An exciting part of traveling to other country is to have a taste of their local cuisine. When you go to Korea, you will not be disappointed because it offers an awesome food experience in all parts of the country. However, some travelers may have preferences on their food such as its spiciness. And if you are familiar with Korean food, you might be probably aware that they have a lot of dishes that are extremely spicy. Moreover, usually when Koreans say that a food is not spicy, it could still be spicy when you taste it. Hence, a traveler’s dilemma would be, “Are there non-spicy foods to eat in Korea?”
The answer to that question is definitely a YES. If you are like me who cannot eat too much spicy food, then here is a list of non-spicy foods that you can eat while you are in Korea.
Bingsu is a popular Korean shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings and condensed milk. It has variety of flavors from fruits to red beans, to chocolates, and more. One of the famous Bingsu brand in Korea is Sulbing and sometimes they partner with Kpop agencies for limited edition flavor of bingsu that comes with free merchandise.
Bulgogi is a Korean-style grilled or roasted dish made of thin and marinated slices of beef or pork. It literally means “fire meat” so it is usually grilled or pan-fried. The meat used in bulgogi is marinated in a sweet and savory sauce. There is a spicy version of bulgogi but generally, you can order bulgogi and not worry about its spiciness.
Bungeoppang is a pastry stuffed with sweetened red bean paste in a fish shape. It is a popular in street foods in Korea and people often eat this during winter.
Eomuk is the Korean version of Japan’s Odeng. It is a fish cake made from ground white fish and other ingredients such as potato starch, sugar and vegetables. You can easily buy eomuk from the streets are there are a lot of street vendors who sell this. Most often, you can choose its sauce from spicy and non-spicy.
5. Fried Chicken
I know you already know what a fried chicken is but Korea’s fried chicken is on a different level. Common flavors are: plain fried chicken, seasoned chicken and soy sauce chicken. But my personal favorite is the cheese flavored chicken. It is a must-try when you go to Korea.
Gyeranbbang is a popular Korean street food which means egg bread. It literally has a whole egg on it so just by eating one piece of gyeranbbang can make you full.
Jjim is a Korean steamed dish and gyeran means egg. Therefore gyeran-jjim literally means a steamed egg. It is a custardy, casserole-like side dish in Korea often seasoned with scallions and other chopped vegetables such as carrot and onion.
Hotteok is a Korean pancake with fillings. Koreans often use different pancake fillings. But the most common hotteok is stuffed with dark brown sugar, cinnamon powder & some grounded nuts or seeds.
Japchae is a Korean glass noodle stir fry. It literally means mixed vegetables. Nowadays, aside from the glass noodles, people also add sweet potatoes, colorful vegetables and well-seasoned meat.
Kimbap is a Korean dish made from cooked rice and other ingredients that are rolled in kim or dried sheets of seaweed. It is very affordable and widely available in Korea. You can also buy kimbap in different flavors in every convenience store in Korea.
Mandu is a Korean dumpling filled with a mixture of various meats and vegetables.
12. Miyeok guk
Miyeok guk is a Korean seaweed soup. Koreans usually eat this during their birthday as a show of love and thankfulness for their moms. The reason behind this is that Korean mothers who just delivered a baby normally eat miyeok guk as it helps them recover fast. Additionally, the seaweed helps mothers in producing their breast milk. I learned how to cook this dish when I attended a Cooking Class in Busan.
Another type of non-spicy foods that you can eat in Korea is Naengmyeon – a Korean cold noodle. They use long and thin handmade noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients. This dish is literally cold so do not be surprised when you try it.
Pajeon is a famous Korean pancake which is a variety of jeon with scallion as its prominent ingredient, as pa (파) means scallion or tree onion. Pajeon is best paired with Makgeolli, a milky, off-white and lightly sparkling rice wine made in Korea. I also learned how to make a Busan-style Pajeon from Busan Cooking Class.
Samgyeopsal literally means three-layered meat. It is a grilled pork belly that is one of the famous Korean cuisine. The spiciness of samgyeopsal depends on how you eat it.
Samgyetang is a warm soup for hot summer days. Koreans usually eat Samgyetang to boost their body health. It is made of whole chicken filled with garlic, glutinous rice, jujube and ginseng. So far, samgyetang is my most favorite Korean food. I like it to the point that I can actually finish a whole chicken just by myself.
Seolleongtang is a beef bone soup made by boiling ox leg bones for several hours until the broth becomes rich and creamy white. It is a staple in Korean households especially during winter. Seolleongtang is not spicy at all therefore those who like non-spicy foods will definitely approve this dish.
While Tonkatsu is not really a Korean food but a Japanese dish, I noticed that a lot of restaurants in Korea offer Tonkatsu. It is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet that is not spicy at all. Some Korean restaurants even offer a cheesy version of Tonkatsu.
19. Korean Style Pizza
Korea has a variety of flavors on their pizza but let’s stick to the classic one – a four cheese pizza. And just a heads up, yes, they put corn on their pizza. At first, I was also hesitant about it but it tastes pretty good.
20. Fast Food
Of course, when you go to another country you would want to taste its local cuisine. However, if you want to eat food that you are already familiar with then, you can try to go to fast food restaurants in Korea. There are a lot of fast food restaurants in Korea like McDo, KFC, Lotteria and Burger King among others. Note though that even if it’s the same brand, they might have different menu from your country’s local fast food.
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