South Korea’s second-largest city of Busan is bursting with mountains and beaches, seafood and hot springs. From street-side fish markets to chic designer cafes and casual tent bars, this rollicking port town has a variety of unforgettable dining experiences on offer. While we had covered a number of delectable bites that outright shine in the varied cuisine spectrum of the city, here are some more lip-smacking recipes that will leave you wanting for more.
Near the BIFF Square in Bupyeong-dong, you have the fabled Jokbal Golmok or Pig Feet Alley. Here, a string of some 20 restaurants offers the quirky yet exciting dish of naengchae jokbal, which is essentially chilled pig feet. First, the feet are steamed with ginger, soy sauce, scallions and sugar until tender. Thereafter, they are de-boned and cut into thick slices. In Busan, pig feet are served cold, together with crab meat and jellyfish, all awash in a mustardy sauce and garnished with vegetables including carrot, cucumber, and onion.
While some people may not be a huge fan of this porcine protein, it actually helps you keep healthy. Pork contains methionine, which is an important amino acid to help nip hangovers in the bud and counter other unpleasant effects of alcohol. Likewise, jokbal is packed with gelatin that is claimed to have beauty-boosting properties. Therefore, by indulging in a bowl of jokbal, you also get a smooth, wrinkle-free skin. Who said, beauty treatments can be so tasty?
Fish cake, otherwise known as eomuk or odeng, is a popular delicacy across households in South Korea. That said, you can probably get your hands on some of the best varieties of eomuk, here in Busan. The processed seafood staple is prepared from cuts of white fish, which are first salted, pureed and then steamed until fully cooked. Thereafter, the cuts are sliced and diced into a variety of shapes and sizes that are folded and skewered in hearty pots of hot broth and served. In Busan, you can also get eomuk chopped up with other ingredients and mixed in a bowl of soup, popularly known as eomuk guk. Then, there are other tasty and creative varieties of eomuk that envelope other forms of protein including prawn, sausage, crab stick or even a hunk of cheese.
Essentially, ssiat hotteok is a lip-smacking dessert pancake that is revered across the Busan street food scene. While hotteok (its dough is typically made from sweet rice flour and has a delightfully chewy texture) can be found all over Korea, the ssiat (seed) variety available in Busan is set apart from other varieties because of its distinctive blend of sunflower seeds, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds that are stuffed into a brown sugar and cinnamon filling. The pancake mixture is then served crisp and piping hot off the street cart griddle.
Busan might not be as fast-paced as Seoul or as picturesque as Incheon, it has its own place in the country’s cuisine spectrum. The city boasts of a variety of street-side delectable bites that not only celebrate the rich bounty of seafood available here but also elevate simple flavors into unforgettable experiences. Don’t believe us? Why not take a trip to Busan and find out yourself.