Food Guide

Korea’s Top 9 Late-night Food Favorites

July 31, 2023

Koreans love eating at night so much that they have a special word for it: yasik (야식). The word yasik is made up of two Korean words: ya (야) which means "night" and sik (식) which means "meal". So, yasik literally means "night meal." Yasik is a popular part of Korean culture, and it’s often seen as a way to relax and unwind after a long day. It’s also a way to socialize with friends and family.

According to a popular Korean survey conducted by Panel Now, these are the top 9 late-night eats enjoyed by Koreans.

1. Chicken (치킨)

There’s a wide variety of flavors when it comes to Korean fried chicken, but the most popular is yangnyeom chicken (양념 치킨). Yangnyeom chicken is fried chicken tossed in an addicting sweet, spicy, and garlicky sauce. Soy garlic and honey butter are also popular flavors loved by everyone.

Korean fried chicken is often served with a variety of side dishes, such as pickled radishes, macaroni salad, and beer. This combination of fried chicken and beer is known as Chimaek (치맥) in Korea. Chimaek is a Korean portmanteau of the words "chicken" and "maekju," which means beer in Korean.

Get Korean Fried Chicken delivered from BBQ Chicken (Available in Daegu area)

2. Tteokbokki (떡볶이)

Tteokbokki is a popular Korean dish made with small, chewy rice cakes called ‘tteok’ stir-fried in a sweet and spicy sauce. It’s often served with fish cakes, vegetables, and boiled eggs. It’s a popular street food and delivery favorite for yasik.

These days, many tteokbokki chains offer variations on the traditional dish, such as tteokbokki with a thick layer of cheese on top, or tteokbokki mixed with cream, which is called Rose Tteokbokki.The modernized tteokbokki spots also gives you the option to choose your desired heat level.

It’s common to order a sweet probiotic drink called Coolpis (쿨피스) with spicy tteokbokki. The cool, sweet taste of Coolpis helps to balance out the spiciness of the tteokbokki, and the probiotics in Coolpis can help to soothe the stomach.

Get Cheese Pepperoni Tteokbokki delivered from Chisadduk (Available in Sinchon area)

3. Ramen (라면)

Instant ramen is a classic. It’s quick and cheap and it’s no doubt the first thing most Koreans will think of when they’re feeling a little hungry at night.

It’s a quick and easy meal that can be easily customized to your liking. There are many different types of ramen available in Korea, so you are sure to find one that you enjoy.

Get Ramen delivered from Daddy Snack Bar (Available in Pyeongtaek area)

4. Gopchang (곱창)

Grilled Intestines, gopchang, is a popular Korean dish made from grilled or stir-fried intestines, usually from cattle or pork. There are several reasons why 곱창 is popular in Korea. Gopchang has a unique taste and texture that appeals to many Koreans. When properly prepared, it becomes tender and chewy, offering a satisfying mouthfeel. It’s commonly enjoyed as a communal dish among friends and family and the act of grilling or stir-frying the intestines at the table allows for a fun and interactive dining experience. It’s also more affordable than other meats, making it an accessible and delicious choice for younger consumers. And like any popular dish, gopchang has been driven by food trends and cultural influences that have contributed to its popularity in recent years.

5. Dakbal (닭발)

The name dakbal comes from the Korean words dak (닭), which means "chicken," and bal (발), which means "feet". It’s a popular street food that’s prepared by boiling, marinating, then grilling or deep-frying, and usually tossed in sauce. It’s a popular street food that’s said to be a good source of collagen.

Get Dakbal delivered from Yeol Jung Dakbal & Pocha (Available in Paengseong & Asan area)

6. Hoe (회)

Hoe is Korean sashimi. It’s a dish of raw fish that is thinly sliced and served with a variety of sauces and side dishes. Hoe is a popular dish in Korea, and it’s often served as an appetizer or a main course.

Hoe is typically served with a variety of side dishes, such as kimchi, pickled radishes, and lettuce leaves. It’s often eaten with a dipping sauce, such as soy sauce, wasabi, or chili pepper sauce.

Get Hoe delivered from Omoya (Available in Pyeongtaek area)

7. Bossam (보쌈)

Bossam (보쌈) is a traditional Korean dish that consists of boiled pork belly, usually served alongside various condiments and wraps. The name "bossam" is derived from the Korean word "보쌈," which means "wrapped" or "wrapped with." It’s a popular dish often enjoyed during special occasions, family gatherings, or as a restaurant menu item.

Bossam is often served with a variety of sauces and wraps, such as kimchi, pickled radishes, sliced raw garlic, ssamjang (a spicy dipping sauce), fermented shrimp sauce, lettuce, and more. Similar to Korean BBQ, you wrap a slice of fragrant bossam in lettuce with your desired fillings and sauce and enjoy it in one bite.

Get Bossam delivered with Shuttle's Bossam Concierge (Available nationwide)

8. Pizza (피자)

Pizza is self-explanatory, but what's not self-explanatory are the unusual and unexpected ingredients you'll find on Korean pizza, so be warned! 

Get Scoop Potato Pizza delivered from Rock Pizza (Available in Pyeongtaek area)

9. Yukhoe (육회)

Yukhoe (육회) is a Korean dish made of raw beef that is thinly sliced and seasoned with a variety of ingredients. The name yukhoe comes from the Korean words "yuk" (육), which means "meat," and "hoe" (회), which means "sliced." Yukhoe is typically made with beef sirloin or ribeye, but it can also be made with other cuts of beef.

The beef is first thinly sliced or minced and seasoned with a variety of ingredients, such as soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and green onions. The beef is often served with a side of lettuce leaves, which are used to wrap the beef and other ingredients.

Yukhoe is a delicious and unique dish that is not for everyone. However, if you are a fan of raw beef, then you will definitely enjoy yukhoe. It’s a flavorful and refreshing dish that’s perfect for a hot summer day.

Get Yukhoe delivered from Art of Beef Tartare & Shrimp (Available in Sinchon area)

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