Hardest Korean Foods to Swallow

1 comment by Larissa Tsui

Silkworm Larvae


If you are like me, who has bug phobia, then this is sure to give you the shivers even just by looking at it. Silkworm Larvae or beondegi (번데기) in Korean is a popular street food where it’s seasoned and then steamed or boiled. It has a soft and crunchy texture, with a strong and unmistakable smell. Many say this is an acquired taste, but with its high-quality and low-fat protein properties, it's a great pick-me-up snack that can be easily found at street vendors. For those keen to try these high-protein nibbles, you don't have to wait until you go to Korea to try them! They also come in sealed cans that you can find at Korean marts. Would you be up to trying out this crunchy juiciness? 

Raw Octopus


One of the most popular weird but often eaten foods of Korea, is raw octopus, san-nakji (산낙지). San (산), meaning living, and nakji (낙지), meaning octopus, is a dish where you literally eat octopus when it is alive. Served to you full of life and still squirming, it's a fight between your mouth and its suctions! The tentacles that still writhe after being removed from the body are often served chopped up into bite-sized pieces onto a plate. It is usually mixed with sesame oil to save you from its strong suction. Not only are you in for a fight in your mouth, but it'll also be a fight to put it in your mouth first! Once you beat its suction and pry it off the plate, it is a two-in-one experience being both a jaw and finger workout for this chewy and unique sensation. 

Fermented Skate


Do not be fooled by its harmless visuals. This is one of the most pungent-smelling foods in the world that will have you holding your nose and seeking fresh air. Fermented Skate, or hongeo (홍어) in Korean is very similar to stingrays. It’s an unusual fish that doesn't urinate but instead gets rid of its uric acid through its skin. Yes, you read that right. Known for its overpowering, strong ammonia-like smell, it can tickle your gag reflex even just by taking a whiff of it. It is served raw with various sauces or often with kimchi and boiled pork to bring down the stench. Are you up for this challenge that's even a hard one for Koreans? 

Spoon Worms


Just by its visuals, you know this can be a tough one. The Spoon Worms known as Gaebul (개불) in Korean is a worm-like marine animal and is often found in fish and seafood markets. If the visuals are not enough to give you the creeps, it is eaten raw while still squirming and wriggling on your plate after being chopped up into bite-sized pieces and served along with sesame oil and salt or if you can handle spicy, there’s a spicy sauce too! It is said to taste like seawater and has rumoured aphrodisiac properties. Did I mention it squirts water too? 

1 comment

  • Harbby Darlizzy

    I feel like vomiting even before trying it🤣🤣

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