Busan Street Food

October 16, 2017 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Busan Street Food


Busan Street Food is part of the larger tapestry of Korean cuisine in South Korea. Unique for being a largely standalone cuisine, with little outside influence, Korean cuisine originated from an agricultural society, and through interaction with the natural environment. The Yeongnam region in particular is known for its fish and fish cake items, as such, Busan Street Food features a large variety of dishes where fish cake is incorporated into the dish. The area is also known for its regional specialities of noodles and soups.

Haemul Pajeon / Seafood Pancake



Food in Busan can be found along the streets in pushcarts or small cafes, in mid-range restaurants, and fine-dining establishments. Korean cuisine is largely based on rice and legumes, with dishes being heavy on seasoning, and usually include fermented items. As a result, many dishes taste tangy, salty, sour, or spicy. Common ingredients used in many Busan and South Korea dishes include white rice, soybeans, tofu / beancurd, Tteok / Dduk / rice cakes, sesame oil, doenjang / fermented soybean paste, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, gochujang / fermented red chili paste, cabbage, barley, buckwheat, mung beans, adzuki red beans, vinegar, onions, beef, chicken, pork, mackerel fish, hairtail fish, Pacific herring fish, anchovies, shrimp / prawns, cuttlefish, squid, cucumber, potato, sweet potato, spinach, bean sprouts, seaweed, zucchini, mushrooms, chili and more.

As a port town, the city gets a lot of fresh fish and seafood. Snacking is fairly common, and the growing international community here means cuisine from other parts of the world is more readily available. Meals in Busan follow the same Korean etiquette, with the eldest normally being served first, dishes laid out on the table in a specific order, and meals eaten in silence.


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The Beer Cass is a common Korean beer, with a pale straw yellow colour, aroma of wheat and malt. Body is light, crisp, and dry, with moderate amount of carbonation, tastes of wheat, corn, rice, and hops, refreshing and grainy with a dry finish.

Beer Cass
Beer Cass



The Bibim-Milmyeon / Cold Spicy Noodles Dry features a bowl of long thin buckwheat noodles, cucumbers, boiled egg, sliced Korean pear, Kimchi Kkakdugi / Kimchi Cubed Pickled Daikon Radish, white vinegar, sliced pork loin, ginger, and garlic. A final touch of gochujang / fermented red chili paste completes it. When mixed together, it has a refreshing cool feel, with a bright sweet sour spicy flavour. Compared to the soup version, this has a more clean-tasting, 'pure' flavour.

Bibim-Milmyeon / Cold Spicy Noodles Dry
Bibim-Milmyeon / Cold Spicy Noodles Dry


Bibim-Milmyeon / Cold Spicy Noodles Dry



The Mul-Milmyeon / Cold Spicy Noodles Soup features a rich, robust, chilled soup / broth made from boiling beef bones, garnished with long thin buckwheat noodles, cucumbers, boiled egg, sliced Korean pear, Kimchi Kkakdugi / Kimchi Cubed Pickled Daikon Radish, white vinegar, sliced pork loin, ginger, and garlic. A final touch of gochujang / fermented red chili paste completes it. When mixed together, it has a refreshing cool feel, with a bright sweet sour spicy flavour.

Mul-Milmyeon / Cold Spicy Noodles Soup
Mul-Milmyeon / Cold Spicy Noodles Soup


Mul-Milmyeon / Cold Spicy Noodles Soup



The Onmyeon / Hot Spicy Noodles Soup features a rich, robust, warm soup / broth made from boiling beef bones, garnished with long thin buckwheat noodles, cucumbers, boiled egg, sliced Korean pear, Kimchi Kkakdugi / Kimchi Cubed Pickled Daikon Radish, white vinegar, sliced pork loin, ginger, and garlic. A final touch of gochujang / fermented red chili paste completes it. When mixed together, it has a warming comforting feel, with a deep sweet sour spicy flavour.

Onmyeon / Hot Spicy Noodles Soup
Onmyeon / Hot Spicy Noodles Soup


Onmyeon / Hot Spicy Noodles Soup



While Choco Pie is reowned as a brand, the name has become synonymous with a confectionery snack cake consisting of two small round layers of butter sponge cake, with marshmallow filling and chocolate coat glaze. It has since entered the common lexicon and become a generic term that refers to all manner of this dessert confectionery. This popular treat has a spongy soft airy texture, with layered sweet flavour.

Choco Pie


Choco Pie
Choco Pie



The Crab Meat In Black Sesame Sauce is a seafood Banchan / side dish, more commonly served in the coastal areas, such as in Busan, Yeongnam, South Korea. It features shredded deshelled crab meat, chilled, coated in a rich, thick, fragrant black sesame seed sauce. It's chewy in texture, very appetizing with its sweet savoury nutty flavours, and slight hint of briny salty taste.

