The top 5 Korean snacks you need to try

zoomed in photo of sweet snacks
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South Korea produces some of the world’s best snacks. I may be biased, but these snacks are pretty hard to dislike. There’s a perfect balance of sweet and savory to cater to whatever mood you’re in, and the creative shapes unique to each snack make eating an experience. Read on for five of the best classic Korean snacks, and make sure to grab one or all of these for all of your snacking purposes.

1. Butter waffles

This sweet treat is a flat, crispy version of your everyday waffle perfectly topped with butter. After a few crisp bites, the rest melts in your mouth. With hints of butter, vanilla and white bread, butter waffles are perfect as a post-meal dessert, a sweet treat for the afternoon or a late night study snack. They pair well with coffee, tea or milk. The packaging holds three per wrapper, helping you control yourself (or not), and it’s also perfect to carry in your bag for a quick bite on the go.

2. Goraebap

Each piece is tube-shaped like a type of fish — minnow, squid and starfish — hence its name “goraebap,” which means “whale food.” This is my personal favorite: a savory, umami snack that can make any day better. The thin layer of tubes baked to its crunchiness is topped with an addictive Korean seasoning.

3. Shinjjang

Shinjjang is named after an animation character called Jjanggu because, like the mischievous character, it’s hard to control. This is a sweet snack covered in acacia honey and black sesame seeds, giving off a deep saccharine flavor with a hint of nuttiness. As it suggests on the back of the packaging, you can be creative with how you eat this one — wear them like rings and eat them off of your fingers, throw them in the air and catch with your mouth or fill them with ice cream for a full dessert experience.

4. Pepero

These snacks are like Pocky sticks but thicker and richer. In South Korea, Nov. 11 is called Pepero Day, a day when lovers and friends buy Pepero for each other because the numbers 11/11 resemble its long, skinny shape. It may be a day designed by Pepero’s company to increase sales, but regardless, these snacks deserve a day to be celebrated. There are dozens of flavors ranging from plain chocolate, almond chocolate and nude chocolate, to strawberry, cookies and cream, cheese, cacao, green tea, coconut and more.

5. Sun chips

Named for having the “taste of the sun,” these chips are spicy snacks made with whole grains. I’m not the best with spicy food, but this one is just enough to leave you craving more — once you start eating them, you can’t stop. It’s hard to make out what flavor these are, but you can taste a mix of hot pepper, tomato sauce and MSG. Its flat, curtainlike shape fits perfectly in your mouth, and the pieces of grains add a nice texture to each bite, tricking you into thinking they are healthy for you.

If you get a chance to try these Korean snacks, you definitely won’t regret it. These unique flavors will draw you in, and before you know it, you’ll be addicted. From savory, umami flavors to sweet chocolatey ones, these Korean snacks can’t be beat!

Contact Euna Jo at [email protected].