Uncovering the 10 Most Unusual Korean Delicacies - IVisitKorea
Uncovering the 10 Most Unusual Korean Delicacies

Uncovering the 10 Most Unusual Korean Delicacies

Discover the world of Korean cuisine beyond kimchi and bulgogi with our journey into the uncharted territories of unusual Korean delicacies. Join us as we uncover the weird and wild flavors of the Land of the Morning Calm, and taste the most unexpected dishes that will make your taste buds dance with excitement. Get ready to add a touch of the extraordinary to your foodie adventures with the top 10 weird Korean foods.

Beondegi

Beondegi
[ Beondegi ]

Beondegi is a traditional Korean snack food made from steamed or boiled silkworm pupae that has been enjoyed for centuries. It was once a common street food sold by hawker’s carts in traditional markets and streets, and was a favorite snack among children who enjoyed it between meals. However, in recent years, it has become more difficult to find street vendors selling beondegi.

Despite this, the snack remains popular among adults, who often enjoy it as a side dish while drinking. Beondegi can still be found in supermarkets, making it easily accessible to those who want to try this unique and flavorful snack. While it may not be for everyone, beondegi offers a unique taste experience for those who are daring enough to try it. Kids may love it for its soft and chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor, while adults appreciate it.

Sannakji and other sea creatures

Sannakji and other sea creatures
[ Sannakji and other seafood ]

Sannakji, also known as Nakji tangtangi, is a one-of-a-kind Korean dish that’s made from live baby octopus. It’s cut into small pieces and served immediately, giving you an unforgettable experience with its squirming texture. This dish is known for its health and energy benefits, so it’s often paired with soju or makgeolli as a side dish.

If you’re a seafood lover visiting Korea, you must try sannakji. But that’s not all! Other sea creatures like gaebul (pencil squid), sea cucumber, and sea squirt (ascidians) are also popular here. Unlike sannakji, these are enjoyed raw, giving you the true taste of the sea.

For an authentic Korean seafood experience, head to traditional markets like Gwangjang Market or sashimi restaurants. Here, you’ll find sannakji and other sea creatures in their raw form, offering you a bold and flavorful taste that’s unique to Korea. Whether you’re a traveler or a local, these dishes are not only delicious, but they are also great sources of health and energy.

Hongeo-hoe & hongeo samhap

Hongeo-hoe samhap
[ Hongeo Samhap ]

Hongeo-hoe, a fermented skate dish, is a beloved and traditional Korean cuisine, often enjoyed with kimchi and steamed samgyeopsal (pork belly). For those who are adventurous with their palate and want to try something unique, hongeo-hoe is a must-try. While it is considered a delicacy by many Koreans, hongeo-hoe’s strong odor may not be for everyone, which is why many Koreans opt for the cooked version, hongeo samhap. Hongeo samhap is a popular dish, often enjoyed with makgeolli, a traditional Korean rice wine.

Jeollado is famous for its hongeo and it’s considered a treat to have hongeo-hoe served at a ceremony. However, despite its cultural significance, not all Koreans enjoy eating hongeo-hoe due to its unique smell. In some regions, hongeo is often consumed in a different form such as raw fish salad or steamed after drying it. Regardless of personal preference, hongeo-hoe and hongeo samhap are a part of Korea’s rich culinary history and offer a unique and flavorful experience for those willing to give it a try.

Best places to enjoy Hongeo Samhap in Seoul

  • Heugsando Hongtak
    • Address: 453-1, Bangbae-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 55,000 (2 people) ~ 90,000 KRW (4 people)
    • Phone: 02-523-9915
    • Open hours: 16:00 – 02:00
  • Sunragil
    • Address: 148, Gwonnong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 85,000 (2 people) ~ 120,000 KRW (3 people)
    • Phone: 02-3672-5513
    • Open hours: Mon-Fri (12:00 ~ 22:00) / Sat (12:00 ~ 21:00)

Seonji Haejangguk

Seonji haejangguk
[ Seonji Haejangguk (Source: jsjdl7480) ]

Discover the flavors of traditional Korean cuisine with Seonji Haejangguk, the “blood soup with clots” that is a staple in Korea. This hearty and filling meal is made with congealed ox blood, cabbage, green onions, bean sprouts, and sesame oil, boiled together to create a flavorful broth. Poured over a bowl of rice, Seonji Haejangguk is not only a tasty dish, but also a popular choice for those seeking a hangover cure.

