It's always nice to end a hearty full-course meal with delectable desserts, and Koreans also love them. Like other countries, Koreans also enjoy desserts while on a tea break or as snacks at school. Take a quick dive into Korean food culture by getting to know these daebak authentic Korean desserts!
Tteok (Korean Rice Cakes)
Let's start with the ultimate dessert in the country: Tteok or Korean rice cakes. The traditional food is still one of the best South Korean desserts recommended by locals of different ages. Traditionally, people serve Korean rice cakes on special occasions, but you can now find these desserts at stores, restaurants, and street food.
Rice is the main ingredient used for mochi Korean desserts, and soon enough, Koreans made variations of Tteok, such as the Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancakes), Ggul Tteok (honey cakes), Injeolmi (Korean rice cake with powdered dried bean), Yeongyang-chaltteok (healthy sweet rice cake), and more!
If you travel to South Korea, you'll definitely want to experience eating one or more types of Tteok. You can also explore at home and find the Tteok flavors suitable to your palette. Enjoy it as a Korean snack by trying out a mochi pie. How about celebrating the new year as Koreans do with a rice cake soup?
Yakgwa (Korean Honey Cookies)
Can desserts be healthy? Luckily for you, South Koreans keep their traditional medicine alive. They applied the technique of boiling medicinal herbs and putting them in their food, thus creating Yakgwa.
Despite the traditional way of cooking herbs, don't get the wrong idea that Korean honey cookies are all that healthy. However, this sweet dessert combines natural ingredients: honey, sesame, wheat, and rice. You will often see these desserts during rituals, feasts, and holidays.
If you happen to join an important event in South Korea, don't forget to get a taste of Yakgwa. You can also get the mini yakgwa at home or try the savory and deep flavor of barley hareubang yakgwa straight from Jeju.
Hwajeon (Sweet Rice Cakes With Flower Petals)
The rice desserts don't end with Tteok variations. Koreans also have the best Spring rice cakes that prove to be delicious and Instagram-worthy!
Hwajeon is a pan-fried sweet rice cake. The flowers or flower petals used on Hwajeon make this treat unique. They are so beautiful to look at that it can be heartbreaking to take a bite. But don't hesitate to taste these fantastic traditional Korean desserts, and yes, the flowers are real and edible.
Koreans use different flowers depending on the celebration, season, and ritual. The flowers are not just decorations. The ones used for Hwajeon have vitamins and antioxidants at par with the everyday fruits and vegetables you eat!
Gangjeong (Rice Puff/Crispy)
Have you visited other Asian countries? You may have tried a rice puff before and if you loved it, get Gangjeong too when in South Korea. Along with Yakgwa and Daksi, you can also find this crispy snack in different shapes, colors, and sizes at feasts, rituals, and holidays.
How about getting this crispy treat today? Before heading to South Korea, you can try getting a set of Korean confections. Enjoy Gangjeong and other snacks in a Korean dessert box with your friends, colleagues, and family.
Gyeongdan (Sweet Rice Balls)
You will indeed find Gyeondan as a cute and yummy treat if you love rice balls. The best thing about this snack is that you can never have the same flavor when you go to different provinces in South Korea. The ingredients depend on the local produce of each region.
The common ingredient of one of the top 10 Korean desserts is kneaded glutinous rice. Locals cover it with black sesame seeds, soybean, or mugwort powder.
Dasik (Pressed Sweets or Tea Food)
Another elegant and Instagram-worthy snack in South Korea is Dasik, also known as Pressed Sweets. You can get them in flower and fruit shapes. If you're lucky enough, you might get these sweet treats in different symbols that represent the country.
Like most traditional sweets, they also come in blue, yellow, black, and other candy colors that make Dasik a treat for the eyes and mouth!
In the earlier records, South Koreans have already been eating Dasik since 1766. Nowadays, people adore its elegance, and it continues to be a must-have pair with hot tea. You may find the Busan Bada Blending Tea the perfect match for Dasik. If you love the tangy taste of Hallabong, you can give Jeju Hallabong Tea a try.
