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K-popped! Trio tries Korean Street Food

Patrons at a street food cart in Jongno

One of the things i wanted to do before going to Seoul was to try typical Korean street food. We have Korean restaurants here in Malaysia, but we do not have food vendors by the side of the street, serving Korean style street food. That, my dear friends, you’ve got to experience in Korea!

Our first taste of street food was when we were in Hongik University area (yeah, visiting the Coffee Prince cafe). It was around 6pm and we were slightly hungry after walking around on a chilly autumn evening. We spotted a couple of street food vendors near the subway station. We decided to stop for a bite and ordered a serving of tteokbokki.

Orchid (left) and Liz (right) waiting anxiously for their tteokbokki to be served.
The friendly ajumma dished it out from a large simmering square tin pot.


Tteokbokki is a popular Korean street food offering made of sliced rice cake. It is cooked in a thick red pepper paste stock and simmered at the street food vendor’s cart, waiting to be dished out for patrons.
The friendly ajumma dished it out from a simmering pot, and served it to us. Each of us get a paper cup filled with hot soup with it. Hmmmm….nice! And don’t worry, we didn’t get a stomach ache after that.

K-popped! Trio’s tteokbokki ~ dig in! I love the sesame leaves.
Very fragrant.
You get a cup of soup with your street food.

Besides tteokbokki, they serve odeng (fish paste and fu-chok on a stick), kimbap, Korean sausages (sundae), deep fried stuff etc at a street food stall. Some even serve seafood, clams and mussels cooked in soup. All of them come with complimentary soup, which you can ask for more if you want.

Street food is relatively cheap. Each item cost 500 – 2000KRW.

Take your pick…

Korean couple eating at a street food cart.
Notice that the boyfriend is carrying the girlfriend’s handbag.
You see this a lot in Seoul!

Deep fried sausages and rice cakes

Take a peek into a street food vendor’s stall

Street food tents lining the street of Jongno.
More of these seem to appear on Friday & Saturday nights!

Street food to Korea is like “mamak” stalls in Malaysia!

 
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17 Comments  comments 

17 Responses

  1. Janis

    Hey Orchid, thanks for the tips! I am less worried now.. ;) so excited about my trip when I saw your posts… >_<

  2. Cheryl-Jiaween

    안녕하세요! I really miss tteokbokki very very much… So you girls are studying in Korea or…?

  3. Liz

    Oh my goodness, I look like a monkey in that second pic :-) .

  4. erv

    @ rooster~
    ah!!
    sorry. i can’t believe ive missed that post! thanks

    waiting for more traveling to seoul tips from u guys:D

  5. missironic

    Wow, you guys tried the street vendors! I’ve always curious to know how their food taste like. Always seen these vendors in the dramas really make me want to try the food too. They really seem delicious! So tell me, if you don’t know Korean at all, would it be difficult to travel in Korea?

  6. Rooster

    @ Joe: And Thai too! haha… we got a “Sawadika”.

  7. Rooster

    @ orchid: Maybe that handbag belongs to the guy. ;p

  8. Joe

    Arrrgh.. tteokbokki.. sometimes it can be dangerously spicy hehe..

    Korean street vendors normally speak fluent English so foreign visitors won’t have any communication problem.. no just kidding.. they don’t at all. But if you visit places like Myungdong or Namdaemoon it’s quite common to see vendors attracting customers in two or three different languages fluently.. normally English, Japanese and Mandarin..

  9. Rooster

    @ erv: We’ve blogged about the hotel we stayed in. :) You can check it out here: http://k-popped.com/2008/11/staying-at-doulos-hotel.html

  10. Orchid

    Hi Janis,

    We used some of the Korean we know to communicate with the stall vendors. No problem.

    But if you don’t know any Korean, you can at least greet them “Annyeonghaseyo” and then point to the food item you want. Body language can take you pretty far if you don’t know the language. And when it’s time to pay, just ask “Olmayeyo?” or worst come to worse, show some of your money and they will take the right amount from you.

    Some Koreans can speak and understand English though, so you won’t have a problem. Hope you enjoy your trip!

  11. bulanmenulis

    huhuhu..this is my first comment after many times visiting here……huuuuu i really envy u guys!!! wish could be there too!!!!anyway..thanx for the post..gives me hint to travel there next time!!! u guys rocks!!!!aja!!!

  12. simplynk

    I dont see any rubbish there…
    I hope Msian have the same scene too…

  13. erv

    orchid, rooster n liz

    it was so brave of you guys traveling there without joining the group tour. was it easy for you guys to travel around with limited korean?
    besides, are you going to blog about the hotel that u stayed in?
    regards.

  14. iyah

    i spy hello kitty cups ^^ LOL..
    it must be sooo much fun~~!!! just wondering…do the vendors have different korean accents..coz my korean friend said that sometimes they do ^^ ..

  15. Anonymous

    i miss odeng!! T_T..gosh i miss korea so much especially during this time of the year. i heard that its snowing today too! huhuhuhuuu…

  16. Remadi

    Korean street food vendors. ^_^ I miss them. They always had good food, especially for a quick snack. I love tteokbokki. It’s soooo good. The street vendor that I visited a lot when studied abroad for a semester at Yonsei University in Wonju also served hotteok which the other exchange students and I would have regularly for dessert after we left the local bar to go back to our dorms. It’s so different than here where I live in the U.S. – no street vendors to be found here.

  17. Janis

    do you have problem conversing with the stall vendors? or do you know korean? because i am going korea this dec and i am worried that there might be some trouble communicating, esp when i do not know korean….. :/

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