Experience the cultural significance of this dish, which has been enjoyed by generations in Korea, and find it in traditional Korean restaurants, served with a side of kimchi. Whether you’re looking to cure a hangover or just want to try something new, Seonji Haejangguk is the perfect dish for breakfast, brunch, or any time of day. So, if you want to taste a unique and flavorful dish that showcases the best of Korean cuisine, give Seonji Haejangguk a try!

Best places to enjoy Seonji Haejangguk in Seoul

  • Cheongjinok (Seoul Future Heritage)
    • Address: 183-1, Cheongjin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 11,000 ~ 13,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-735-1690
    • Open hours: 6:00~21:30 (Tue~Sun)
  • Junganghaejang
    • Address: 996-16, Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 12,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-558-7905
    • Open hours: Mon (11:00~22:00) / Tue~Sat (7:00~22:00) / Sun (7:00~21:30)
  • Eomeoni Daejeongjip
    • Address: 232-26, Yongdu-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 12,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-923-1718
    • Open hours: Mon (18:00 – 24:00) / Tue-Sat (00:00 – 24:00) / Sun (00:00 – 15:00)
    • Break time: 15:00~18:00 (Tue-Sat)

Cheonggukjang

Cheonggukjang jjiegae
[ Cheonggukjang ]

Cheonggukjang is a commonly enjoyed dish in Korean cuisine, made by fermenting boiled soybeans. It is a rich and savory broth with a slightly pungent aroma, mixed with ingredients like green onions, garlic, and chili pepper. Despite being a popular traditional Korean food, not everyone enjoys its fermented smell. It can be served as a main dish or soup, providing a good source of protein and nutrients. To taste Cheonggukjang, head to traditional Korean restaurants or markets and enjoy it with a side of rice or other Korean side dishes.

Best places to enjoy Seonji Haejangguk in Seoul

  • Hwanggeumkongbat (Michelin Guide 2023)
    • Address: 424-11, Ahyeon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 10,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-313-2952
    • Open hours: Mon-Fri (11:00 – 21:30) / Sat-Sun (11:00 – 21:00)
    • Break Time: Mon-Fri (15:00 – 17:00)
  • Ilmi Sikdang
    • Address: 288, Nagwon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 9,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-766-6588
    • Open hours: 11:00 – 21:00 (Closed on Sunday)

Naejangtang

Naejangtang
Naejangtang (Source: tjdfl1983)

Naejangtang, a Korean soup dish, is made with the intestines of pigs or cows. The unique smell of the intestines requires special attention during preparation, but they are highly valued as a health food that can help restore energy. This dish is considered a comfort food and is often enjoyed by Koreans to revive their energy levels. The intestines are boiled with various ingredients such as carrots, green onions, and other seasonings to create a hearty and flavorful broth. Naejangtang is available in traditional Korean restaurants and is typically served for lunch or dinner, paired with a bowl of steaming hot rice. Overall, it is a delicious and nutritious option for those looking for a boost of energy or for those who want to experience authentic Korean cuisine.