Sikhye (Sweet Korean Rice Beverage)
Are you a fan of Korean travel shows? You may have heard of the Sikhye drink that everyone loves. It is not the typical dessert you would have after a meal, but it is a famous drink dessert in South Korea. Producing this sweet rice beverage was not an easy feat, so not everyone could get a taste of it as often as they do now.
However, modern technology makes the fermentation process convenient for everyone, and now you can find this drink everywhere. The combination of fermented malt, rice, and barley may seem odd for some, but it tastes like any refreshing dessert drink.
Yeot (Sweet Taffy)
Yeot is a traditional sweet snack that ancestors believed to predict their future. Until now, people have found Yeot as a fortune teller. In the past, people would slice the taffy and determine their life span based on the holes they found inside it.
On the other hand, students look at Yeot as a lucky charm. Its stickiness makes them believe they will pass tests because their luck will stick with the exam. Steamed rice, pumpkin, and brown sugar are just some ingredients that make this taffy sticky and yummy!
Try the peanut taffy from Jeju to start having a similar snack as Yeot. There are tons of variations of this snack available on the Daebak Company website if you are allergic to peanuts. So feel free to search for another variant that would suit your taste buds and reward yourself with a treat straight from South Korea.
Have you tried Jungkook's Kombucha picks? From his Vlive session, he seemed to enjoy drinking this sweet drink. It's a type of fruit tea you want to try out in South Korea.
Fruit teas have been trending these days for their sweet and refreshing taste. Unlike hot teas, these drinks are perfect for a sunny season or weather. You might think such teas only feature sugar and flavoring, but some of them contain lactobacillus, which helps promote gut health. The Teazen Kombucha (Kim Tae Ri's pick!) may be the perfect treat you can gift to yourself, friends, or family today!
Besides sweet, you can also get these teas in different flavors like Omija Cha's (Magnolia Berry Tea) sweet and spicy variations. You can also try the famous pomegranate iced tea from Ottogi.
Bingsu or Bingsoo (Korean shaved ice dessert)
One of the most popular modern desserts making waves outside South Korea is Bingsu! If you love shaved ice desserts, you will definitely want another taste of this creamy and delicious treat. Koreans shave frozen milk or cream, creating this snow-like texture and looking like a magical dessert straight from a storybook.
Bingsu Korean desserts come in various flavors, such as the renowned red bean, tteok, chopped mangoes, strawberries, and other fruits. You can also get matcha, chocolate, or vanilla flavor.
Every store that sells bingsu offers exciting flavor options that you wouldn't want to miss! So get a bite of this sweet treat, especially during the summer season.
Bungeoppang (Fish Shaped Pastry)
Another treat that K-pop and artist fans often see during Vlives and movies is Bungeoppang. This fish-shaped pastry has piqued the interest of movie-goers and fans alike.
Sellers create the shape through a molder where they pour the pastry mixture. Then, they add the red bean paste as filling, thus making Bungeoppang a tasty dessert.
Nowadays, you can get the pastry with different fillings like ice cream, chocolate, and more! Most people love to dig into this dessert during the winter season. During summer, they eat it with cold fillings.
It's not easy to find one in other countries, so the Daebak Company brings Orion Bungeoppang snacks. Get a taste of this treat straight from South Korea any time of the day.
Dalgona (Korean Sponge Candy)
Dalgona brings locals back to their childhood as this sweet candy is a popular treat among children. It has the same ingredients as sweet taffy. By melting sugar and adding a dash of baking soda, you now have this crispy yet satisfying candy treat. If you're afraid of the heat, you can always buy ready-to-eat Dalgona almonds!
Do you have a favorite Korean snack, not on this list? Tell us your recommendations in the comment section below. If you want to know where to buy Korean snacks, the Daebak Company has a snack collection to shop to your heart's content!