Eating Korean street food is one of the things you must tick off your bucket list while in Korea. Not only is street food yummy, it's also easy on the wallet and convenient as a snack when travelling. However, with so many Korean street food offerings, you might wonder which ones are halal or Muslim-friendly. Not to worry, we’ve compiled a list of Muslim-friendly Korean street food you have to try in Korea!
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1. Bungeoppang (carp-shaped bread)
Bungeoppang directly translates to “carp bread” and it’s named as such as it’s shaped like a carp. This Korean street snack is popular during the winter months and you’ll see it commonly sold at street markets. Bungeoppang resembles waffles or pancakes but with a sweet filling. Traditionally, the filling consists of sweet red bean paste but there are many variations these days, including custard or chocolate. The crispy exterior and sweetness of the filling makes bungeoppang an appetising treat!
2. Gyeranppang (egg bread)
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Literally translated to “egg bread”, gyeranppang is the perfect combination of sweet and savoury flavours. You’ll see stall vendors pouring a sweet batter into a cylindrical mould and a whole egg in the middle before baking it. The sweetness comes from the fluffy bread, while the egg adds a delectable touch. Gyeranppang is a popular and satisfying snack so you can easily spot it at famous spots like Hongdae or Myeongdong.
P.S: One of our users has updated us that the egg bread might have ham so do check with the seller if there are pieces of ham/meat used!
3. Hotteok (syrup-filled pancake)
Filled with brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts or sunflower seeds, hotteok is a fried chewy pancake that’s perfect as a dessert. Eating this Korean street food on cold winter days will definitely warm your belly.
The good news is that you can find hotteok at most street markets in Korea. Some of the most popular spots with multiple stalls selling hotteok are the Myeongdong Food Street and Gwangjang Market in Seoul and the BIFF Square in Busan.
4. Eomuk (fishcake)
Another comforting Korean street food that’s widely available is eomuk, or Korean fishcakes. It is often served on a stick with hot soup on the side. The best part is that you can take as much soup as you like. Trust us, one stick of eomuk is not enough!
5. Tteokbokki (spicy stir-fried rice cake)
Tteokbokki needs no introduction. If you’re a fan of Korean dramas and variety shows, you would have seen your favourite stars savouring these spicy stir-fried rice cakes. However, while tteokbokki is a very common street food in Korea, they might not all be halal as some might contain small traces of alcohol or are sold alongside non-halal snacks (It’s best to check with stall vendors and dine at your discretion.)
What’s great is that you can still find halal tteokbokki at most halal restaurants in Korea. For instance, Manis Kitchen in Seoul’s Itaewon district specialises in halal Korean street food.
6. Manjoo (custard bread)
While not usually sold in street markets or food streets, manjoos are mini cakes that you can find in subway stations. These bite-sized treats are soft and slightly chewy on the outside and have a sweet filling like custard, red bean, or chocolate. Traditional manjoos have flower-like patterns, due to the design of the mould it’s baked in.
#HHWT Tip: One of the most popular stalls selling manjoos can be found in Myeongdong station’s underground shopping centre.
7. Tornado Potato
One of the most popular Korean street food is the tornado potato which has made its way to night markets in Singapore and Malaysia too. Of course, nothing beats having it in Korea. If you’re a fan of potatoes, you won’t want to miss this potato snack that’s cut, spiralled on a long stick and fried. The last step is to top it off with various seasonings of your choice, like cheese, chilli or onion.
8. Kkwabaegi (twisted doughnuts)
Made with glutinous rice flour and melted butter, kkwabaegi is deep-fried and coated with sugar. It looks like a regular twisted doughnut, but the texture is more spongy and chewy. Be sure to eat it while it’s hot!
#HHWT Tip: One of the most popular stalls you can find kkwabaegi is Gwangjang Sijang Chapssal Kwabbaegi in Gwangjang Market. You can easily spot the stall by its long queue but the great news is that it moves fairly quickly.
9. Grilled seafood
If you’re looking to fill your tummy while shopping in Korea, there are plenty of grilled seafood options to choose from at the street markets. These include fresh prawns, lobsters and shellfish, and they come with various toppings like cheese. It’s hard to miss them as the stall vendors will usually be holding blowtorches and the enticing smell of grilled seafood will be too hard to resist.
If you’re heading to Korea soon, be sure to bookmark this list of Muslim-friendly Korean street food!
BONUS: Enjoy Muslim-friendly street food in Singapore at Korea Wintry Weekend!
All you have to do is sign up for the Korea Wintry Weekend event at Korea Plaza happening on 9 December 2023 (limited seats for only 30 people!). During the event, there will be Muslim-friendly Korean winter snacks available for visitors such as bunggeoppang, hoppang (red bean bun), goguma (sweet potato) and sikhye (rice punch). There will also be a travel talk show and activities from various provinces in Korea like Jeju, Gangwon and Gyeonggi. Don’t miss out on it - register here by 4th December 12 noon and you’ll be notified by KTO if you’d have been shortlisted to attend the event!
This article is brought to you by Korea Tourism Organization.