We’ve all indulged ourselves in deep Korean drama fantasies at least once. That strong emotional bond we have with the characters we love gets even stronger in the last five minutes of every episode – it’s the very thing that makes us click ‘next’ at 4 AM. Yup, welcome to the K-Drama life.
Let’s face it, though. After every series, you find yourself in a withdrawal limbo with the hopes and dreams you kept in your heart withering away. You may not end up marrying your oppa in real life, but you can get all the good food he overly enjoyed in the show. Still a fantasy? Not anymore.
Here are some of the most famous K-Drama dishes you can find right here in the Philippines, right now:
As seen on What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim
Who could ever forget the first time Young-Jun (played by Park Seo Joon) tried ramyeon?
The sparkle in his eyes and the disbelief that a lowly noodle dish – usually unworthy of a business tycoon like him – could taste so darn good.
Ramyeon is the Korean version Japanese instant ramen. South Koreans know it as the ultimate hack for a quick yet filling meal. The most famous of them all is the world-renowned Shin Ramyun, which the Korean brand Nongshim exports to more than 100 countries globally. We’re pretty sure you know at least one person (if not you) who’s had Shin Ramyun before. Koreans (obviously) consume the most ramyeon in the world with an annual average of 80 packets per person. Yes, our dear chingu, a whopping 80 packets per person a year!
This traditional spicy Korean noodle is a must-have. Forget everything else on your buck-eat list – this is top priority. If you want more than just plain ramyeon, fret not, there are tons of ways to upgrade this humble dish with everyday groceries. For starters, you can add an egg or two, hotdogs, kimchi, and Park Seo Joon on the screen. Noodles and a show. Omo~
As seen on Itaewon Class
How could you not crave a bowl of soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew) when Saeroyi’s (played by our beloved Park Seo Joon) lifelong enemy kneels on the ground for forgiveness after inhaling the whole meal? Following Park Saeroyi’s bittersweet life, soondubu jjigae is the most important meal he ever prepared.
But what is it?
Soondubu jjigae is one of the three most popular stews in Korea along with kimchi jjigae and doenjang jjigae. Jjigae means stew in Korean. Soondubu jjigae is made with soft uncurdled tofu – a popular choice for baby food because of its silky texture. In general, the stew is spicy but delicious and comforting at the same time. Enjoy it with either spoonful of kimchi, vegetables, gochujang (Korean spicy paste), meat or clams, mussels and shrimp.
This is also a good option when you want to eat light. Two servings of soondubu jjigae contain less than 300 calories in total.
As seen on Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
If there’s one piece of fitness advice we’d take any day, it’s this: never go on a diet while watching Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. Especially that scene where Bok Joo (played by Lee Sung-Kyung) teaches us the life hack to max your Korean BBQ experience. It will leave you drooling everywhere. Not an exaggeration.
Samgyeopsal is a South Korean BBQ style with only one type of meat: pork belly. Pork belly is the most expensive cut of pork in the country, but still, it’s so popular that an average resident eats samgyeopsal every three or four days! Samgyeopsal splits into three words: sam (three), gyeop (layered) and sal (meat). Sounds tasty, right?
Never had samgyeopsal before? Here’s how to eat Korean BBQ like a pro: place a piece of pork belly and a little bit of kimchi on a lettuce leaf. Wrap it up, dip it in fragrant sesame oil, then smother it with gochujang – the infamous yet iconic Korean chili paste – and stuff the whole thing in your mouth. Yum!
Korean style fried chicken
As seen on Crash Landing On You
Talk about love against all odds. Our star-crossed lovers, North Korean military captain Ri Jeong Hyeok (played by Hyun Bin) and South Korean girl boss millionaire Yoon Seri (played by Son Ye-Jin) find common ground in fried chicken – even when their territories are hostile to each other. We love the fact that however dramatic and nerve-racking their love story is, there’s fried chicken to smooth things over. Life lesson: fried chicken = sanity.
Although there are loads of Korean fried chicken varieties, the most famous is yangnyeom chicken, known elsewhere as spicy Korean fried chicken. Each piece gets double (yes, double) deep-fried then coated with a sticky, spicy and sweet sauce. Usually garnished with sesame seeds, it is, in our humble opinion, an addiction worth having.
If you haven’t noticed yet, Korean fried chicken is usually associated with beer. After a long day of work, the best meal you could give yourself is this well-deserved combo. Upgrade this classic duo with a glass of somaek (soju + beer), find a nice view, and relive the memories of Crash Landing On You with every bite and sip. Ahhh so nice…geonbae!
As seen on Goblin
Plays the Goblin OST You don’t have to be Goblin’s bride (played by Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun) to know how extremely good kimbap is.
Kimbap (sometimes spelled as ‘gimbap’) is a traditional Korean dish made with steamed rice and dried seaweed with various fillings inside. Like a sushi roll? Not quite. While sushi rice is seasoned with vinegar, kimbap uses only sesame oil for a sweeter taste. Although kimbap comes in many variations, the classic consists of cooked items (unlike Japanese sushi) such as tuna, bulgogi (marinated slices of meat), kimchi, ham and cheese.
It’s super quick to pack and eat, which is why it’s the most popular food for school children. Upgrade your humble yet delicious kimbap with some extra spice. Then come back and tell us if you didn’t lose yourself in the process of eating it!
As seen on It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
It’s not surprising why Sang-tae Oppa (played by Oh Jung Se) wants to eat a bowl of jjampong over and over again. For those still trying to finish It’s Okay Not To Be Okay on Netflix, don’t worry, no spoilers…for now. Alright, back to Jjampong!
One of Korea’s most famous dishes sees a spicy noodle soup paired with seafood, meat and vegetables – usually served steaming hot. Fun fact about Jjampong: Chinese immigrants in South Korea first invented the dish when they added the spicy Korean powder called gochugaru to their stew. Gochugaru is the reason jjampong is so red and spicy. Aside from this fiery powder, jjampong usually packs shrimp, clams, squid, scallops, a few vegetables and fresh wheat noodles.
Noodles, spice and seafood in one dish. *Sigh* Isn’t jjampong just like a (foodie’s) dream?
When binge-watching K-Drama, we can all agree the tissues not only wipe away our tears after heart-wrenching episodes, but also mop up the drool from looking at all of that delicious food. Wherever you are in your K-Drama journey; the first episode or the 10th episode of a 3 AM binge-watch, you know Korean food is just a tap away. Check out the hottest deals on your faves and order food you love here: www.foodpanda.ph
By Krizia Denise Matula | Content Lead