Shawn has been referring to our December/January holiday as “an eating holiday” (if you read my previous Seoul Food Diaries post, you already know what he means). As soon as our trip was booked, we were giddy with excitement at the thought of our next big adventure… but also at the prospect of discovering all kinds of delectable treats in Asia. 😁 Spoiler: we weren’t disappointed. It’s taken a while, but as promised, here’s the second installment of our Seoul Food Diaries – Myeongdong Market.
We fell absolutely in love with Seoul, and the incredible food is definitely one of the reasons why. Myeongdong Market is one of the places we visited twice, simply because there’s just too much to try in one go. This market is stall after stall of delicious Korean street food! It’s situated right in the middle of the shopping area, which is home to countless skincare and makeup stores (beauty bloggers could go wild in there), department stores, and shopping malls. The place is a shopper’s and foodie’s dream come true. But let’s focus on what we’re here for – Seoul Food!
Cheese Butter Baked Scallops
This was one of the first stalls to catch our attention as we entered the market. It was also our first up-close encounter with a street food vendor who used a blow torch to melt loads of cheese on his dish. We soon learned that Koreans love smothering different kinds of street food in cheese. You guys, these are my people. ❤️
At 15000 won (just over R180 South African Rand), this was one of the most expensive items at the market. It was really tasty, but there were other, less expensive options which I enjoyed just as much, and some even a bit more.
Fried Sweet Potato
One of the vegetables that Seoul locals seem to love is sweet potato. You’ll find sweet potato at most street food stalls, prepared in different ways. For our little family’s personal taste, this way was best! Fried, sticky, oh so sweet. After one bite, Zee declared ownership of the whole cup!
Tteok-Galbi (Korean beef short rib patties)
This was one of our favourites! Another delicious dish smothered in cheese that was melted under a heat lamp. The beef was tender and well seasoned, and the price was pretty good too – 5000 won (about R60).
Fun fact: Tteok-galbi started out as food for royals, because it wasn’t exactly appropriate for royals to be seen munching on rib bones.
Cheesy Lobster Tail
Lobster you guys. As street food. Also, smothered in cheddar and mozzarella. Can we just move there already? This also cost 15000 won, but it’s lobster, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. 😁
The lobster tail is also cooked with a blow torch, before being covered in cheese and set under a heat lamp. It looked so pretty, and tasted so, so good!
Another winner! Udon noodles, stir-fried vegetables, pork belly (or no pork, if you’d prefer), and topped with a sunny-side-up egg. Simple and delicious. Zee loves noodles, and she really enjoyed this one. She still mentions this dish fondly (whilst sighing deeply of course, and wondering out loud if she’ll ever go back again 😂).
Price: 5000 won (R60) with pork belly, or 4000 won (R50) for the vegetarian option.
Fish cake & shrimp
We went back for seconds with this one! It was so good! In Korea when you hear “fish cake” they’re usually referring to the very popular street food which I mentioned in my Gangnam post.
Eomuk is hot, tasty, and served with a lovely broth, but I definitely enjoyed this version more, especially with the shrimp/prawn as an extra yummy treat. Price: 3000 won (+/-R37).
Deep Fried Shrimp
Golden, deep fried shrimp. Crispy on the outside, and perfectly cooked, these were so good that we bought them both times we visited the market.
Prawn, Shrimp, and Tteokbokki
I mentioned tteokbokki in my previous Seoul Food post. They’re stir-fried rice cakes, and are seen at just about every food stall. These weren’t as delicious as the ones from the sweet old food vendor on Gangnam Avenue, but the prawn and shrimp were amazing.
Hweori Gamja (Twist Potato) with Sausage
The addition of sausage takes the popular cheesy twist potato to another level. This snack is huge and fun, but also really tasty.
Kimbap (or Gimbap)
Kimbap is one of my faves, which is why I was so surprised to find that I never had any closeup pics! We bought these on both nights at Myeongdong, and all three of us loved them. Kimbap is rice and other fillings wrapped in seaweed. It’s a simple dish, but totally addictive. I’d choose these any day of the week.
Apologies for the poor quality pics on this one – I had to take screenshots from a video.
I couldn’t resist trying these, they just sounded too interesting not to! They were seasoned well and tasted pretty good, but I don’t think I’d stand in line for these again. The crablets are deep fried with the shell, so you end up needing to (discreetly) remove so many tiny pieces of shell, which can be a little irritating.
This waffle was a standout in the sweet department. Zee chose a Nutella and banana waffle, and it was perfect! The waffle was light and fluffy, and banana with Nutella is always a winner.
Oreo fans, can you deal?? Zee and Shawn have been churro crazy since the first bite in Paris, back in 2012. We’ve eaten others since, but none have really been that good… until this beautiful Oreo creation topped with its signature icing.
Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancake)
Another popular street food, this pancake is filled with honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and peanuts, and costs around R24.
All the strawberries at Myeongdong market looked so fresh and amazing! I decided I needed to try the cutest version of this fruit – a strawberry mochi. Mochi is a Japanese dessert made with a sweet rice flour, and it has a smooth, chewy texture. A strawberry mochi is a strawberry covered in a layer of red bean paste, then wrapped in mochi. It’s a yummy sweet treat, but my favourite part was the juicy, delicious strawberry inside.
Milky Bee Ice Cream
We discovered Milky Bee’s famous rose ice cream icn a YouTube video, and Zee was determined to try one before we left the market. She was so happy when we found the store, and she loved watching her strawberry-yoghurt-choco rose ice cream being made. Of course dad wasn’t going to be left out, and decided to try the honeycomb soft serve. They thoroughly enjoyed their ice creams, and the nice part about being me is that I got to have a bit of both. 😊
Seoul Food Diaries – Myeongdong Market – Our Verdict
This market is an absolute must do for foodies traveling to South Korea! It’s definitely my favourite market from those we visited. There’s so much yumminess, I feel like I’ve barely touched on all of it here. Looking at these pics, and remembering the great vibe and incredible flavours of Myeongdong Market has brought on serious withdrawal symptoms. I think it’s time to start planning a bank robbery or something, because I need to go back! 😁