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5 Popular Korean Street Food You Can Make At Home (with Easy Recipes & Tweaks!)

  • Words & Photos by A. Tolentino

As you know, it’s easy to fall in love with Korean cuisine. In Manila alone, there are dozens of restaurants, 24/7 Korean marts, and online delivery services that stock everything you could crave. My intro was KBBQ, soju, and ramyeon from corner shops, but I finally got the full Korean street food experience when I visited Seoul last year.

To this day, I still think fondly of that trip and all the food I stuffed my face with: jajangmyeon from a paper cup, budae jjigae from Shimsontang (the best I’ve ever had), odeng plucked straight from a boiling pot, and so. much. more. While it may be awhile until I get to travel to that beautiful city again, my partner and I have made a habit of recreating some of our favorite Korean dishes at home. This way, we get to feel like we’re still living our K-Life to the fullest even as we stay indoors.

We may have only started cooking regularly to stave off quarantine boredom, but I have to say: these 5 Korean street foods are easy enough to make, even if you’re a newbie in the kitchen. They’re delicious, comforting, and incredibly rewarding to make for yourself. Dig in!

#1: Egg Bread (Gyeran-ppang: 계란빵)

OPTIONAL TWEAKS: Top with melty cheese, crispy bacon, and a splash of hot sauce.

You may have seen this one in Myeongdong street food crawls on YouTube and it’s definitely as comforting as it looks. It’s served straight out of the oven, steaming hot, which makes it ideal for chilly -ber months. The egg on top is often cooked through with a few crispy bits, while the bread is soft and chewy with a milky sweetness. I had it plain when I first tried it in Korea, but we love adding cheese and bacon on top when we make it. More texture = extra deliciousness.

GREAT FOR: Curing hangovers after a fun soju inuman session

We use this recipe.

#2: Chewy Red Bean Doughnuts (Chapssal: 찹쌀)

OPTIONAL TWEAKS: Use store-bought red bean paste.

This doughnut is far from the cakey or fluffy fare you’d find at your go-to shop. If you love rice cakes, you’ll love this even more: delightfully chewy, stuffed with sweet red bean paste, and deep fried to a golden crisp, you can spot this at most bakeries in Korea. As long as you have glutinous rice flour and oil, you can make this for yourself. The best part is you can stuff it with anything you like!

GREAT FOR: Pairing with your favorite Korean banana milk

We use this recipe.

#3: Savory Pancakes (Jeon: 전, 煎))

OPTIONAL TWEAKS: Mix in whatever you’re in the mood for! We add seafood, chives, and mushrooms. We also opt for a ready-made mix, because it’s on-hand.

Street food vendors often serve this in to-go boxes with toothpicks, so you can walk around while munching. It’s super filling, savory, and healthy-ish thanks to the variety of veggies that are typically cooked into it. Of course, it’s still fried until crispy, so it’s far from bland diet food—but it’s totally worth the calories. And don’t even think about skipping the dipping sauce: it’s a must.

GREAT FOR: Having as banchan (with kimchi, of course!) during KBBQ dinners

We use this recipe.

#4: Rabokki (Ramyeon: 라면 + Tteokbokki: 떡볶이)

OPTIONAL TWEAKS: Use instant broth or dashi stock and replace Korean fish cakes with kani.

Got instant ramen in your cupboard? Great, you’re already halfway there! Just add water, mix it with some tteok (rice cakes) and stir until everything is cooked well. Add-ons include hard-boiled eggs, odeng (fish cakes), and sliced leeks. You can use the flavor pack that comes with your ramen or make your own broth with dried kelp and anchovy or even instant dashi stock. Add as much fiery gochujang (chili paste) and gochugaru (chili flakes) as you can handle. The beauty of this is how easy it is to customize to your tastes!

GREAT FOR: Devouring while you tune into your favorite K-dramas

We use this recipe.

class="title"#5: Korean-Style Corn Dogs

OPTIONAL TWEAKS: Use cheese-stuffed hotdogs for more cheesy goodness.

Of course, we just had to make these after binge watching Start-Up on Netflix. These corn dogs are crispier, thicker, and chewier than the American version, all thanks to their yummy coating. There are many versions of this, including the one with potatoes that Han Ji-Pyeong loves so much (swoon), but a classic cheese-and-hotdog combo hits the spot too. Oh, and remember to toss it in white sugar right after frying. Game-changer.

GREAT FOR: Munching while you watch endless Korean variety shows

We use the second method from this recipe.