April 02, 2011

streetfood... a very fried sequel

Not all streetfood is healthy, actually I`m not really sure if any streetfood is really healthy. However, in Seoul you can easily find a whole whack of deep fried foods, which are the best enjoyed with alchohol, or the following morning.

I put my favourite fried food first up, fried mandu! (pictured right) Mandu is a very basic dumpling, it can have a variety of fillings, but usually meat with sprouts or rice noodles. This simple dish is then wrapped in dough, and fried. These are cooked right in front of you, and their popularity ensures that you will be eating fresh. 

Freshness is actually a concern when it comes to fried streetfood, as you will see with several of the pictures below. A lot of the food is sitting in pyramids already fried (above & below).

While I brought up freshness as an issue, it is not like the food was cooked elsewhere and sold in the street. It is true streetfood, it is cooked on the street, and they are constantly cooking some type of food. The most common sight is deep fried vegetables (left). While some people might be wary of cold deep fried vegetables, worry not! Although they will no doubt be cold when you order them, the cooks throw them back into the bubbling oil to give them a quick reheat

My favourite part of the calgary stampede are the corndogs. I don't know why, but deepfried hotdogs and batter create an irresistable combination. You can also find a variation of corndogs in Korea (left), except their batter has an extra feature, french fries. Right before the battered dogs hit the fryer they are rolled in crinkle cut french fries. Personally I think they took a great thing, and made it better.

In the red cups (below) there are paper thin slices of fried potato. I'd call these french fries, but they are more like potato sticks. They are brittle because they are so thin and thoroughly fried. Beside the red buckets are layers and layers of dried squid. This is a chewy snack comparable to jerky. Koreans love the taste, and I can't complain about it either. I think it's become an aquired taste.

Brian (left) is eating some of the sausages I mentioned in the last streetfood post. I also grabbed some and tried them out, they are pretty decent, although I wasn't a fan of the sausage filled with rice cake, but the yellow one was a pretty decent curry sausage. 

Finally, chestnuts (left), a non fried streetfood alternative! You can find roasted chestnets rather easily any time of the year in Seoul. I rarely eat these, not because they aren't good, but because they just make me think of Christmas. In Korea as I've mentioned before there is little connected with Christmas, so to Koreans these are just roasted nuts. 

What I love about streetfood in Seoul is it's availability. It seems where there are large crowds of people, there is streetfood. Luckily I live in a city with 27million people, so crowds aren't hard to come by!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sean,

    My name is Charles Montgomery and I am the editor of Nanoomi/Readbuild’s new book project, “The New Korea Files.” This is a book written by expatriate bloggers (primarily) and will be published in English and Korean. You can see a bit more about our project at our extremely new blog at:

    In any case, I came across your post on street food and wondered if you would be willing to expand it to about 1,500 words or so and submit it to us?

    At the moment, this will only be for the thrill of publication in a real ISBN’d (and bilingual) book, but we are currently figuring out the possibility that the book will make a profit and how we would divide any profit that might accrue.

    All I can say is I’ve worked with Nanoomi for almost two years now, and they are scrupulously honest and have given me some wonderful opportunities here in Korea.

    If you are interested, please drop me a line at: charles (at) ktlit (dot) com.