What does watching a movie, waiting for a dinner reservation, and studying the Korean language have in common? All three activities become way more enjoyable when you incorporate snacks into the mix!
Snacks are one of the essential pleasures of life, and as you’re studying the Korea language and learning more about Korean culture I’m sure you’re wondering what Korea has to offer the snack world.
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Korean snacks are like nothing you’ve experienced before – Koreans take snacking very seriously, and have come up with some of the tastiest treats under the sun. Read on for a list of Korean snacks you have to try immediately, and try not to get too hungry as you’re reading!
We provide the Korean names of the sweets in this article in the Korean Hangeul. If you can’t read Hangeul it is possible to learn Hangeul in just ninety minutes, so what are you waiting for.
Korean Snack #1: Korean Sweet Cakes (찹쌀약과)
As I’m sure you’re aware, all of the most delicious snacks in life are full of some form of sugar, flour, or oil. We’re excited to inform you that Korean sweet cakes are full of all three of those delicious ingredients!
Light and flaky in texture, Korean sweet cakes are a great alternative to traditional cookies and candies if you’re in the mood for something quick and sweet. They’re also an extremely affordable dessert option, and you can find them pretty much anywhere. Pick up a pack of these sweet cakes the next time you need to get your blood sugar up while you’re on the go! You won’t be disappointed.
You would like these if you like: vanilla wafers
Korean Snack #2: Azuki Bean Rice Ball Snacks (injulmi rice ball)
Are you a fan of Cheetos? Yeah, we thought so. Azuki Bean rice ball snacks are a quintessentially Korean alternative to Cheetos puffs – light, fluffy, and full of crunch, these snacks are full of flavor and are hard to stop eating. Rather than the salty, cheesy flavor of Cheetos, however, these puffs are slightly sweet and have a unique flavor reminiscent of peanut butter. Give these a try you need a snack that will give you a satisfying crunch and a ton of flavor.
You would like these if you like: those peanut butter crunch cookies by Keebler you ate as a kid
Korean Snack #3: Kkokkalcorn (꼬깔콘)
Remember bugles, the delicious cone-shaped snacks that are best eaten after you put one on each finger and pretending they’re really claws? You’re in for a treat! Koreans have their very own cone-shaped corn snack called kkokkalcorn, and they are just as satisfying (and fun) as bugles. Pick up a bag the next time you need some help procrastinating, load up your fingers, and have some fun while snacking!
You would like these if you like: bugles, distractions, being silly
Korean Snack #4: Pepero (빼빼로)
Have you ever loved a snack so much that you thought it deserved its own holiday? Well, that’s how Koreans feel about Pepero, because it DOES have its own holiday. These delicious chocolate-covered sticks are a Korean favorite, and rightfully so. There are tons of varieties incorporating milk chocolate, white chocolate, sprinkles, peanut butter – what more could you possibly ask for in a snack? Give Pepero a try the next time you’re in the mood for an easy-to eat dessert and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
You would like these if you like: anything dipped in chocolate
Korean Snack #5: Chocolate Corns
We’ve got another option for the Cheetos lovers reading this post – Korean chocolate corns are pretty much a chocolate version of traditional cheese puffs. Sweeter than the Azuki Bean rice ball snacks above, these corn puffs are perfect for chocolate lovers who won’t settle for anything less than true indulgence. Pair these up with some Pepero for an unbeatable chocolate feast!
You would like these if you like: anything and everything chocolate
Korean Snack #6: Lotte’s Kancho Choco Biscuits
These light and flaky chocolate-filled cookies are a dream come true for any dessert lover. There’s just a hint of milk chocolate inside so they’re not super rich, and they’re tiny enough that you can pop one (or six…) in your mouth and eat them on the go.
They also have adorable pictures printed on each individual cookie, so this snack serves as a great pick me up if you’re stress eating and need to cheer yourself up. Pick up a box the next time you’re in the mood for a dessert that is quick, easy, and is guaranteed to make you smile.
You would like these if you like: Milano sandwich cookies, happiness
Korean Snack #7: Dried Squid (해오징어)
Alright, hear me out. Dried squid as a snack? I know it probably sounds a little outlandish, but this delicious seafood snack is similar to beef jerky in texture and is utterly delicious if you enjoy squid in its other variations. Like beef jerky, the texture takes a little getting used to, but this snack is perfect if you want to munch on something salty but need something more substantial (and full of protein) than chips and rice snacks. Take a walk on the wild side and pick up some dried squid – you’ll be converted after your first bite!
