I’m a very picky eater by nature. My diet basically consists of meat, pasta, and potatoes. I can only eat vegetables if they’re heavily doused in sauce or seasonings, like in a stir-fry. I can’t eat spicy foods because of acid reflux. Because of my limited diet, eating in South Korea can be difficult. The food here mainly consists of a lot of spice, a lot of vegetables, and a lot of fish. But there is salvation if you don’t or can’t eat any of those things.
Eating mandu (dumplings) is a good way to unconsciously eat vegetables. They are filled with meat and a few chopped vegetables like green onions. My favorite kind is galbi (beef) mandu, which most places don’t sell, but it is worth seeking out.
I’m sure everyone who’s thinking about going to Korea has tried Korean BBQ at one point in their lives. It’s the food I most look forward to most when I come back to Korea. You can eat samgyupsal (pork belly), beef, hotdogs, chicken, etc. Some places even have buffets where you can eat a variety of unlimited meat. Although a little pricey, a BBQ restaurant is the place to go if you’re a meat lover.
Bibimbap is also good for people who like their food on the blander side. It’s a mix of rice, vegetables, and beef. Korean Air serves this meal on the plane as a way to introduce people to Korean food without it overpowering their tastebuds. The bibimbap pictured above is a special one that uses steak, spinach, corn, tomatoes, and cheese!
These are the top 3 foods I eat while in Korea when I eat out. They’re different enough from American food so that I’m branching out, but not so different that they fit inside my dietary preferences and restrictions.