12 Korean Snacks You Absolutely Have To Try

From savory to sweet, these treats will inspire you to expand your palate.

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All these snacks can be found at your nearest Asian supermarkets and sometimes even in the “Asian foods” section of American grocery stores.

1. Shrimp Snacks (saeoo snek)

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These chips are one of the most popular snacks in Korea. Despite their simple ingredients — flour, oil, and starch — the actual shrimp seasoning makes these unique. It gives them a light flavor similar to Old Bay seasoning. Although they’re shaped like french fries, these are super airy and light, like rice crackers.

What it tastes like: If Veggie Sticks had a fishy flavor.

Also available on Amazon.

2. Korean Rice Crackers (ssal ro ppung)

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This is like the Korean version of a Rice Krispy treat, except way less sugary and not nearly as bad for you. Made with real puffed rice, these lovely rolls are a perfect hand-held snack to satisfy a sweet craving without feeling too guilty afterwards.

Fun fact: the word “ppung” is the sound of an explosion like “pop.”

What it tastes like: Honey Smacks.

Also available at Hmart.com.

3. Crab Chips (kkotgae snek)

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Topped with crab seasoning, these chips are similar in texture and flavor to the shrimp chips. However, these have a slightly sweet flavor as well.

What it tastes like: If Popchips came in Old Bay Seasoning flavor.

Also available on Amazon.

4. Korean Sweet Cakes (chapsal yakgwa)

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Yakgwa is a very traditional Korean cake made mainly from honey, sesame oil, and wheat flour. These taste a bit like donuts, so obviously they’re delicious.

What it tastes like: Glazed donuts.

Also available on Amazon or at Hmart.com.

5. Ginger Flavored Crackers (saenggang maht junbyung)

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These traditional “crackers” are also more like cookies. Once your tongue is past the sugar and ginger, you’ll find these have a pleasantly sweet flavor.

What it tastes like: Ginger coated fortune cookies.

Also available at Hmart.com.

6. Traditional Korean Crackers With Laver Flavor

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Although these guys are labeled as crackers, they’re actually more sweet than savory. They contain “laver” (aka seaweed) which gives a natural salty hint to each cracker and also a very unique flavor.

What it tastes like: Fortune cookies laced with seaweed.

Also available at Hmart.com.

7. Azuki Bean Rice Ball Snacks (injulmi rice ball)

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These puffy rice balls have the consistency of Utz Cheese Balls, but are actually sweet. There is a particular flavor on the outside as well from the “injeolmi” seasoning which creates a flavor like these popular Korean rice cakes.

What it tastes like: Peanut Butter Crunch.

8. Pumpkin Monaca, Baked Biscuit (hobak monaka)

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The outside is rice based, but the inside is a sweet, thick paste-like center made from pumpkin powder and flavoring. The filling is very sweet, so you really only need one at a time, which is probably why these come individually wrapped!

What it tastes like: thick pumpkin jam.

9. Chocolate Corns

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These corn-based snacks are basically a sweet, chocolatey version of cheese puffs, however they are pretty much on the opposite end of the flavor spectrum. These are sweet, not salty, and chocolatey, not cheesy.

What it tastes like: Cocoa Puffs.

10. Sweet Red Bean Jelly (yanggaeng)

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Red bean jelly and paste is a common ingredient in many Korean desserts. In this case you can buy it in pure bar form. It’s sweet, fat-free, low-calorie, and a healthier alternative to a candy bar. Sure, it may look like the “protein bars” in Snowpiercer, but I guarantee these are actually delicious.

What it tastes like: The center part of mochi ice cream.

Also available online at koamart.com.

11. Lotte’s Kancho Choco Biscuits

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These button-sized cookies are lovely little morsels packed with milk chocolate. With a crumbly-cookie shell and milky chocolate center, these little bites of sweet cookie goodness are just the right amount of naughty.

What it tastes like: Dunk-a-roos, without the dunking.

Also available on Amazon.

12. Pepero White Cookie Sticks

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If you’ve ever had Pocky, then you’ll have an idea what you’re in for. This is a thin, cookie stick dipped in white chocolate and chocolate cookie crumble. What’s not to love?

Fun Fact: Lotte is a mega retailer in Korea, in fact they even have a theme park called Lotte World in Seoul.

What it tastes like: Oreo cookies and white chocolate.

Also available on Amazon.

Wanna learn more about Korean food? Check out our beginner’s guide to eating at a Korean restaurant.

Watch Americans try other Korean snacks here.

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