You would like this if you like: calamari, beef jerky
Korean Snack #8: Honey Butter Chips (허니버터칩)
Honey butter chips have taken Korean by storm: since their release, the chips have been sold out nearly everywhere, and when they’re in stock people buy them by the box to make sure they don’t run out right away!
If you do happen to stumble upon a bag of honey butter chips in the wild, be sure to snatch them up – these chips are insanely delicious, and popular enough that celebrities have exclusive bags sent directly to them to advertise and post selfies with. Let the hunt begin!
You would like these if you like: we don’t even know, because we haven’t been able to find a bag! Presumably, honey butter.
Korean Snack #9: Lotte Ghana Milk Chocolate
As a chocolate lover, I’m a firm believer that sometimes, there’s no better snack than straight up milk chocolate. If you’re also a believer in the magical properties of chocolate, look no further – Lotte Ghana is one of the most popular brands of chocolate in Korea, and for good reason! Chocolate didn’t become big in Korea until the mid-twentieth century when it was introduced via the Westerners that were posted up for the Korean War. Lotte introduced Ghana milk chocolate to the world in the mid 1970’s, and the rest is history!
The reason Ghana is so popular (aside from being delicious) is the all the love that is put into the chocolate-making technique – rather than just slapping together some subpar chocolate, Lotte developed a micro-grinding technique that breaks the particles in the chocolate down to tiny pieces, resulting in a smooth and delicious chocolate bar. Give it a try for yourself and see what all the fuss is about!
You would like these if you like: good old-fashioned chocolate, with an emphasis on the ‘good’
Korean Snack #10: Crab Chips (꽃게스낵)
Whether it’s chilled, grilled, or shaped into a cake, I think we can all agree that crab is amazing in all of its many forms. That being said, of course crab chips are delicious – who wouldn’t love a snack that focuses on the crunchy, fried goodness of a chip as well as the salty and slightly sweet flavor profile of crab?
Slightly sweeter than shrimp snacks, crab chips are more reminiscent of Old Bay than straight up salty seafood, and you will definitely pick up on some interesting flavor notes while you’re enjoying this snack. You should be warned, though – if you eat one, there’s no way that you’ll be able to stay away from the rest of the bag. Pick up a bag of crab chips the next time you’re craving a crunch that packs a flavor punch, and don’t be ashamed if you finish the entire bag in one sitting! It’s an achievement that sets serious snackers apart from the rest.
You would like this if you like: snacking on chilled crab cocktail just as much as you like putting back a bag of potato chips by yourself. No shame!
Korean Snack #11: Pumpkin Monaca (호박모나카)
It’s that time of year again… the weather is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and you’re about to be slapped in the face with pumpkin flavor taking over a wide variety of food, drinks, and candles. If you happily jump on the pumpkin train every fall, then this is the snack for you!
Light and fluffy on the outside, these rice-based biscuits are filled with a thick and sweet pumpkin center. They’re so sweet, in fact, that they come individually wrapped – probably to deter you from eating more than one or two in a sitting. Don’t let a snack company tell you how to live your life, though! Embrace the pumpkin love and dig into a bag of these snacks while you enjoy the shift in seasons. I personally recommend eating these while sitting on a park bench amidst a bunch of orange leaves, but whatever floats your boat.
You would like these if you like: pumpkin spice lattes, jumping in piles of leaves
Korean Snack #12: Pepero White Cookie Sticks
I’ve already shared with you one of the most famous Korean snacks, Pepero – if you’re a fan of classic Pepero, you MUST try the Pepero white cookie sticks. Reminiscent of Hershey’s cookies and cream snacks that are super popular in the Western world, these Pepero snacks are coated in white chocolate and chocolate cookie pieces, so they have a bit more texture than classic, chocolate-dipped Pepero.
The white chocolate is also a bit sweeter than the milk chocolate coating that they use, so be prepared for a sweet treat the next time you’re snacking on these! Pick up a pack of white cookie sticks the next time you’re out and about and looking for an easy-to-eat dessert.
