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15 Magical Korean Street Foods You Need To Try

Sure, you can get Korean BBQ in any Koreatown, USA. But these local snacks are best enjoyed on the streets of Korea, made fresh for you by an ajumma who’s been in the fried food game for years.

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1. Spicy Rice Cakes/ Ddeokbokki (떡볶이)

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The sauce, which is a sweet and spicy combination of gochujang (Korean chili paste), dried chili powder, and sugar stewed in dried anchovy and sea kelp broth, goes with everything: Fried calamari, shrimp, dumplings, and kimbap. For advanced ddeokbokki eating, try adding ramen noodles, mozzarella cheese and a hard-boiled egg.

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2. Fish Cakes/ Odeng/Uhmook (오뎅/어묵)

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These skewers paired with the steaming hot odeng broth will warm you up right to the core. They're great for a quick bite when you're starving, as odeng is cheap and filling. Just walk right up to the cart and eat first, pay later, since you'll probably want seconds or thirds.

3. Fried Rice Cake Skewers/ Ddeokggochi (떡꼬치)

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A sweeter, less spicy variation of the ddeokbokki, ddeok-ggochi is stacks on stacks on stacks of glutinous rice cakes fried in piping hot oil, then slathered with a mixture of gochujang and ketchup. Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Wash it all down with a refreshing sip of the hot odeng broth.

4. Ice Cream-filled Waffles (와플)

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You can find waffle street vendors at most subway stations if you're craving some underground sweetness. Eating on the subway isn't recommended though, so opt for the less messy whipped cream filling and scarf it all down before your train comes. Save the ice cream filling for when you're above ground.

5. Cotton Candy/ Somsatang (솜사탕)

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One of the reasons Seoul street food rules is because you can get cotton candy in the streets without the hassle of elbowing a small child in the face at an amusement park. And because Koreans like taking everything to the extreme, we won't settle for anything less than super-sized cotton candy.

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Or cotton candy shaped like ducks.

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6. Sweet Korean Pancake/ Hotteok (호떡)

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A flour dough pancake filled with brown sugar which is then pressed and fried in a thin layer of oil. Seen here are Busan-style hotteok, which are filled with sunflower seeds and nuts. Eat it folded up in a paper cup and try not to burn your finger on the hot brown sugar syrup oozing out after you take a bite.

7. Sugar Lollipop/ Bbopkki (뽑기)

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In theory, you should be able to make bbopkki easily at home- all it is is a simple mixture of caramelized sugar and just the tiniest bit of baking soda. But alas, not all of us have perfected the art of making round, crisp bbopkki, so maybe let's leave it up to the pros. If you can bite around the imprinted shapes without cracking the candy, you'll get another one for free.

8. Tornado Potato/ Hweori Gamja (회오리 감자)

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Like potato chips, but way more fun to eat. What should you do with the stick when you're done? That's your problem now, pal, as there are approximately two public trash cans in the entire city of Seoul. Be careful not to impale anybody.

9. Goldfish Bread/ Boong-uh-ppang (붕어빵)

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A goldfish-shaped bread with sweet red bean filling on the inside, boong-uh-ppang has been around for decades, cementing its place as a nostalgic snack in the hearts of Koreans.

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10. Goldfish Bread/ Boong-uh-ppang (붕어빵)

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Another new variation of the classic boong-uh-ppang, this version has an ice cream party in the goldfish's mouth.

11. Croissant Boong-uh-ppang

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This variation is made from flaky croissant pastry dough pressed in hot goldfish mold pans. Fillings range from savory flavors like pizza, to sweet flavors like apple and mango. This one comes from a bakery called, 'The boonguhppang that returned from Paris.'

12. French Fry-covered Hot Dogs/ Gamja Hot Dog (감자핫도그)

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Kill two birds with one stone!

13. Egg Bread/ Gyeran-Bbang (계란빵)

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There's nothing better than the warm steam from a freshly made egg bread to thaw your nose during the freezing Korean winters.

14. Fresh-squeezed Lemonade (봉지 레몬에이드)

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You can find lemonade and other various fresh-pressed juice stands every couple of blocks. If you need help, just look for whichever stand has the most women standing in line. The vendors are usually buff oppas wearing gauzy white v-necks with stand names like "Mr. #1 Lemonade".

15. Fried Squid / Ojingeo Twigim (오징어 튀김)

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Show someone you love them by giving them this beautiful fried squid bouquet.

What'd I miss? You can take it up with me in the comments below!

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