Korea is a country known for its creative yet delicious food combinations. From those involving traditional Korean food to those that incorporate Western foods, Koreans are sure good at creating food combinations that will mesmerize your taste buds. Today’s post will highlight some of the most famous and unique Korean food combos.
Ah, the infamous Chimaek. For those unfamiliar with Chimaek, it is fried chicken paired with maekju (beer). This is a very popular pairing in Korea, and there are even restaurants that specialize in it. Although fried chicken and beer aren’t traditional Korean foods, this pairing is so famous and loved by Koreans. There are even Chimaek festivals in Korea, where all sorts of fried chicken and beer companies participate. Korea also has a wide and interesting range of different flavours of fried chicken. Some of these include the classic yangnyeom flavour (spicy with a touch of sweetness) and more modern twists such as honey butter. Chimaek is something not to be missed out on when visiting Korea.
Pajeon and Makgeolli
Pajeon is a traditional Korean green onion pancake, while Makgeolli is Korean rice wine. The pairing is said to attract Koreans especially on rainy days, as the raindrops remind people of the sizzling sound of pancake batter meeting a frying pan. This combination is one of the more traditional ones, with its roots dating a long way back. Still, it is commonly enjoyed by many people today. There are even special restaurants that just serve Pajeon and Makgeolli. As a sub-combo, it has recently become a trend in Korea to serve Makgeolli with a piece of honeycomb. The sweetness of the honey seeps into the Makgeolli, elevating the drink’s taste. There is also the added fun of the chewy texture of the honeycomb.
Kimchi and Roasted Sweet Potato
While this combination might raise some eyebrows, it is a tried and true combination many Koreans love. The sour and spicy taste of the kimchi balances out the creamy sweetness of the sweet potato surprisingly well. This is typically enjoyed as a winter snack when many street vendors sell delicious roasted sweet potatoes. For the best possible experience, you should try this combo with a steaming, freshly cooked sweet potato. I can personally vouch for this combo, as it was something I enjoyed growing up. Then again, I was known within my family for eating everything with kimchi on top. But I promise you, this combination is a must-try.
Jjapaguri is a mixture of two famous Korean instant noodles– Jjapaghetti and Neoguri. This combination gained popularity after its appearance in the award-winning Korean film, Parasite. However, on the film, instead of Jjaparguri, it was called “ram-don”. Jjapaghetti is more sweet, similar to jjajangmyeon. Neoguri, on the other hand, is very spicy, what you would typically imagine with a Korean instant noodle. When paired together, the sweetness of the Jjapaghetti balances out the spiciness of the Neoguri. Some people also enjoy adding slices of beef to their Jjapaguri, as seen in the film. This adds even more flavour to the dish and makes a hearty meal.
Whether you’ve heard of some of these combinations before or are completely unfamiliar with and amazed by them, I hope you try some of them. They are so famous and loved in Korea for a reason. Hopefully, this post also gives you a sense of Koreans’ innovativeness, creativity, and love of food.
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