You would like these if you like: Oreos, or anything cookies and cream flavored
Korean Snack #13: Lotte’s Happy Promise Custard Cakes
How can you not love a snack with ‘happy promise’ in the name? Lotte’s Happy Promise custard cakes are exactly as delightful as they sound – they feature a light and fluffy sponge cake filled with rich and sweet custard, so they’ll fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. These cakes are versatile, and they’re perfect as a breakfast treat or an end of the day dessert indulgence. Pick up some Happy Promise custard cakes and treat yourself – you deserve it!
You would like this if you like: any type of Little Debbie’s snack cakes
Korean Snack #14: Orion Tiramisu Soft Cupcake
Tiramisu may be the dessert to end all desserts – something about the ladyfingers paired with the mascarpone cream frosting makes it a crowd favorite when it comes to sweet treats to end your meal with. That being said, tiramisu can be difficult to find if you’re not in an Italian restaurant, and it’s also not super easy to eat if you’re on the go. What if I told you I have a solution to both of those problems?
Orion’s Tiramisu Cupcakes combine all of the amazing, unique flavors in tiramisu (coffee, sweet pastry, thick mascarpone) while being super easy to eat on the go. You don’t have to mess around with a fork or spoon, because these cupcakes feature a spongy cake on the outside that will leave your fingers mess-free while the coffee-flavored cream is hidden in the center of the cupcake. Pick up a pack of these cupcakes the next time you want to experience the taste of tiramisu but don’t have time to sit down and indulge at a full-service Italian restaurant – you’ll thank me later.
You will like this snack if you like: It may seem obvious, but… tiramisu.
Korean Snack #15: Ace Chocolato
Have you ever had one of those moments when you can’t decide between snacking on something sweet and snacking on something with a little more substance? The next time you find yourself in that predicament, pick up a pack of Ace Chocolato.
This snack combines a classic flaky cracker with sweet, creamy milk chocolate so it does the trick whether you’re craving dessert or something starchy. Also, as an added bonus, the milk chocolate is in the shape of a mountain — how cool is that?!
You will like this snack if you like: crackers, chocolate, and being indecisive about the type of snack you’re in the mood for
Korean Snack #16: Custard (Sweet Gold)
SnackFever has done it again with sweet gold, a sweet potato based custard treat that will leave you reaching for another as soon as you’re done. We’re not sure if it’s the delicious, pillowy sweet potato pie or the dense and decadent custard filling, but there is something about this snack that we just can’t get enough of. SnackFever is responsible for producing a bunch of the tastiest Korean snacks, and this is no exception!
The best (or worst) part about this snack is that they typically come in a box of twelve, so if you pick up a box you’ll be set with delicious snacks for a while. That does rely on you having dessert self-control though, which is not something we can say for ourselves.
You will like this snack if you like: pumpkin pie — the taste is very reminiscent of this popular dessert
Korean Snack #17: Goguma Kkang
Sweet potato fries are all the rage right now — something about combining the incredible experience of eating crisp, freshly cooked french fries with a super healthy vegetable like the sweet potato is not only delicious, but also makes you feel less guilty for eating fries in the first place.
That being said, there will be times when you need a snack but can’t slip out to track down freshly fried sweet potatoes. Fear not! Goguma kkang is here to save the day. These delicious sweet potato chips are exactly as delicious as they sound — they’re slightly salted and seasoned and feature the distinct flavor of sweet potato as well as a crunch that will satisfy your snack craving in no time.
Keep a bag of goguma kkang on hand the next time you have a busy day at work or school so you’re ready with a delicious snack that can tide you over until you break away. This snack has also been around way longer than the sweet potato fry trend, so it won’t be difficult to find when you’re in Korea.
You will like this snack if you like: sweet potato fries, snacks that toe the savory/sweet line
Korean Snack #18: Cereal Choco
There’s no arguing that breakfast cereal is one of the original ‘best snacks ever’ — there is an infinite variety of flavors, it can be eaten with milk as full meal or dry as a quick snack, and it’s easy to transport (just throw it in a plastic bag and call it a day). If you’re a fellow cereal lover, we have great news for you.
Cereal Choco takes cereal snacking to a whole new level. These little square wafer morsels are light and crunchy, and they have chocolate baked into them for an added sweet treat. They’re also conveniently packaged into a small foil bag for you to grab while you’re on the go. Make your life easier — instead of bagging up breakfast cereal for a mid-morning (or midnight) snack, grab some Cereal Choco. You’ll thank us later!
