10 Binge-Worthy Korean Snacks

10 Binge-Worthy Korean Snacks

Staying up for a big online sale? These uber addictive Korean snacks will keep you going way past midnight

Tangy, sweet, savory and hard to resist, Korean food has become a trendy supper option. You can always find a late-night fried chicken joint in any major Korean city and it is common to take a break from night shopping in the maze-like Myeongdong Market or Hongdae district by popping out onto the food alleys for a steaming hot bowl of tteokbokki or a crispy pajeon. It's clear that shopping and snacking go hand in hand so here are some tasty Korean snacks you can whip up to help you power through the upcoming 11.11 and Black Friday sales!

1. Kimchi Seafood Pancake

Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, this Kimchi Seafood Pancake is perfect for spice lovers who are looking for a more filling supper. Savor the taste of succulent fresh prawns amidst the soft, starchy pancake with each bite. Refreshing green onions balance out the starchiness of the potato and flour, while the seafood infuses the entire pancake with an addictive ocean-brine taste. Kimchi adds a sour-ish tang to this traditional pancake, which is usually paired with the Korean chilli sauce (Choganjang). It’s best served and eaten hot to avoid a soggy crust.

2. Hotteok

When it’s cold out, there’s nothing more satisfying than tucking into a piping hot Hotteok and savoring the warm, gooey sweetness within. For those who have a sweet tooth, this pancake packs a sweet nutty center within its golden crust. You can definitely switch up the filling to your nut of choice – be it peanuts, walnuts or almonds. Yeast gives its dough the coveted chewy texture, and you can even swap out the plain flour for glutinous rice flour for added chewiness. Careful not to scald your tongue on the hot filling as it oozes out!

3. Korean Garlic Cheese Bread

Take a bite of this herbalicious, buttery Korean Garlic Cheese Bread and you’ll never want to go back to ordinary garlic bread again. With a little kneading effort, you can recreate the same crusty exterior and fluffy and stretchy interior that defines any good bread. The best part? Molten cheese! In fact, it’s just the thing that defines this popular Korean street food. One thing is for sure – this bread will never ever go stale on your kitchen counter as it’ll be wiped out in seconds!

4. Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki is a sweet and spicy rice cake snack that will warm you right up on those rainy evenings. Log-shaped Korean rice cakes and Korean fish cakes are the star ingredients in this fiery dish (it looks hotter than it is), which is served with a generous heap of red gravy that gets its color from the gochujang (Korean chili paste). Fun fact – Korean fish cakes are naturally sweeter than other Asian fishcakes due to the onions and carrots added in. A small portion goes a long way as these rice cakes are very filling!

5. Korean Fried Chicken

This must be the holy grail of Korean snacks – who can resist crispy fried chicken that’s covered in a sticky sweet and slightly spiced glaze? Korean Fried Chicken is so sought after that there are restaurants known for just selling this dish alone. You can now recreate the most juicy sweet and spicy Korean Fried Chicken in the comfort of your own home. The sauce is so delicious that you can use it as a dip for other snacks. Here’s a little secret - the key to a perfectly satisfying crunch for the chicken skin lies in adding a wee bit of baking powder in the corn starch.

6. Pajeon

The classic version of the Seafood Pancake, Pajeon recipes vary far and wide depending on which part of Korea you are in, but this particular one stays true to its Korean roots with its use of rice flour and slightly charred long strands of green onion. Don’t have rice flour in the cupboard? Try this alternative recipe instead that uses potato starch. Pair it with a spicy sweet sauce to add a nice zing on the taste buds! 

7. Kimbap

You might think that Korean snacks are all greasy and deep fried, but one of the most popular “fast food” in Korea is actually a very delicious and healthy Kimbap roll. It is an all-in-one meal of its own with rice, meat and veg that you assemble, more than cook. Chicken, carrots and cucumber are embedded within a hearty coat of rice and wrapped with a crispy seaweed before being chopped into bite-sized pieces. Two rolls are great for a light lunch or you can make them for healthy supper snacking by refrigerating them in an airtight container.

8. Kimchi Fried Noodles

Kimchi Fried Noodles is an equally delicious alternative to the well-loved Mi Goreng supper treat – it’s savory, spicy and super easy to make. Instant noodles are also used in this recipe, but it is flavored with sweet peppery gochujang and tangy kimchi instead of kecap manis and sambal. It’s also a quick way to use up those leftover kimchi from your last Korean BBQ dinner!

9. Korean Army Stew Sushi Bake

Want to impress your loved ones with aesthetically pleasing Korean snacks? Try out this Korean Army Stew Sushi Bake. It’s a deconstructed Japanese-Korean fusion side dish that brings together some binge-worthy ingredients like bacon, hotdogs and Japanese mayo, and plated Spanish tapas-style. It incorporates the flavors of the well-loved Korean Army Stew into a snack-sized portion, making it an ideal finger food for supper parties.

10. Kimchi Seaweed Popcorn

For a quick taste of Korea without leaving your couch for too long, Kimchi Seaweed Popcorn makes for a lightning quick snack that’s not too filling or oily. It’s a spicy, savory twist on the classic buttered popcorn, and is relatively guilt-free compared to other snacks. Fair warning though – expect it to be a tad spicy because of the liberal use of kimchi and sriracha!

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