The cuisine of any country has bizarre, weird, exotic, difficult to understand and even “scary” foods. Of course, Korea is no exception. Besides the familiar dishes such as spicy rice cakes, kimchi, kimbap, fish cake, fried chicken, pork soup,… the food of the land of Kimchi also exists incredible dishes. There are some dishes of this country that will make visitors feel surprise in both presentation and flavor. However, if you pass the challenge, you will find them very delicious. After reviewing these 19 dishes, would you dare to pick up your chopsticks and try it? So, do you want to find some Korean strange food (strange food in Korea) and Korean exotic food to try? Let’s check it out our suggested the list of top 13 weird Korean food which dare you to eat including unusual Korean food and weird Korean snacks to find out the answer below.
- What to eat in Seoul blog — 9 must eat food in Seoul & must try food in Seoul & best places to eat them
- Where to eat street food in Seoul? — 5 best restaurant & best street food area in Seoul you must-visit
- Myeongdong food blog — Top 12 Myeongdong best food & Myeongdong street food you must eat
- South Korea itinerary 8 days — How to spend 8 days in Korea (8 days itinerary in Korea) perfectly?
- Insadong blog — The fullest Insadong guide for what to do in Insadong & things to do in Insadong
Sannakji (Live Octopus Sashimi)
Live octopus sashimi is often considered a must try food of many visitors when coming to South Korea. The dish will make diners worry when they see the chopped octopus tentacles still twitching, wriggling beside many sauces.
If you can pry them off the plate and put them in your mouth, you will definitely experience the most unusual taste. Just remember to chew carefully, because there have been cases where these tentacles clinging into the esophagus causing danger to diners, even some people died.
Without chewing well, the suckers on their tentacles can adhere to the throat, making the diner suffocate. A safer version of this dish is that the tentacles are chopped and sprinkled with sesame, but diners are still advised to be cautious when eating.
According to the feedback of the eaters, this marinated live octopus sashimi is very delicious and extremely match with draught beer.
Live octopus is a favorite dish in Korea, but it is also a deadly specialty if not eaten properly. In particular, small octopus is dip in sauce and eat whole when it still alive.
Ganjang Gejang (Raw crab marinated in Soy Sauce)
Fresh sea crabs are cleaned and soaked in ganjang soy sauce or a spicy sauce. This dish is so popular in Korea that in Seoul there is a whole street that sells this dish.
A type of jeotgal (salted fermented seafood), gejang is made by marinating fresh crab in ganjang (soy sauce) or in powder chili sauce and eaten raw. Traditionally, salty soy brine is used as a crab preservation method for a long time.
Although this preservation technique is no longer necessary due to convenience, the food is still loved because of its flavor, and even there is a whole street serving this dish in the Sinsa-dong neighborhood at Seoul.
Another version of gejang crab is yangnyeom gejang, which often uses peeled crabs and sauces with red chili powder.
Dakbal (Chicken feet)
Dakbal, or chicken feet, has long been a main dish in among dishes around the world, including Hong Kong, Peru, Kenya and even the South of America.
Similarly, this specialty is also widely consumed in Korea, where chicken feet are steamed, grilled, boiled or fried and soaked in a thick, spicy sauce made from gochujang and sesame. The best way to enjoy is in a pochangmacha (tent) with a cool bottle of soju wine.
The crabs selected for marinating are usually small crabs, soft shells that diners can eat whole. In some places, hard shell crabs can also be processed. A secret that when you finish eating crab meat, don’t pour out the sauce. Let’s eat with a little white rice, you will be experience great taste.
Dwaeji Ggupdaegi (Grilled pig skin)
In Korea, no parts of pig are wasted, even skin. So it’s no surprise that dwaeji ggupdaegi (grilled pork skin) is served at many BBQ restaurants.
Usually when grilled, pork skin will create a little bit toughness in the texture but its rich, attractive flavor makes the dish more interesting. As an added bonus, the collagen content of pig skin is said to make your skin smoother and softer.
Beondegi (Crunchy Stir-fried Silkworm Pupae)
Beondegi, or grilled silkworm pupae, will surely awaken your senses with its unmistakable aroma and unforgettable taste. A combination of delicious flavors lasts after you finish eating.
This snack is a popular street food enjoyed by children and also in cans. Science has shown that these foods contain a type high-quality protein, low-fat that can boost energy.
Stir-fried silkworm pupae are sold a lot at street food stalls. Even, this dish is so loved by Koreans that they also produce canned pupae for those who do not have time to cook or buy by themselves.
Beongdegi is one of the most exotic dishes in Korea sold on the street. Silkworm larvae will be cleaned and steamed, grilled or fried. The taste is also nothing special and slightly difficult to eat for those who are unfamiliar.
Gaebul (Urechis unicinctus, or penis fish)
As a peninsula, Korea offers a variety of seafood. But nothing is more unusual than gaebul (urechis unicinctus), a strange seaworm that gives it the nickname “penis fish”. They look like sea worms with a weird look and wiggle on the plate.