Fish-shaped ice cream has become all the rage this fall. But will this trend catch on or die out?
Bungeoppang (or Bungeoppang in Korean) is a sweet red bean paste-filled fish-shaped waffle street vendors sell for street vending and is more widely known in Japan as Taiyaki.
Choose your filling from custard, taro, or chocolate hazelnut Nutella, and customize it with toppings! They also offer an assortment of Halal-certified soft-serve flavors.
Bungeoppang (pronounced Bon-uh-pang) is a delicious fish-shaped winter snack filled with red bean paste cooked using an appliance similar to a waffle iron, popular in Korea during winter months and a popular street food snack nationwide. A variation of the Japanese snack taiyaki was introduced to Korea in the 1930s. Although some variations utilize different filling options like sweet red bean jam instead, the classic form uses sweet red bean filling!
Traditional street food vendors would offer this treat directly to customers using an appliance resembling a fish-shaped waffle iron. A batter would then be prepared and added red bean paste; finally, the mold would be closed and heated on a stove until golden brown. A delicious aroma filled the air whenever someone passed by one of these stands, making it hard not to give it at least some thought when passing by them!
These delectable little treats can also be found at supermarkets and convenience stores, but their best flavor comes when bought fresh and hot from street vendors. Traditionally served with melted butter and syrup drizzles, but you can customize the experience by adding toppings such as ice cream or honey!
Some innovative street food vendors have even begun offering savory versions of bungeoppang, such as sausage-shaped ones. Others have added unique twists to this traditional treat by mixing other flavors, such as coffee or mochi.
Bungeoppang is a popular year-round treat but is especially beloved in Seoul during winter as a warm and comforting snack. When visiting Seoul’s streets during this season, be sure to taste one if given the chance! It may taste better imagined than eaten, so do not miss out on experiencing this sweet and crispy delight.
Korean housewives prepare various traditional foods to celebrate Seollal. One of the most beloved and revered is Tteokguk(ddeoggug), or rice cake soup, which symbolizes longevity, fortune, and new beginnings. Preparing jeon, or any food associated with Seollal celebrations, is often time-consuming and laborious for Korean housewives.
On Seollal, people visit their family and gather together for a big family meal featuring traditional Korean fares such as buchimgae(bulimia), tteokguk, bulgogi(marinated beef strips), and galbijjim(braised short ribs). A unique ritual known as Charye is performed at each family gathering to show appreciation to ancestors; its table is covered with all kinds of foods, fruits, and beverages to offer as offerings to them in memory of them all.
Korea celebrates this event as an essential celebration of love and forgiveness, allowing families and friends to come together and welcome a brand new year together.
At festivals, it’s customary to give money to children as part of the celebration. The amount given depends on their age; often, older children receive more. Children get very excited by this tradition because it grants them an extra allowance for next year.
At one time, it was customary for Koreans to consume raw meat on the first day of Lunar New Year celebrations, but due to concerns about unsanitary eating practices, this has fallen out of fashion in modern Korea. Instead, people tend to cook their meat before consuming it for increased safety and reduced bacteria formation on raw meat surfaces. Therefore, raw meat dishes have become less frequent at Korean restaurants than traditional chicken or pork options on menus today, yet some individuals still opt for raw chicken or pork meals because they seem healthier and more delicious.
Somisomi stands out with an appealing name and playful flavors to offer customers looking for something sweet in teriyaki form. Established by two dessert lovers from Los Angeles, Somisomi has since spread across California and beyond, becoming available nationwide. Somisomi offers soft serve ice cream and Ah-Boong fish-shaped waffle cones filled with fillings like red bean paste, Nutella, or custard.
Somisomi offers an assortment of delectable flavors like matcha, ube, and actual milk and unique toppings like Oreo Crum, rainbow sprinkles, fruity pebbles, and mochi. Each cone is handcrafted using a unique Japanese waffle maker, which creates crisp outer layers while leaving an irresistibly fluffy interior layer; every cone then receives precisely the right amount of ice cream and matching garnish.
Somisomi’s success can be attributed mainly to its Instagram-friendly food, which appeals to young people looking for delicious and visually appealing treats. With an outpost in Koreatown and over 30 franchise stores across California, Texas, Nevada, and Hawaii – not to mention receiving a royalty fee on each sale – Somisomi has found tremendous success and continues to expand rapidly.
Every Somisomi location offers an assortment of signature flavors, such as matcha, ube, and faithful black sesame. Additionally, they provide weekly swirls that change each week and sell taiyaki waffles made out of rice flour-based waffle dough shaped like fishes filled with cheese, Nutella, or red beans for baking.
The restaurant prides itself on using high-quality ingredients and sustainable practices to create an unforgettable customer experience. Food is sourced locally whenever possible, and cups and spoons are made of eco-friendly materials; moreover, ingredients come from companies that prioritize fair labor practices and ethical treatment of employees.
Somisomi recently made its Las Vegas Chinatown debut at Shanghai Plaza, drawing customers with its creative Ah-Boong treats. The cozy dining nook is ideal for an enjoyable dessert outing and perfect for bonding over sweet treats with friends or family! Somisomi stands out with its attention to detail and playful ambiance – ideal places for satisfying sweet tooths while offering respite from high temperatures.
Samanco, a popular summer snack, is a fish-shaped wafer ice cream filled with sweet red bean paste. Its shape was inspired by traditional Korean street food called Bunggeo-pang, which features similar characteristics – also shaped like a fish and filled with sweet red bean paste filling. Due to its distinctive design and delectable flavors such as chocolate, strawberry, or green tea – this unique treat has gained immense popularity!
These frozen treats are usually found in most grocery stores specializing in Asian cuisine. Such stores generally carry hard-to-find Korean products not typically seen at supermarkets, including instant ramen flavors not commonly available elsewhere, frozen Korean street food items, bottled ice coffee drinks, chewy candies, and halal-certified ice cream.
Ice cream sandwiches come in various sizes and can be purchased individually or in four packs. Their packaging allows you to share this treat with friends easily, and they’re designed for easy portability, so they’re perfect for enjoying on the go.
Seolaeim is another beloved Korean treat made from sweetened ice cream wrapped in thin wafer layers for easier chewing. Although its popularity lies primarily with chocolate fans, Seolaeim can also come in various other flavors!
Patbingsu, Korea’s signature dessert, is a light and refreshing treat consisting of layers of shaved ice, red bean paste, condensed milk, and fresh fruit. A popular choice during hot days due to being easy to enjoy without needing a spoon! Plus, it makes an ideal healthy alternative ice cream. Available at convenience stores and supermarkets throughout Korea for purchase, Patbingsu makes for a wonderful cultural experience!