7/11 is a whole new world of hot snacks and food in Korea.
by Cari Kamja 🍠
Cari is our Seoul-based snackwriter, reporting on all the delicious news out of Korea!
In America, you might be able to pick up a mediocre slice of pizza or a lukewarm pretzel at your local 7/11, but in Korea the options at convenience stores are wild! If you’re still craving an unspectacular donut or questionable hot dog, they’ll have it for you, but we suggest you give these uniquely Korean delicacies a try.
Ho-Bbang (호빵, Steamed Bun)
Right now, in a protest against Pokemon Go still not being available in the country, Korea is devouring adorable Pikachu ho-bbang! I’m kidding, maybe. 😉
Ho-bbang is a steamed dumpling-like bread that is stuffed with goodness like meat and veggies, cheese, sweet potatoes, or red bean paste. They are kept warm in a special steamer in pretty much every convenience store in Korea. They are perfect for cold days when you want a steamy, hot snack!
Dalk-bal (닭발, Chicken Feet)
You read that correctly. Chicken feet at your local 7/11.
Recently at convenience stores across Korea, this dish, which can be a bit alarming to first-timers, has been added to the instant food section! Heat up the little chicken feet, add as much of the spicy sauce as you please, and dig in. This is definitely something you won’t find in your convenience stores back home!
Rabokki (라볶이, Spicy Rice Cakes with Ramen Noodles)
Rabokki is the greatest food on earth, and you cannot convince me otherwise. Take some rice cakes (떡), toss them in a sweet hot sauce, add in some ramen noodles, and sprinkle on a little cheese? Heaven. Convenience stores in Korea seem to understand how delicious this dish is, so they made a “just add water” version.
It comes in a cup similar to cup ramen, and has all the ingredients you need inside. Simply take everything out of the wrapping, toss it all in the cup, add a bit of water, and put it in the microwave that every convenience store in Korea has for your cooking pleasure!
Seriously, look at that. How is your mouth not watering?!
Odeng (오뎅, Fish Cake)
Especially during the cold winter months, nothing quite hits the spot like some hot fish cake and broth. While this isn’t a staple in every convenience store, if you’re lucky your local shop will have a small section of boiling hot broth filled with fish cake for you to grab and eat right away!
If not, most stores will have odeng-tang (오뎅탕) which is a fish cake soup. Just add some hot water and you’re good to go!
Bul-Dalk Bokkeum Myeon (불닭볶음면, Spicy Chicken Fried Noodles)
Be warned, these are some insanely spicy noodles. If Korea describes something with the word “fire” (불닭, or buldalk) is literally translated as “Fire Chicken,” you know you need to take it seriously. It’s even on SnackFever’s list of Spiciest Ramen noodles!
These noodles, unlike ramen, don’t have any broth to them, so while you might be able to avoid spicy ramen broth by pouring a little of it out, all the fire and spice is concentrated with these bad boys – there is no escape!
If that wasn’t enough for you, there is also an entire aisle dedicated to cup noodles such as ramen (라면), black bean noodles (짜짱면), and more! Combine items and make your own masterpiece, the possibilities are endless!