Best places to enjoy Naejangtang in Seoul

  • Hwamok Soondaeguk Jeonmun
    • Address: 40, Dangju-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 9,000 ~ 10,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-723-8313
    • Open hours: 00:00~24:00 (Closed on Sat, Sun)
  • Junganghaejang
    • Address: 996-16, Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 12,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-558-7905
    • Open hours: Mon (11:00~22:00) / Tue~Sat (7:00~22:00) / Sun (7:00~21:30)
  • Pyeongyangjip (Pyeongyang House)
    • Address: 137-1, Hangangno 1(il)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 11,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-793-6866
    • Open hours: 06:00 – 22:00

Dakbal

Dakbal
Dakbal

Dakbal, a traditional Korean dish made from chicken feet, has been gaining popularity in recent years. The dish is made by boiling chicken feet in a flavorful broth that is often made with ingredients like ginger, garlic, onions, and spicy chili paste. The slow cooking process not only results in tender and juicy meat, but also allows the broth to absorb the delicious flavors of the ingredients.

Dakbal is a popular food item for those who enjoy bold, spicy flavors. It is typically served as an appetizer or a main dish, and can be found in Korean-style pubs and traditional restaurants. In addition to its great taste, dakbal is also believed to be a nutritious dish, as the bones in the chicken feet are rich in collagen, which is said to be good for the skin and joints. For those looking to experience a taste of traditional Korean cuisine, dakbal is a must-try dish.

Best places to enjoy Dakbal in Seoul

  • Gongdeok Dakbal Wang
    • Address: 9-13, Singongdeok-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 15,000 ~ 28,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-717-1556
    • Open hours: Mon-Fri (11:30 ~ 01:00) / Sat (17:00 ~ 24:00)
    • Break time: 13:30 ~ 18:00
  • Hwayukgye
    • Address: 296-6, Euljiro 3(sam)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 12,000 ~ 20,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-2268-7740
    • Open hours: 16:00 ~ 22:00

Dakttongjip

Dakttongjip
Dakttongjip

Dakttongjip is a beloved Korean side dish often enjoyed with drinks. You can find this dish at traditional Korean restaurants, pubs, and pojangmacha (street food stalls). Dakttongjip is typically consumed for lunch or dinner and pairs perfectly with a bowl of warm rice. It’s not just a tasty treat, but also a comfort food that’s especially popular on chilly days or when feeling unwell. So next time you’re looking for a satisfying side to accompany your drinks, try out Dakttongjip for a true taste of Korean cuisine.

Dwaeji kkeopdegi (Grilled Pork Rind)

Pig rind
Dwaeji kkeopdegi (Grilled Pork Rind)

Dwaeji kkeopdegi (Grilled Pork Rind) is a delicious and popular snack food in Korea made from pork rind. The pork rind is first boiled in water to soften and then marinated in a mixture of seasonings, such as soy sauce, sugar, and spices, to infuse the meat with flavor. Next, it is grilled over high heat until crispy and golden brown. The result is a crunchy and flavorful treat that is loved by many in Korea.

Dwaeji kkeopdegi can be found in street vendors and local markets, as well as in traditional Korean restaurants. It’s a common food for snacking or for serving as a side dish with drinks, especially during gatherings with friends and family.

Sundae

Sundae
Sundae

Best places to enjoy Sundae in Seoul

  • Hwamok Soondaeguk Jeonmun
    • Address: 40, Dangju-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 9,000 KRW (Sundaeguk)
    • Phone: 02-723-8313
    • Open hours: 00:00~24:00 (Closed on Sat, Sun)
  • Cheongjindong Jangteo Sundaeguk
    • Address: 3-3 Cheongjin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 12,000 KRW
    • Phone: 02-735-8055
    • Open hours: 6:30 ~ 22:00
  • Nongmin Baegam Sundae
    • Address: 19-4, Bukchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
    • Price: 9,000 KRW (Gukbap)
    • Phone: 02-793-6866
    • Open hours: Mon-Fri (11:00 – 21:00) / Sat (11:00 – 15:30) / Closed on Sunday

Conclusion

Korea is home to many unique and surprising foods, from fermented soybean paste to grilled pork rinds to soup made from pig or cow intestines. These dishes may seem unusual to those unfamiliar with Korean cuisine, but they offer a rich and flavorful experience for those willing to try something new. Whether you’re a foodie looking for an adventure or just want to expand your culinary horizons, be sure to add these 10 weird Korean foods to your must-try list.

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