Busan is Korea’s second largest city, after Seoul, but it should not be considered less a multidimensional metropolis than the capital city. There is a plethora of landmarks in Busan which grab the attention within South Korea: the region’s largest beach (Haeundae), longest river (Nakdong), largest industrial area, and Shinsegae Centum City which is the world’s largest department store. It’s a place where you feel grandiosity and originality, with plenty of K-culture and K-lifestyle to explore and discover. In particular, Busan’s night markets – Kkangtong, BIFF Square, Jagalchi and more – are vibrant open kitchens that provide you with a boggling source of street food which will lure you in with their heavenly aromas and tantalizing displays.
1# Grilled Soba Noodles
Think soba noodles mixed with eggs, and grilled on a special hotplate known as a teppan. With toppings such as minced pork, cheese and vegetables, this dish is hearty enough to be a main course.
Okonomi-yaki is Japanese-style pizza made with a batter of flour, eggs and shredded cabbage, then topped with meat or seafood of your choice (the most popular choices are pork, octopus, squid and shrimp).
3# Octopus & Cheese Stick
This creative snack is made using a special mould to bake batter mixed with a chopped octopus tentacle. A stick of cheese is inserted inside the mould before the mix is fully baked, and once ready it’s topped with mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce.
4# Grilled Crab with Cheese
This is a combination of street food and haute cuisine. Crab shells become the containers in which cheesy crabmeat is baked with mayonnaise, then topped with corn for texture and some parsley.
5# Fried Rice and Cheese Wrapped in Bacon
Fragrant fried rice with cheese is wrapped inside grilled bacon strips. These small bites can be eaten easily while you’re wandering around the night market.
6# Beef Sushi
This is a traditional sushi with beef grilled aburi-style i.e. the topside grilled and the underside a little rare. Its smoky char will definitely whet your appetite.
7# Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancake)
Packed with ground mung beans, rice, pork, vegetables, kimchi and eggs, this pancake is an authentic local savoury delicacy and a hot favourite with everyone.
8# Stir-fried Ice-cream
Sweeten your tongue with this fascinating cold dessert. The ingredients of ice-cream and a choice of toppings are ‘stir-fried’ together on an icy plate until it turns into ice-cream that can be sliced into strips, and be curled up like roti.
If you ever get bored of cliché restaurant menus, just walk the night markets and enjoy all the eclectic street snacks. There are loads more snacks for you to discover than what’s been recommended above, and everything is take-away. So next time you’re in Korea, make Busan one of your off-the-beaten-track dining destinations.
Presented by Rangsimun Kitchaijaroen