Some Korean Street Food

Here in Korea, there is always something being sold beside the street. Sometimes it is fruit. Sometimes it is vegetables. Sometimes, they just set up shop and sell all kinds of things. However, they also have what they call street food.  Whenever I decided to eat street food, I have always been fine, but I have known foreigners who have eaten street food and regretted it because they got sick.  There are some kinds I really enjoy like the corn on the cob they sell, the cakes shaped like walnuts or fish with sweet bean paste in the middle, or the waffles with whipped cream on them.  Today, we walked around in our neighborhood, and I encountered an area that had a lot of street food, so I decided to take some pictures for you.

They set up small stands.  You can see the walnut shaped cakes with sweet beans in the middle here all lined up. I recommend these cakes.
Here is a closeup of those walnut shaped cakes.  They are made in a kind of iron mold like a waffle iron.
Next to the walnut shaped cakes, they were also selling these.  These are a kind of fish cakes.  I actually pass on these, but Koreans enjoy them.
The man in this booth was deep fat  frying a kind of homemade donuts. The empty pans had a kind of wooden mat there to drain the grease off as he was cooking.
The same man who was making homemade donuts was also selling topoki, a favorite with Korean young people.  Topoki is rice cakes in a spicy red sauce.  Some topoki is rice takes in a soy sauce flavored sauce. Besides the white pieces of rice cake you see, there are also brown looking triangles. They are a kind of fish cakes.
In the booth next to him, there was lots of food for sale.  There are homemade donuts and twigim (the Japanese name is tempura, they are battered, deep fat fried vegetables and shrimp).  He was also selling topoki. I am not sure what is in the plastic bag, but it looked like possibly fish.
This is a picture of the booth where the twigim, donuts, and topoki were being served.  You can see that people gather around and want to eat these things.
Here is a better picture of the twigim.
Here, they are selling boiled corn on the cob, waffles, and slushies. You can see the slushy machine on the left. If you look on the left of the red cart, the waffles are displayed there.
Here is another cart, but I didn’t get close enough to see exactly what he was selling.
This guy is selling fruit.


This one is selling seaweed soup.
These carts go everywhere.  The ladies who run these sell yogurt.


They even set them up right in front of grocery stores.  They don’t think they are competing at all.


They were selling lots of steamed corn on the cob in front of the grocery store.

There was a walk way between buildings, and all these street food carts were there together.  A couple of guys I know, an American professor and a Chinese professor had street food for dinner one evening because it is cheaper than eating at a restaurant, and they got sick. However, it was the first time I heard of anyone getting sick at these places.  Whenever I eat their food, it is good.  When my kids and I used to ride the bus into Seoul when we first got to Korea, then ride the subway on to church, we always bought the cakes that are shaped like walnuts with sweet beans inside and ate them like donuts for breakfast, and they were delicious!! I have eaten their corn on the cob a number of times too.  I have never gotten sick eating their street food.

2 thoughts on “Some Korean Street Food”

  1. Hi there! Thanks for posting. Been looking to find out about the names of those Korean street foods for an article and I’m glad you named topogi for me. I have been to Korea last year and have tasted some of those street foods as well. Maybe it was a bad batch the one that made some of the people sick. Anyway thanks for the information. 🙂

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