I had an interesting holiday last week in Korea, where most people assumed that I was American Chinese or Japanese, and I was the one with the darkest skin because of my tan. I’m not kidding. The standard of beauty for women there is pale white skin, and I’m quite the opposite. Frankly speaking, those women all looked the same to me, with same clothes, same make up, and same facial features.

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Even though Korea is where I was born, I haven’t had chance to go out and explore whatever is out there, especially food. Whenever I went back to visit my parents, all I had was my mom’s homey food, and I usually spent the whole day watching the complete season of my favourite shows in the house, or chilling on rooftop, but this trip was extremely “foodie”, so here it is.

WARNING. Do not read this post if you are hungry/hangry because it contains a lot of mouth-watering images of Korean street food. Yet, if you choose to read this, feel free to blame me.

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This super sized waffle is surprisingly thick, creamy, and fluffy, and a bit crispy outside. You can choose to put flavoured whipped cream or ice cream inside, which makes it even bigger, and sweeter. I’m sorry to say this, but Hong Kong’s bubble waffle is incomparable to this fat ass waffle.

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This one is the most hilarious street food I encountered, and a shop that sells this elongated ice cream cone is on every corner. Even though I personally think that it resembles male genitals – you need to suck on it to eat this -, people apparently love it because it has a large portion, is delicious, and unique enough to instagram it. A lot of tourists, including myself, were taking pictures of this ice cream and naive Koreans eating it.

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These are pan-fried dumplings and cinnamon pancakes. There are meat and vegetable paste, or curry inside the dumplings, and even though they aren’t exactly “Korean”, they are savoury, and filling. Cinnamon pancakes on the right is one of my favourites. From what I know, there are sesame, honey, cinnamon, brown sugar, and some more inside the chewy and crispy dough. This is another proof that high calories equal high satisfaction.

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You can even find Schneeballen, a german snowball, on the street.

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These are pan-fried sweet potato. It’s sticky and crispy with honey on the outside, but when you get a bite, you will realise that inside is as smooth as mashed potato. My mom used to make this as an afternoon snack for me and my sister, when we were kids.

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And of course, we can’t leave fruit cups out. Because it’s almost summer, there were many fruit vendors on street, selling melon, pineapple, berries, cherries, and a lot more at a reasonable price. If you can resist the temptation of the snacks above, grab a fruit cup, feeling superior than others.

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Koreans love ice cream. That’s it. This one is 32cm, and is only what, 8 HKD? They are soft, milky, and creamy, but I wouldn’t dare to finish it.

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This picture is of mini vegetable rolls, hot dog-bar with chunks of potato, deep fried chicken, grilled sausage rolled with bacon, and deep fried spicy fish cakes, all under 15 HKD. These might be the most Korean-defining street food with the longest tradition I suppose. They are definitely unhealthy, and made in a clumsy manner, but they ARE the best.

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And yes, there are street Kebabs in Korea as well. Aren’t they universal.

Korean food is not all about Korean barbecue, fried chicken, and soju which define K-Town in Hong Kong. If you ever get a chance to go to Korea, I’m telling you, street is where you will meet the locals, and explore their food and culture. Dig in, and be prepared to gain some weight.

Stella Ko

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