When one plans a grocery run to the Korean supermarket, one’s grocery list often, if not always, includes instant ramen, soju, ice cream, and kimchi. But if you take the time to go through its aisles and refrigerators and take the time to figure out what the items (if you can’t read Korean characters, there delicious and interesting finds that deserve a spot on your grocery list.
Here we list down items you should buy at a Korean supermarket:
Gochujang (Red Chili Paste)
For those who love spicy food, a tub of gochujang is a useful ingredient to have as a pantry staple. It can be used to marinate your beef, pork, and chicken that will satisfy your need for heat.
Gochugaru (Red Pepper Flakes)
When dining in at a Korean barbecue restaurant, most of the ban chan (side dishes) they serve use an ingredient called gochugaru, or Korean red chili pepper flakes. If you want to make your own ban chan, like kimchi or cucumber salad, at home, you should add this to your cart!
Making teokbokki (a classic Korean street food) from scratch requires many ingredients and patience. Good thing instant tteokbokki is available in Korean groceries! We highly recommend melting cream cheese in your instant tteokbokki to make it extra creamy and flavorful—plus, it can tone down the spiciness.
Another item that can level up your instant ramen or instant tteokbokki is he addition of fish cakes. You can boil your noodles or rice cakes with fish cakes to make it filling and add a different texture. You can even make the Korean fish cake soup (another classic Korean street food) with a few additional ingredients.
If you love Korean fried chicken (or grilled meat and fish), pairing it with pickled radish serves as a palate cleanser or “pang-iwas umay,” as it’s slightly sweet with a hint of tang. You can find this in small and huge (it can probably feed around more than 10 people) packs in the supermarket’s refrigerators.
Korean supermarkets usually have a wider selection for nori packs. They have it in different flavors, like spicy, roasted, and wasabi-flavored nori. You can add this to your rice meals or instant ramen for a kick of umami.
You can find banana, strawberry, melon, and chocolate-flavored milk sold in individual cartons or as a pack. This is great as a refreshing dessert and is best served chilled.
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!