Crab Meat In Black Sesame Sauce
Crab Meat In Black Sesame Sauce



The Gamja Salad / Mashed Potato Salad features creamy smooth mashed potatoes, mixed together with a little egg, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and chopped carrots. The carrots lend a contrasting crunch to texture, and the overall dish is nicely starchy sweet in flavour.

Gamja Salad / Mashed Potato Salad
Gamja Salad / Mashed Potato Salad



The Korean Coleslaw features fresh, shredded white cabbage, red cabbage, and onions, all coated in a mix of mayonnaise, white vinegar, light soy sauce, and sesame oil. Nice crunchy texture, light vegetal sweet flavour, lacking any bitter flavour. Very fragrant and enticing.

Korean Coleslaw
Korean Coleslaw



Considered among the world's healthiest foods, and said to even prevent stomach cancer, Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage is more than just a tasty Banchan / side dish, but is also a versatile ingredient incorporated into many Korean dishes. It's made with napa cabbage rubbed with sea salt; seasoned with a paste made from scallions, ginger, daikon radish, garlic, glutinous rice, saeujeot / fermented shrimp sauce, aekjeot / fish sauce, eoriguljeot / oyster sauce, and chili; then left to ferment in a brine of vinegar and water. The most iconic national dish of South Korea, this is commonly served at every meal in Busan, and has a sour, sharp taste, with a crunchy texture.

Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage
Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage



The Kkakdugi / Cubed Pickled Daikon Radish is a Banchan / side dish that is usually consumed chilled, and has a sour, sharp taste with a crunchy texture. Usually paired with heavier flavoured food, such as fried chicken, it helps to refresh the palate.

Kkakdugi / Cubed Pickled Daikon Radish
Kkakdugi / Cubed Pickled Daikon Radish



The Golbaengi-Muchim / Moon Snail Salad is a unique salad where deshelled moon snails are boiled, and mixed with a medley of vegetables including cucumber, white onions, spring onions, and carrots. Seasoned with light soy sauce, white vinegar, garlic, gochujang / fermented red chili paste, and sesame oil, before being served. It has an alternating chewy crunchy texture, with an earthy vegetal sweet spicy flavour.

Golbaengi-Muchim / Moon Snail Salad
Golbaengi-Muchim / Moon Snail Salad



The Japgokbap / Multigrain Rice is a healthier alternative for a staple, and features a mix of white rice, brown rice, red rice / black rice, barley, black beans, and sometimes, green peas. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, it's said to aid digestion and blood circulation.

Japgokbap / Multigrain Rice
Japgokbap / Multigrain Rice



The Dak Kkochi / Marinated Chicken Skewer is a common street snack sold by vendors. Chunks of tender, moist chicken are glazed with light soy sauce and sometimes chili powder, then roasted on skewers over hot charcoal. Has a savoury sweet flavour, and is rather good value for money as the portion is large.

Dak Kkochi / Marinated Chicken Skewer


Dak Kkochi / Marinated Chicken Skewer
Dak Kkochi / Marinated Chicken Skewer



The Dan Hobakjuk / Sweet Pumpkin Porridge is a warm, comforting dessert. Made from mashed pumpkin / kabocha squash, chestnuts, sugar, salt, water, glutinous rice flour, and kidney beans. It has a rich, thick, sticky texture, with a fruity floral sweet flavour.

Dan Hobakjuk / Sweet Pumpkin Porridge
Dan Hobakjuk / Sweet Pumpkin Porridge


Dan Hobakjuk / Sweet Pumpkin Porridge



The Dan Patjuk / Sweet Red Bean Porridge is a warm, comforting dessert. Made from mashed red beans / adzuki beans, sugar, salt, water, glutinous rice flour, honey, and pine nuts. It has a rich, thick, sticky texture, with a bold earthy sweet flavour.

Dan Patjuk / Sweet Red Bean Porridge
Dan Patjuk / Sweet Red Bean Porridge


Dan Patjuk / Sweet Red Bean Porridge



The Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Original is an iconic dish of Busan, closely associated with the Yeongnam region of South Korea. A delicious, hearty savoury sweet soup / broth with a light milky colour is the star, made by boiling pork bones over hours. It's garnished with sliced pork loin, pork belly, light soy sauce, rice wine, miso paste, and sesame oil. A bowl of white rice, along with gochujang / fermented red chili paste coated leeks, is emptied into the soup / broth, before being eaten. Nicely savoury sweet salty spicy in flavour, the tasty soup / broth makes you want to keep drinking more. Said to be a traditional aid for fortifiying the female body after giving birth. There are 3 variations on this dish.

Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Original
Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Original


Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Original



The Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Premium Measly is the 1st variation. While all the ingredients remain the same, here, it's served separately from the soup / broth, allowing diners to sample the 'pure' taste first. Considered a more luxurious manner of eating, as it allows diners to control how much seasoning and pork they wish to add.

Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Premium Measly


Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Premium Measly


Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Premium Measly
Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Premium Measly



The 2nd variation is the Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice, Soondae Chapssal / Blood Sausage With Glutinous Rice. Here, the only additional ingredient is the blood sausage filled with glutinous rice, lending an earthy savoury mineral flavour to the overall dish.

Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice, Soondae Chapssal / Blood Sausage With Glutinous Rice
Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice, Soondae Chapssal / Blood Sausage With Glutinous Rice



The 3rd variation is the Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Tripe. Here, the additional ingredient is pig's stomach / tripe, which is firm chewy in texture. This doesn't do much to enhance the already delicious soup / broth, but it allows for variety in ingredients.

Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Tripe
Dwaeji Gukbap / Pork Soup And Rice Tripe



The Eomuk / Fish Cake is a processed snack made from mashed white fish (cod, pollock, flounder, snapper), sugar, salt, onions, all-purpose flour, sweet potato / potato starch, water, and eggs. It has a bouncy soft texture, with a light savoury sweet flavour. Usually added as an ingredient to other dishes. As a signature dish of this city, there are many variations on it, and it serves as a base ingredient for more creative dishes.

Eomuk / Fish Cake


Eomuk / Fish Cake


Eomuk / Fish Cake
Eomuk / Fish Cake



A hearty bowl of Galbitang / Beef Short Ribs Soup is pure comfort food. Featuring a robust soup / broth made from boiling beef short ribs over hours, then garnished with daikon radish, scallions, garlic, pepper, light soy sauce, and sesame oil. Sometimes, clear mung bean starch cellophane noodles are added. Once served to Korean royalty, today, it's customary to serve this at Korean weddings.

Galbitang / Beef Short Ribs Soup
Galbitang / Beef Short Ribs Soup


Galbitang / Beef Short Ribs Soup



The Gamja Hasdogeu / Potato Hot Dog is similar to an American corn dog, but consists of a chicken hotdog sausage, fully enveloped in mashed potato, then crumb battered and deep-fried. Usually garnished with tomato ketchup before being served. It has a slightly crisp exterior, with a warm, moist interior, and a savoury salty starchy flavour.

Gamja Hasdogeu / Potato Hot Dog


Gamja Hasdogeu / Potato Hot Dog
Gamja Hasdogeu / Potato Hot Dog


Gamja Hasdogeu / Potato Hot Dog



With the Kogo / Fries Hot Dog, the game is levelled up, as the chicken hotdog sausage is instead coated in a crunchy layer of French fries. The fries can be thin or thick cut, and this snack usually features a more satisfiying crunch.

Kogo / Fries Hot Dog


Kogo / Fries Hot Dog
Kogo / Fries Hot Dog


Kogo / Fries Hot Dog



The beauty of Yangnyeom Chikin / Fried Seasoned Chicken is the tender, moist chicken meat which comes easily off the bone, is savoury sweet in taste, and yet has a crisp, not too oily skin that is savoury salty and crunches in the mouth satisfiyingly. This is normally achieved by flash frying the battered chicken, letting them rest for awhile, and then frying it again (double frying technique). This main dish is often served along with refreshing types of Banchan / side dishes, and is eaten with the hands.

Yangnyeom Chikin / Fried Seasoned Chicken
Yangnyeom Chikin / Fried Seasoned Chicken


Yangnyeom Chikin / Fried Seasoned Chicken


Yangnyeom Chikin / Fried Seasoned Chicken



The Ganjang Chikin / Soy Sauce Fried Chicken features the same double fried chicken, tender and moist in texture, glazed with a light soy sauce, giving it a robust savoury salty flavour. Not overwhelming, it pairs well with beer.

Ganjang Chikin / Soy Sauce Fried Chicken


Ganjang Chikin / Soy Sauce Fried Chicken


Ganjang Chikin / Soy Sauce Fried Chicken
Ganjang Chikin / Soy Sauce Fried Chicken



The Honey Fried Chicken features the same double fried chicken, tender and moist in texture, glazed with sticky sweet honey. This gives it a floral sweet savoury flavour, unusual on the palate, but not disconcerting. Balanced, and still tasty.

Honey Fried Chicken


Honey Fried Chicken


Honey Fried Chicken
Honey Fried Chicken



The Gogigui / Barbecue is not a dish, but rather a dining experience. Diners gather around a charcoal grill built into a table, with a ventilation shaft directly overhead, to roast various types of meat. A typical Gogigui / Barbecue is accompanied by Banchan / side dishes, and a dipping sauce of Ganjang Yangpa Gochu / Soy Sauce With Onions & Chili.

