There’s nothing more comforting than warm, delicious food to ail the bitter cold of winter. Korea being a country for foodies everywhere is here to provide and never disappoint. Here are some winter foods to enjoy for meals or street food snacks!

Main dishes

1. Rice cakes soup – tteokguk (떡국) 

winter foods - tteokguk

This is a traditional soup, usually eaten on New Year’s Day to symbolize turning one year older. However, this is still enjoyed during regular meals and rightfully so because it’s so delicious and warm. It’s usually made with rice cakes, flavorful beef broth, egg, scallions, and other veggies if preferred. 

2. Dumpling Soup – Manduguk (만두국)

This is basically tteokguk with dumplings because how can you ever go wrong with adding dumplings to anything!?

3. Ox (Beef) Bone Soup – Seoulleongtang (설렁탕)

This is one of the most popular soups in Korea. It’s rich, meaty, and delicious. Seoulleongtang is full of protein and calcium so it’s also great for your body. It’s made by boiling beef bones for several hours to make the broth, topped with meat and scallions. You can add noodles to it or just eat it with rice. Either way, it’s a dish that will warm your body and your soul.

4. Korean Rice Porridge – Juk (죽)

While this dish is not specifically eaten during the wintertime, it is perfect for winter. It is warm and filling. There are many variations of this dish that include ingredients like chicken, vegetables, seafood, and grains. Juk is usually eaten with various side dishes as it can be a bit bland alone.

Winter street foods

While Korea does have some main dishes for the colder seasons, winter food is mainly dictated by street foods. As street food culture is huge in Korea, you can never go wrong with these wintery street foods.

1. Pastry with red bean paste – Bungeoppang (붕어빵)

This is a pastry, served hot in the streets of Korea during the winter. It is usually stuffed with red bean paste. Warm with a crunchy exterior and a delicious sweet interior, it’s perfect for a winter snack. It’s also shaped like a fish, which makes eating it a whole lot more interesting.

2. Sweet pancakes – Hotteok (호떡)

winter foods - hotteok

Basically a warm, filled pancake. It’s usually filled with brown sugar syrup but can also have a variety of nuts and grains inside as well.

3. Fish cakes – Odeng (오뎅)

Warm fish cakes don’t really sound like the ideal winter street food but it sure is, and it’s delicious. The fish cakes are usually served on a skewer and are accompanied by a cup of warm broth.

4. Roasted chestnuts – Gunpam (군밤)

Usually sold in small paper bags, these chestnuts are broiled and cooked through thoroughly to make sure they aren’t only tasty but easy to eat.

5. Baked sweet potatoes – Goon goguma (군고구마)

These delicious potatoes are given to you usually wrapped in something and you don’t need to add anything to it, just peel the skin, wait for it to cool down a little, and enjoy. If you want to add a little bit of spice to it, it goes perfectly with some kimchi.

6. Spicy rice cakes – Tteokpokki (떡볶이)

winter foods - tteokpokki

This treat is sold year-round in Korea but it’s perfect for winter. It’s warm and delicious. The spice also helps if you need to clear out your sinuses from a cold. It’s one of Korea’s staple comfort foods and who doesn’t need some delicious comfort in the frosty winds of winter?

7. Egg bread – Gyeran-ppang (계란빵)

This is literally warm, sweet bread with an egg inside, how can you go wrong? This is another treat usually sold year-round and is perfect for those chilly winter days!

What’s your favorite Korean winter food and what have you tried before?