Taste of Korea Tuesdays: sweets and treats

No doubt about it- Korea is a country where it’s possible to eat healthy, vegetable-packed meals- japchae, kimchijiggae, all sorts of soups and stews and side dishes abound. However, as the presence of deep-fried chicken, salty bar snacks and sweet-smelling red bean treats indicate, it’s also very, very possible to indulge.

And indulge one’s sweet tooth? Certainly!

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Rice cakes are ubiquitous and endlessly varied. Filled with sesame, soybeans, bean powder, red bean jam, fruit jam. Coated with various powders, sugar or shaved nuts. Shaped like little balls, semi-circles, discs, squares, rectangles. There are always new varieties to sample!  IMG_5602

Egg tarts are more commonly found in Hong Kong, but I have come across them in bakeries here. Flaky crust and a sweet, eggy filling- mmm. IMG_0041

I’ve been making a lot of pancakes lately- some sweet, some savoury (kimchi pancakes are a great standby). I’ve been adding buckwheat flour for greater complexity and flavour (not to mention health benefits 😉 ). In this batch, I added some chopped peanuts and mashed bananas.

IMG_0131 IMG_0132Topped with real Canadian maple syrup, of course!
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Probably the easiest treat for Westerners to get into- honey bread! A relatively common offering in cafes, this is basically two thick slices of fluffy white bread, drizzled with honey and served with whipped cream. You can tell it’s healthy 😉

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I picked up this interesting concoction in a bakery the other day- this was at-times-crunchy, at-times-soft mix of sweet bread, sesame seeds, nuts, and a custardy filling. IMG_0138
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I finally tried this treat last weekend- hodo kwaja! These adorably waffle-shaped nuggets consist of dough baked in a special mold, filled with- you guessed it- red bean paste and a whole walnut. IMG_0222
IMG_1353I tried this treat shortly after arrival while exploring the Yongin Folk Village, and it’s probably the most unique dessert I’ve encountered! This is kkultarae, or the king’s dessert- a concoction made by stretching honey with corn flour into thousands of tiny threads. These threads are wrapped in little bunches around crushed peanuts. It’s quite a unique dessert! IMG_1352
Ahhh, yakgwa. Another traditional dessert, these rich cookies are made from sesame oil, wheat flour and honey. Bad for you? Definitely. Tasty? Absolutely. 
IMG_1390 And finally, one of the more adorable options- bunggyeoppang, or as I call them, fish waffles! These cuties consist of a light, tasty waffle batter filled with- mm, mm, mm- red bean paste. IMG_2100Ahh, snacks in Korea are such fun! I promise I even eat vegetable-based snacks once in a while 😉

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2 thoughts on “Taste of Korea Tuesdays: sweets and treats

  1. i wasn’t a huge fan of the kkultarae, honestly. It is certainly worth trying, as there’s no treat quite like it, but it was a bit too powdery for my liking with all the flour mixed in. It was also less sweet than anticipated. I bet you would love some of the peanut or sesame-filled rice cakes here!

    And yes, the fish waffles are so much fun to eat 😀

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