yummy Korean food menu. Cooked with slowly braised ribs with potatoes and chunky carrots, it is available in most restaurants in two versions- the spicy and the classic one. It can make a very filling and hearty meal in winters.
#3 Patjuk (Red bean porridge)
Patjuk is a Korean dish made with red beans and rice. It is a popular dish in South Korea and is often eaten during the winter season. The name Patjuk comes from the Korean words pat (팥), which means “red bean”, and juk (죽), which means “porridge”. Patjuk resembles oatmeal or wheat cream and makes a good breakfast meal. It is a rice porridge, and its preparation is somewhat similar to Risotto.
A red bean version of the same dish is also cooked on Dongjinal, which is the 22nd of December, to keep up with the mythology that says red beans keep ghosts away.
It can be the perfect pick for you if you wish to grab a quick bite of the Best Korean food items.
#4 Kimchi Jjigae (Korean stew)
Kimchi Jjigae is all about a steaming hot bowl made up of pork and rustic tofu. Kimchi Jjigae comes from the Korean words kimchi (김치), which means “fermented cabbage”, and jjigae (찌개), which means “stew”. It can compete with macaroni, green peas, and cheese easily. That is because this is the most comfortable food option that Korean cuisines have to offer.
Kimchi Jjigae is a spicy and flavorful stew. The kimchi adds a sour and salty flavor to the stew, while the pork and tofu add a bit of richness. The vegetables add a bit of freshness to the stew.
Kimchi Jjigae is often served with rice. It can also be served with banchan (Korean side dishes).
Naengi is known as “Shepherd’s Purse” in English. It is available in all the other supermarkets and has a smoky taste that reminds us of cozy fireplaces. This magic herb is definitely a good choice for winters. It is one of the most unique but winter-friendly dishes from Korean Cuisine.
Naengi is often used in Korean dishes such as naengi muchim (seasoned shepherd’s purse), naengi jeon (shepherd’s purse pancake), and naengi doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew with shepherd’s purse).
#6 Galbi Tang
If the chilling winds get you down and you feel a bit sick, here’s the perfect Korean food option for winter. Grab a bowl of white beef soup, also known as Galbi Tang.
Galbi Tang is a Korean soup made with beef short ribs, vegetables, and a clear broth. It is a popular dish in South Korea and is often served as a main course. Galbi Tang comes from the Korean words galbi (갈비), which means “short ribs”, and tang (탕), which means “soup”. It is often served with rice, and it can be topped with sesame seeds and green onions. It is a hearty and flavorful soup that is perfect for a cold winter day.
If you have caught a bit of a cold, then this is just what you need to fix your runny nose- a bland yet tasty mixture of salt, black pepper, and a therapeutic broth.
#7 Wood fire-roasted sweet potatoes
It is one of the topmost traditional Korean dishes that you must not miss out on when in Korea. Sweet potatoes heated under coal with some Kimchi on top is just the right combination for you to taste a bit of country Korea.
Sweet potatoes with a smokey taste are something we all want to grab a bite of in the middle of some quickly falling temperature.
#8 Winter Kimchi
Korea is the place to grab a bite of Winter Kimchi, also known as kimjang. It is the right mix of leafy greens, oceans, and fruity flavors, and all of these can be found together only in Korea and that too in winter.
Winter kimchi is a popular dish in Korea, and it is often served as a side dish with rice. It can also be used in a variety of other dishes, such as kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew) and bibimbap (rice with mixed vegetables). Making winter kimchi is a labor-intensive process, but it is a tradition that is still very much alive in Korea. Families and friends often come together to make kimjang, and it is a time for sharing food and stories.
#9 Dolsot bibimbap
It is the winter version of Korea’s most famous delicacy, bibimbap. It is specifically heated and mixed up to serve the cooling temperature. To sum up this dish in simple words, a delicious egg-fried rice with loads of healthy veggies and eggs served in a hot stone bowl is the right way.
The name dolsot means “stone pot” in Korean. When the bibimbap is served, the hot stone bowl causes the rice to sear and develop a crispy crust. This adds a delicious textural contrast to the soft rice and vegetables.
To get the most authentic bibimbap in Korea, you can go to the many restaurants that are famous for their bibimbap. It is one of the best staple food in Korea, without a doubt.
#10 Winter special Korean street food
Street food is available throughout the year in Korean streets, but winters are perfect for savoring the best of them. One of the most mentionable winter snacks from the streets of Korea is indeed Hotteok. It is basically dough stuffed with nuts and brown sugar. A deep-fried delicacy from Korea that is basically a winter favorite because it is a dash of sweetness.
There’s also Bungeoppang, a dish filled with sweetened red beans and everyone’s dear choux cream. This Korean street food is crunchy on the outside and soft like custard on the inside.
Korea has much more to offer when it comes to street food, and the list includes deli Manjoo, egg bread, waffle pies, sundae mixed with tteokbokki sauce, hot broth, and many many more.
These are some of the best ones from the unique Korean Cuisine you must try during your next visit to Korea. Korean food culture is very different from the rest of the world, which is precisely why you must not miss out on these unique dishes.
There are also versions of modern Korean food and Americanized Korean food dishes available in the market but, to feel the right vibe of traditional Korean food, you must taste these dishes when in Korea.
In this list, you will find the best food in South Korea.
Check out other interesting articles from KoreaTravelPost:
- Top Korean Food Dishes to Try When in Korea
- Must-Visit Islands In South Korea During Winters
- A Guide to South Korea’s Best Ski Resorts
- New Year Sunrise Festivals in South Korea – Magnificent Way to Welcome the New Year