KOREA FOOD FINDS: Ttteokbokki

Food, Travel

I’m the type of person who doesn’t fear trying out food that’s alien to me, especially the quirky kinds.

Korea has a wide variety of street food to choose from. Like I mentioned in a previous blog post, I guess my disinterest in anything Korean made me think Korea only had noodles and Bibimbap. I seriously did (I know, I’m sorry)! To my surprise, they had A LOT of street food kinds. There were different kinds of hotdogs, wrapped in bacon, wrapped in croutons, they had corndogs, french-like pastries, dumplings, meatballs, and so many other stuff. But the most popular one would probably be the Tteokbokki. You might’ve seen one in your favorite Korean restaurant, on TV, or in blogs. It’s that orange soup/sauce with white, cylinder rolls in it. The white rolls are actually glutinous rice cakes (Koreans use glutinous rice in almost anything). The Tteokbokki also has fish cakes in it.

Let me tell you a funny story. We were out one night with some friends on the prowl for street food. Adventurous as we are, we indulged in a lot of them. Then we came across the Tteokbokki. It really is eye-catching as it is in bright orange. They’re usually just kept on low-heat which makes them smoke the whole time, and seeing hot smoke is very enticing especially on very cold nights. It was being sold for 2,500 Korean Won (around 100php) for a serve. I tried asking the lady owner of the stand what it was, over and over again, but she really just couldn’t understand English. She made hand gestures, which I couldn’t understand either! By the way, Koreans have this habit where when you ask for the price of something, let’s say, in a market or street food, they’ll directly pack/serve it up for you even without you having known the price yet. And so I always end up saying, “No money, no money!” to end awkward negotiation. Just an observation. haha Anyway, I guess she ran out of patience and just gave it to me and said, “no pay.” I was like, “are you sure?” Oh well, she smiled at me. Maybe it was all positive. And no, I wasn’t trying to rip her off. Please. HAHA My friends and I decided to return the favor, and buy from her several packs of Kimbap (Korean sushi) which were for 3,000KRW, but she gave it to us for 2,000 a pack. Each pack, contains a lot of rolls. Kinda like those transparent plastic packs of sushi they have in Save More Supermarkets, but just way more content. What a lovely night!

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