To be honest, if I were craving Korean food in New York, I could pretty much get it anytime anywhere. However, if there’s one thing that was difficult to find in New York City, it’s authentic Korean winter snacks. Walking through the cold winter streets with one of these toasting up your hands is truly one of the best feelings in the world. These were seriously on the top of my to-do (aka to-eat) list for my trip to Korea, and today I want to share them with you!
- Boongabbang (붕어빵, or coy fish bread)
These are seriously the bomb. Don’t be weirded out by the name of this little treat: they’re shaped like coy fish but they are filled with delicious sweet red bean paste. The batter is cooked until it is super crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Some people like to start at the head and make their way to the tail, but I like to start with the tail, and enjoy it while it’s still crispy. Recently people have been introducing variations of these, such as poop bread (poop-shaped!!). Most boongabbang stands sell three-four of these for a dollar.
2. Gyeran Bbang (계란빵, or Egg-bread)
I think by now you might have realized that bbang means bread in Korean. Gyeran bbang is the perfect way to satisfy your pre-dinner snack cravings; in fact, since it has a whole egg inside, it usually fills me up pretty effectively. To me, this bbang tastes like something between an egg tart and sweet corn bread. The whites are soft and jello-like, and the yolk provides a light savory touch to the whole thing. The carts on the streets of Myeong-dong were selling them for around 2 dollars each, but I think they may be overpricing it a little bit, since it is a very touristy area.
3. Hotteok (호떡, Korean doughnuts shaped like pancakes)
Ah, the guilty pleasure of munching on one of these is real. As all doughnuts go, these pancake-like doughnuts (stuffed with brown sugar) are drowned in oil and fried until crispy and plush. My favorite kind is the one where they put in nuts and seeds in the stuffing (called 씨앗 호떡). This particular hotteok stand uses a green-tea infused batter, so I could not resist getting one! Each one costs around a dollar.
I really wish they had these in New York. If you’re ever in Korea, I strongly suggest getting at least one of these delicious snacks during your stay 🙂