The best South Korean dishes available in Seoul to try in 2022.
In bustling Seoul, great Korean food can be found almost anywhere, from street vendors along narrow alleyways to sophisticated restaurants within 5-star hotels. Many of these delicacies have been around for almost 2,000 years and were formerly solely available to Korea’s royal family.
Korean cuisine has grown in popularity to the point where locals and visitors alike describe it as savoury, spicy, hearty, and healthful treats that can be eaten at any time of day. We’ve put together a list of the best Korean delicacies in Seoul that you must try during your visit to South Korea’s capital.
This traditional Korean cuisine dates back to the Shilla Dynasty and has been around for almost 2,000 years. Kimchi is made by fermenting Korean cabbage, radish, pumpkin, onion, ginger, and scallion with chilli powder, crushed garlic, and salty fish.
This traditional food, which comes in over 200 varieties in Seoul, is eaten on its own or with white rice, and is also used in porridges, soups, and rice cakes. Kimchi is used to make a variety of meals, including kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae), kimchi pancake (kimchijeon), and kimchi fried rice.
Bibimbap, a substantial and nutritious dish frequently accessible in restaurants, food courts, and street markets, is another must-try during your vacation to Seoul. Bibimbap can be served as a meat-based or vegetarian cuisine, depending on the region and ingredients utilised.
Warm rice is topped with mixed vegetables, meat or chicken, raw egg, soy sauce, and a dollop of chilli pepper paste for spice. A version of this Korean mixed rice meal called hoedeopbap, which replaces meat with raw seafood like salmon, tuna, or octopus, is ideal for seafood enthusiasts.
This dish is made with thin slices of marinated beef sirloin grilled with sliced onions, green peppers, and garlic over a charcoal fire, giving it a characteristic smokey flavour. To increase the flavour and tenderness of the meat, it is marinated for 2 to 4 hours in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, garlic, onions, ginger, and sugar before grilling.
This dish also comes with a side of lush greens like lettuce and spinach, which are used to wrap a piece of cooked beef, which is commonly accompanied by ssamjang (spicy paste) and kimchi.
Jjigae comes in a variety of flavours in Seoul, but it commonly includes meat, fish, or vegetables in a broth seasoned with gochujang (hot pepper paste), gaenjang (fermented miso), soybean paste, or salty fermented shrimp (saeujeot). Jjigae has a similar consistency to a western stew and is typically served as a palette cleanser between heavier courses.
Budae jjigae (army stew) is a popular jjigae dish in Seoul, featuring bacon, sausages, and Spam meat, as well as ramyeon noodles and rice cakes blended with gochujang paste for a spicy flavour.
There are plenty of great dishes to try in South Korea and the best ones are sometimes the chef specials relative to the location you are in, so don’t be afraid to try new things when you’re walking around Seoul.
To experience the best Korean food in Seoul, visit Sangin-dong which is the home to some of Korea’s best restaurants and the best Korean street food. Have we missed and great food from this list? Let us know.