In Busan, the most common cuts of meat include Deungsim / Beef Sirloin, and Samgyeopsal / Pork Belly. They also have more uncommon cuts, such as Dwaeji Ggupdaegi / Pig's Skin, or Yanggogi Galbi / Lamb Rib, which are not usually served elsewhere. All these meats are usually eaten together with Sangchu / Lettuce, where the meat is wrapped within along with gochujang / fermented red chili paste.

Gogigui / Barbecue - Deungsim / Beef Sirloin
Gogigui / Barbecue - Deungsim / Beef Sirloin


Gogigui / Barbecue - Deungsim / Beef Sirloin


Gogigui / Barbecue - Dwaeji Ggupdaegi / Pig's Skin
Gogigui / Barbecue - Dwaeji Ggupdaegi / Pig's Skin


Gogigui / Barbecue - Yanggogi Galbi / Lamb Rib
Gogigui / Barbecue - Yanggogi Galbi / Lamb Rib


Gogigui / Barbecue - Yanggogi Galbi / Lamb Rib



The Korean style of Grilled Eel features chunks of fresh water eel, simply grilled, without any marinade. If a marinade is used, it usually features a mix of rice wine, light soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Texture is soft and moist, with a savoury sweet flavour, and a hint of earthy on the palate. When grilled, it takes on a smoky aroma that is so appetizing. Rich in protein, vitamin A, and vitamin E, the eel is usually accompanied with a spicy gochujang / fermented red chili paste sauce for dipping.

Grilled Eel


Grilled Eel


Grilled Eel
Grilled Eel



The Grilled Giant Clams features shell-in giant clams, meaty savoury sweet in flavour with a chewy texture. Grilled in the half-shell, the natural juices slowly steam it as well. While fresh, it still has a distinct muddy taste, due to the local conditions.

Grilled Giant Clams


Grilled Giant Clams
Grilled Giant Clams



Loved the Grilled Rockfish, a large, whole, fresh rockfish, simply grilled with garlic and ginger. The fish meat is moist and flaky on the inside, yet crisp and golden brown on the outside. Lovely savoury salty flavour with a hint of sweet taste, very fresh and satisfiying. Garnished with a slice of lemon, it's easy to eat as the fish meat comes clean off easily from the fairly large bones.

Grilled Rockfish


Grilled Rockfish


Grilled Rockfish
Grilled Rockfish



The Haemul Pajeon / Seafood Pancake is a thin pancake, topped with a variety of fresh seafood, such as squid, octopus, clams, or shrimp / prawns. The batter for the pancake itself can be made from either all-purpose flour, buckwheat, egg, or mashed mung beans. Usually served as a Banchan / side dish, and eaten with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, scallions, and chili.

Haemul Pajeon / Seafood Pancake
Haemul Pajeon / Seafood Pancake



The Hotteok / Sweet Pancake is a popular Korean dessert pancake pastry, whose versatility has generated many variations. The traditional version features a fluffy soft dough pocket made from all-purpose flour / wheat flour, water, milk, sugar, and baking yeast, filled with a warm, sweet syrup of brown sugar, cinnamon powder, and chopped peanuts. In Busan, Yeongnam, South Korea, the locals favour a version filled with honey, pine nuts, and pumpkin seeds. Other popular fillings include sweet potato, red bean paste, or chocolate chips.

Hotteok / Sweet Pancake


Hotteok / Sweet Pancake
Hotteok / Sweet Pancake


Hotteok / Sweet Pancake



The Tangsuyuk / Korean Sweet And Sour Pork is a fusion Korean Chinese dish, with thin slices of savoury pork loin, enveloped in a thick, crunchy, sticky batter of sweet potato starch, coated in a sweet and sour gravy made from water, sugar, white vinegar, and sesame oil. Garnished with sauteed onions, pineapple, and bell peppers / capsicum, before it's served. The main difference here is the thicker batter, and the lighter application of sauce.

Tangsuyuk / Korean Sweet And Sour Pork
Tangsuyuk / Korean Sweet And Sour Pork



The Ueong Naengguk / Chilled Burdock Soup is a chilled, sour herbal soup / broth, made with burdock root, garlic, salt, sugar, white vinegar, light soy sauce, onions, Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage, and seaweed. It has a light, refreshing, cool texture. Served to accompany food that is heavier in flavour, such as grilled meats.

Ueong Naengguk / Chilled Burdock Soup
Ueong Naengguk / Chilled Burdock Soup



The Maesil-Ju / Plum Wine is a traditional Korean liqueur made out of green maesil plums and rice wine. It has a sharp, fruity sweet flavour, with a light and refreshing texture. Ancient Korean medicine prescribed this beverage as a treatment for blood disorders, dehydration, digestive problems, and heart problems.

Maesil-Ju / Plum Wine
Maesil-Ju / Plum Wine


Maesil-Ju / Plum Wine


Maesil-Ju / Plum Wine






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