Top 15 non-spicy food in Korea

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Top 15 Non-spicy Korean dishes

Spicy and red” – these are the key comments when it comes to Korean food. Due to its condiments and method of cooking, Korean food appears to be red and often suggests it is spicy. But, this is not 100% true! Did you know that there are many other famous non-spicy Korean food? Below we share with you the top 15 non-spicy food in Korea that you must try!

List of top 15 non-spicy food in Korea

1. Gungjung Tteokbokki (궁중떡볶이)

Tteokbokki is an iconic street food in Korea which is chewy rice cakes simmered in a spicy and sweet sauce. Whenever we talk about Tteokbokki, the image we have in mind is the red and spicy rice cakes but there are also non-spicy versions available. The Gungjung Tteokbokki (궁중떡볶이) is a soy sauce-based Tteokbokki and another favourite is the Jajang Tteokbokki (짜장떡볶이) which uses black bean sauce as its base.


2. Odeng (오뎅)

When we mention non-spicy food in Korea, we cannot miss out on the popular Korean street food, Odeng (오뎅)! Fish cakes are served on skewers with a savory anchovy broth or sometimes radish broth. A warm and hearty snack on a rainy day, it is easy and convenient to eat.

3. Soondae (순대)

Unique to Korean food culture, Soondae, also known as the Korean blood sausage is made from pig’s intestines stuffed with a mixture of glass noodles, pork blood, and vegetables. It can be steamed and enjoyed on its own, stir-fried or deep-fried. It may sound unpalatable to some but you must give it a try when you visit Korea. Topping the list of non-spicy food in Korea, this food will make you come back for more as you fully savor its exquisite taste.

4. Galbi (갈비)

Galbi is an iconic non-spicy food in Korea. Grilled beef short ribs marinated in a sweet soy sauce mixture, very similar to Galbi-jjim (braised beef short ribs) which is also a popular Seollal food that is widely enjoyed by Korean people. Galbi is best enjoyed in 2 ways, one is to wrap the grilled meat in lettuce and enjoy it with any condiments of your choice, or simply serve galbi with steamed rice!

5. Samgyeopsal (삼겹살)

Samgyeopsal is the pork version of grilled meat, also a non-spicy food in Korea. Pork belly is grilled and then served with lettuce wraps and various side dishes and sauces. Side dishes may include kimchi but if you’re not good with spicy food then there are also garlic, onions, and many more. Samgyeopsal is best enjoyed in good company as you take your time grilling the meat, spending time with your friends and enjoying the experience.

Non-spicy Korean dishes - fried chicken

6. Dakgangjeong (닭강정)

Dakgangjeong is a crispy, sweet, and savory deep-fried chicken. Tossed with a nice mix of soy sauce, garlic, honey, sugar, ginger, and a hint of gochujang (Korean red chilli paste). But fret not, this dish is not spicy at all! Dakgangjeong is garnished with sesame seeds or sometimes almonds or peanuts. As Korea is also very famous for its fried chicken, this is one of the non-spicy food in Korea you must try apart from the original fried chicken!

7. Ganjang Gejang (간장게장)

One of the other famous non-spicy food in Korea is Ganjang Gejang! It is raw crabs marinated in soy sauce. Typically served cold, the crab meat and roe are eaten with rice. If you are a seafood lover and enjoy rich umami flavor, this is the dish you need to try!

8. Hobakjuk (호박죽)

Hobakjuk, also known as pumpkin porridge, is often served as a dessert. Another variation is the Patjuk (팥죽), porridge made with sweet red beans. There are also many variations of savory porridges in Korea. One example is the Jeonbokjuk (전복죽). It is made with abalone and sometimes mixed with mushrooms and vegetables. A nourishing food choice indeed!

9. Japchae (잡채)

A stir-fried sweet potato starch noodle dish with vegetables such as carrots, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and sometimes adding meat. Japchae is typically seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil, giving it a savory and slightly sweet flavor. Japchae can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side dish served with rice.

10. Janchi Guksu (잔치국수)

This heartwarming dish is a wheat flour noodle dish served in a clear anchovy or beef broth, including some vegetables and sometimes eggs as garnish. Making Janchi Guksu is relatively simple and well-known for its refreshing taste, this is surely another one of the must-try non-spicy food in Korea.

11. Mul Naengmyeon (물냉면)

Mul Naengmyeon refers to cold noodles soup. It is made of buckwheat noodles served in a chilled broth, topped with pickled radish, cucumber, a boiled egg, and often with slices of beef or pork. There is also the Bibim naengmyeon (비빔냉면), a dry version mixed with a spicy sauce. One special and unique cold noodle dish is Kongguksu (콩국수), a cold soybean noodle soup. The base is so creamy and refreshing, making it one of the best summer dishes in Korea.

Non-spicy food in Korea - pajeon

12. Haemul Pajeon (해물파전)

This is Korea’s take on savory pancakes! Loaded with seafood and green onions, Haemul Pajeon is easily one of the top non-spicy food in Korea. Did you know that Haemul Pajeon is a must-eat classic rainy-day food in Korea? Best enjoyed with Makgeolli (막걸리, Korean rice wine) to warm up one’s body in chilly weather!

13. Doenjang Jjigae (된장찌개)

A staple in the Korean diet, Doenjang Jjigae is a hearty stew made with fermented soybean paste, vegetables, and tofu. Main vegetables like zucchini, onion, garlic, and Korean radish are used. Sometimes meat or seafood is added for extra protein. The hot stew’s deep umami taste paired with a bowl of steamed rice is a popular comfort food in Korea and also recognised for its health benefits as it is rich in probiotics, beneficial for gut health.

Samgyetang Gluten-free in Korea

14. Samgyetang (삼계탕)

A Korean health soup made by simmering ginseng, whole young chicken, glutinous rice, and jujube until the chicken is tender. The broth is light but nutritious, slightly sweet and bitter. Traditionally, Samgyetang is consumed during the hottest days of summer to help replenish energy and nutrients lost due to the heat. Isn’t it interesting that the Korean people eat hot soups on hot days to fight the heat?

15. Hotteok (호떡)

Definitely can’t miss out on the sweet parts when it comes to non-spicy food in Korea! Hotteok is pancakes filled with brown sugar, honey, and chopped nuts. Flattened on a grill, it is then fried in oil until golden brown. Enjoyed hot off the griddle, it is crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Like a sweet explosion, the harmony of fillings will burst inside your mouth! Be careful though, it is going to be piping hot and could burn your tongue!

Tempted to try all these non-spicy food in Korea? Why not take a look at how we can help you study and live in Korea in this article? Remember to follow the Go! Go! Hanguk blog for more content, and be sure to contact us about living and studying in Korea!

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