You will like this snack if you like: sticking your hand in a box of cereal and eating it without milk (no shame!)
Korean Snack #19: Premium Ghana Chocolate
As you know by now, Ghana chocolate is a huge phenomenon in Korea amongst chocolate lovers — its creamy, sweet taste truly cannot be beat. However, there’s a time and a place for eating a huge candy bar, and sometimes you’re in the mood for a dessert that’s a little less of a commitment.
If you find yourself in the mood for a quick dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth that doesn’t require you to purchase a whole chocolate bar, consider picking up some Premium Ghana Chocolate. This chocolate is bite-sized and individually wrapped, so it’s a perfect mini dessert that you can enjoy day after day.
This chocolate also makes a great gift due to its lovely box, so if there’s someone special in your life that you’d like to show some appreciation to, get them Ghana! Chocolate is one of the many languages of love, after all.
You will like this snack if you like: Hershey’s kisses
Korean Snack #20: Shindangdong Tteokbokki Chips
If you’ve had the pleasure of exploring Korea, then chances are you’re already well acquainted with the beauty (and, occasionally, curiosity) that is Korean street food. One of the biggest crowd pleasers when it comes to Korean street food is tteokbokki, which is a dish featuring stir-fried rice cakes with chili paste and other flavors ranging from fish cakes to egg.
Tteokbokki is absolutely delicious — something about the texture of the rice cakes with the flavor of the sauce used in the stir fry makes it difficult to stay away from. These tteokbokki chips are perfect if you’re craving tteokbokki but can’t break away from your desk or if you don’t feel like leaving your house.
The flavors you’ll find in the street food version of tteokbokki really come through in the chips, making this snack a must-have for any street food lover’s pantry.
You will like this snack if you like: spice and Korean street food, or flaming hot Cheetos
Korean Snack #21: Seaweed Crisps
Seaweed is another food that has been on the international stage lately as a trendy menu item. Well known for its superfood properties that make it full of nutrients, seaweed is incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into a huge variety of meals and snacks.
These Seaweed Crisps highlight all of the best parts of seaweed — its light, crisp texture when dried, its savory profile, and the health benefits that come with its consumption. They also come in a variety of delicious flavors, so there’s something for every snack lover. Give the ‘Korean BBQ’ flavor a try the next time you see it in a store — the combination of Korean barbecue spice with seaweed’s distinct texture and flavor notes make it difficult to put down!
You will like this snack if you like: feeling good about yourself while you’re snacking. Yay, seaweed!
Korean Snack #22: Korean Waffle Mate
What makes a perfect mid-morning snack? Something light and tasty that pairs perfectly with your cup of coffee, of course! Look no further — Korean Waffle Mate is a glorious snack that goes perfectly with a hot cup of coffee. These flaky biscuits have a very slight sweetness because they’re made with honey, and if you dip them in your morning coffee they become so soft that they’ll dissolve in your mouth.
This snack is also perfect for an early day craving because it’s light enough that if you’ve had a large breakfast (or if you have a large lunch coming up), it’ll satisfy your snack craving without making you too full or ruining your appetite. Also, although we’ve been singing the praises of waffle mate paired with a hot beverage, they’re also fantastic on their own so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a cup of coffee handy.
Incorporate waffle mate into your morning routine and start the day off right!
You will like this snack if you like: those little Madeline cookies that are great paired with coffee
Korean Snack #24: Vegetable Crackers
Before the word “vegetable” scares you away, let us tell you a thing or two about this delicious Korean snack. Vegetable crackers are intriguing — first of all, their name is about as straightforward as you can get. These are absolutely crackers infused with a variety of vegetable flavoring. However, that being said, there’s something absolutely delicious about the buttery texture of the crackers and the slightly savory and relatively faint taste of vegetable ranging from bell peppers to carrots to scallions.
These crackers also don’t look like they should necessarily be vegetable crackers — in appearance, they look like ritz crackers, and you wouldn’t know that they have a delectable vegetable kick until you’ve already bitten into one.
If you’re looking for a savory snack that will satisfy you, Vegetable Crackers should definitely be on your radar, whether for their addictive texture or their great taste. Pick up a box for your cupboard the next time you’re out and about and see what all of the fuss is about!
You will like this snack if you like: buttery crackers or wafers
Do you have a favorite Korean snack that isn’t on this list? Let us know all about it in the comments below!