Korea, a land rich in culture and flavor, also offers a diverse selection of snacks that satisfy our taste buds and provide a delightful snacking experience. Whether you are strolling through vibrant street markets or enjoying a cozy night in, Korean snacks are a must-try for any food enthusiast. Embarking on a snacking journey through Korea is an adventure filled with diverse flavors and unique tastes. While the country is renowned for its rich cuisine and vibrant street food scene, the world of packaged snacks also offers an abundance of delightful treats. In this blog, we will explore 10 must-try snacks that you should not miss during your visit to Korea. From the sweet and savory to the crispy and chewy, each snack on our list is a culinary gem, representing a piece of Korea's rich and flavorful snacking tapestry.
1. Lotte’s Pepero
If you are a fan of chocolate-covered sticks like Pocky, Pepero is a Korean snack you can not miss. These thin, crunchy biscuit sticks are coated in various delicious flavors, from classic chocolate to almond and strawberry. Often exchanged as gifts on Pepero Day (November 11th), this snack has become a symbol of friendship and affection in Korean culture. On Pepero Day, couples make Pepero or purchase it from the market to convey their gratitude to their significant other.
2. HBAF’s Salted Caramel Almond and Pretzels
HBAF’s Salted Caramel Almond and Pretzels
With this amazing snack, you can indulge in the luxurious sweetness of salted caramel, which coats each almond with an amazing layer of velvety flavor, creating a satisfyingly sweet base.
Pretzels give the mixture a crunchy, savory, and salty flavor. This contrast in texture enhances the overall experience by balancing the sweetness of the caramel, making it an amazing snack to have at any time of the day.
3. Dalgona Candy
With the release of Squid Game, the amazing taste of Dalgona Candy has entered our lives, but Dalgona Candy holds a special place in Korean culture, not just as a trendy treat but as a nostalgic reminder of traditional sweets. Its popularity has led to its incorporation into various desserts, including ice creams, bingsu (shaved ice), and pastries, showcasing the versatility of this simple yet enchanting candy. Even though Dalgona can be made at home, the process can be complicated at times. You can taste the original Dalgona Candy with this snack.
4. Ottogi’s Ppushu Ppushu
Ottogi’s Ppushu Ppushu
If you are a fan of Shinee, you must have definitely heard of this snack thanks to their ad in 2009. The commercial showed five SHINee members smashing the ramen bag by showing off different dance moves and it stuck with them forever! Ppushu Ppushu is a ramen but you are not supposed to boil it like the original ones. You need to crush the ramen as the snack’s name suggests! It includes seasoning packets like the original ramen, but you first crush the ramen, you pour the seasoning packets, and shake it to distribute the flavor. It has a wide range of flavors, including Bulgogi flavor, Tteokbokki flavor and BBQ flavor. Ppushu Ppushu is a fun snack for children in Korea, but adults love to eat it since it brings nostalgic feelings.
5. Haitai’s Honey Butter Chips
Haitai’s Honey Butter Chips
If you are a fan of sweet and salty combinations, then this snack is for you. Honey Butter Chips took Korea by storm. These crispy potato chips are coated with a sweet and savory honey-butter glaze, creating a perfect balance of flavors. The addictive combination has made this snack a national obsession, earning it a permanent spot on the list of must-try Korean treats. Immerse yourself in the charm of honey butter chips with its sweet and savory blend of 12-hour fermented French gourmet butter and acacia honey.
6. Lotte’s Choco Pie
Lotte’s Choco Pie
If you are looking for a vegetarian snack option, we got you! Choco Pie is a beloved classic in Korean snack culture. This snack is made up of two cake-like soft biscuits sandwiched in a marshmallow filling, all coated in a layer of chocolate. With various flavors and variations available, Choco Pie is an enjoyable blend of textures and tastes that has stood the test of time. They come individually wrapped, making them perfect for a school lunch, an afternoon snack with coffee, or a late-night post-dinner treat.
Traditionally, Yakgwa was offered in ancestral rites and enjoyed on festive days such as Chuseok, marriages, or sixtieth-birthday celebrations. This traditional Korean sweet made from deep-fried honey and malt, has been given a modern twist with convenient packaging. These bite-sized, honey-filled cookies are perfect for on-the-go snacking. With its rich history and delightful taste, Yakgwa showcases the harmonious blend of tradition and innovation in Korean snacks. Yakgwa is recognized for its unique flavor profile, incorporating honey, sesame oil, and various spices, resulting in a sweet and aromatic delicacy.
8. Crown’s Jolly Pong
Jolly Pong is a unique Korean snack that combines the goodness of puffed rice with a sweet and crunchy exterior. Often mixed with honey or caramel, these bite-sized clusters offer a satisfying blend of textures. Its unique texture and sweet taste make it a popular choice for those seeking a light and satisfying snack. Whether you are a fan of sweet treats or enjoy the contrast of crunchy and chewy textures, Jolly Pong is a must-try snack that captures the essence of Korean snacking.
9. Nong Shim’s Shrimp Chips
This one is for all seafood lovers! Shrimp chips, or "Saewookkang" in Korean, bring a seafood twist to the world of packaged snacks. It is arguably the most popular and well-known snack among Koreans. These light and crispy chips are made from a mixture of ground shrimp and starch, resulting in a unique and savory snack. With flavors ranging from original to spicy, shrimp chips offer a delicious alternative to traditional potato chips. In its ad, actors Lee Jong Suk and Kang Ji-woo show how shrimp crackers are the perfect snack to share and enjoy at any age.
10. Lotte’s Kkokkalcorn Corn Chips
Ending our list on a spicy note, Kkokkalcorn is a popular corn snack that packs a flavorful punch. These crunchy corn nuts are coated in a spicy seasoning, providing a zesty and addictive snacking experience. With its bold flavor profile, Kkokkalcorn is a must-try for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their snacks. With their cone shape, the only way to eat them is to put them on the tips of your fingers and eat them one by one!
It is impossible to only select 10 snacks when the topic is Korean snacks! There are so many good ones but we selected the best for you! Embarking on a journey through Korea's snack world is a delightful adventure that introduces you to a diverse selection of flavors and textures. From the sweet and savory Honey Butter Chips to the spicy kick of Kkokkalcorn, each snack on this list offers a unique glimpse into Korea's rich snacking culture. So, the next time you find yourself in Korea, be sure to explore the world of Korean snacks and savor the delicious treasures it has to offer. Your taste buds will thank you for the flavorful experience!