To mark Contiki’s foray into South Korea on its new tour, South Korean Soul, the social-travel brand is celebrating the country’s unique cuisine that has gained cult-like status around the world. From sizzling Korean Barbeque in the country’s capital to a piping hot bowl of Bibimbap in Jeonju, South Korea definitely has the drop on food for the ‘Seoul’. Here is everything you need to know about Korean food and the country’s bustling food scene.
By Taryn Welsh, Contiki Asia Operations Director
Made famous in the province of Jeonju, Bibimbap is arguably one of South Korea’s most famous exports – second only to BTS of course. The dish is traditionally prepared with white rice topped with namul (sautéed or blanched seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chilli pepper paste) and an egg on top. Described as the ultimate comfort food, this one-bowl-wonder is sure to go down an absolute treat after a busy day exploring South Korea with Contiki.
Korean food might have a reputation for being a little on the spicy side, but you can cool down with a bowl of Nangmyun. Served chilled, even to a staggering negative 20 degrees, this delicious dish is traditionally made with buckwheat noodles and beef broth and topped with kimchi, fresh pear, cucumbers and complete with a hard-boiled egg. The classic dish is just one of Korea’s many culinary delights.
Convenience Store Ramen
It just hits different! There’s no better way to enjoy these delicious noodles than on day 7 of your South Korean Soul trip than down at Yeouido Hangang Park with your Contiki mates. Do like the locals do and rent some picnic gear and take up a spot alongside the Han River. Visit the local 7/11 and choose from rows and rows of Ramen noodles for a simple, yet delicious picnic experience.
What to do during your downtime on tour in Busan? Head to the Jagalchi Market, the city’s premier seafood market. Wander through the bustling market and take in the fragrant aromas as you decide on your next dish from an assortment of crabs, fish and prawns. The best thing about Jagalchi Market is knowing all the seafood has come straight from the docks to your dish.
This light and lush dish consists of steamed slices of pork belly, topped with tarte kimchi, slices of garlic and a dollop of spicy bean paste all rolled into bite-sized pieces. Spice up your Bossam with an assortment of side dishes such as spicy radish salad, ssam vegetables such as kkaennip or napa cabbage and fragrant sauces for the perfect snack to eat with friends!
Korean BBQ (KBBQ)
What better way to see off South Korea than with a meal best shared with friends – or in this instance your Contiki trip mates. This DIY food experience, complete with wagyu beef, short rib and pork belly, has been embraced with open arms and open mouths around the world but nothing beats KBBQ from the OG source.
If you want to experience the South Korean Soul tour, don’t waste another minute and head over to the website here to get yourself booked in.