Seoul Shocker is Danielle Davidson’s firsthand experiences while living abroad in Seoul, South Korea.
I’ve had street food in Korea quite a few times and it’s delicious. It’s also a cheap meal with quick service as long as there isn’t a line.
The first time I had street food, it was literally meat and tteok on a stick, like a shish kabob, but not. It was more like dakkochi but subtract the chicken, and add the sausage. This was one of those instances where I didn’t question what I was eating because it was made of familiar ingredients.
Tteokbokki was the second street food I tried. A rice cake in red pepper sauce makes for a wonderfully spicy snack. The first time I looked at the food, I thought it would set me on fire and was afraid to try it, but after having a few, I was hooked.
Sundae is blood sausage and it’s awesome. My Korean friend offered me some without telling me I was eating intestines and she said she would tell me what it was after I ate it. So, I ate it, thought it was pretty good, and she told me what I’d eaten. Sundae: glass noodles, barley and pig’s blood stuffed inside pig or cow intestines. After she told me what it was, I just looked at her in disbelief. I didn’t realize intestines could taste that good. It usually comes with a few slices of lung, which is equally yummy.
Twigim involves a variety of foods dipped in batter, like sweet potatoes, squid, dumplings and vegetables. A friend and I stopped by a street food cart after studying around the Gangnam area and ordered a dish of Twigim for dinner. She convinced me try the squid, because I don’t generally like seafood. I gave it a funny look and took a tiny bite, and she laughed at me. But it was tasty being covered in batter and red pepper sauce, so I finished it off! I’ll have to order it again next time I stop for street food.
Odeng and odeng broth are some more of my favorites. Odeng can be found anywhere, and it’s a popular side dish at a lot of restaurants. But the street carts set it apart by putting long folds of the fish cakes on sticks and letting them sit in the broth, waiting for anyone to grab them. The broth from the odeng is free and I had a few cups of the filling juice while I ate the squid and odeng with my friend.
Street food is always fun because the carts all sell different varieties of foods. But, I definitely have my favorite spots to stop and eat, sundae and odeng, and now I have a nice spot for squid too.