From those who carry pocket change for fish-shaped buns (bungeoppang) to the app “3dollarinmypocket,” which shares locations of wintertime street food vendors, Koreans take their winter snacks seriously.
After all, how nice is it to go from the often bitter winter days in Korea to the warmth of these delectable snacks? As we move into winter, we went to Incheon’s Moraenae Market and Ongnyeon Market to find the winter snacks that Koreans enjoy.
From the seasonal favorite fish-shaped buns to steamed buns, beloved for their gentle sweetness; fishcakes, which warm your stomach; and griddlecakes with sugar filling, filled with piping hot sugar, winter is here for these snacks.
Fish-shaped buns from Mujigae Bungeoppang of Incheon Moraenae Market
This joint is one of the most famous destinations for fish-shaped buns (bungeoppang) in Incheon’s Moraenae Market.
It proclaims its dedication to the buns with the words “We bet our lives for fish-shaped buns” emblazoned on the wall.
The shop offers six flavors, namely, whole red beans and walnuts, custard cream, cheese pizza, sweet potatoes and cream cheese, red beans and cream cheese, and Nutella banana.
Mujigae Bungeoppang is best known for its generosity, so much so that the filling sometimes escapes the buns as they are baked. Because of that, even a single bun is enough to warm your body.
Whole red beans and walnuts are an upgraded variety of the standard fish-shaped buns with red bean filling.
The filling has whole red beans and walnut chunks, which impart a bouncy texture to the bun. Cheese pizza flavor uses natural mozzarella cheese and pizza toppings for flavor.
Nutella banana, a dynamite combination of Nutella, banana, and cinnamon apples, is said to be even better when cooled.
The dough is also special, using Korean sweet rice powder for a crispy exterior and chewy interior.
The shop also offers cold cafè Americano and sweet peach iced tea as accompaniments.
- Address1st floor, 21-4, Hogupo-ro 790beon-gil, Namdong-gu, Incheon (Shop No. 27)
- Tel. No. +82-507-1394-5686
- Opening Hours From 15:30-16:00 until ingredients run out: Check the opening hours via telephone after 20:00
- Web Page www.instagram.com/moozigae_boong_
Steamed buns from Ttoori Wangmandu of Incheon Moraenae Market
This mandu shop is located near the north gate of Incheon Moraenae Market.
When the silver pot is opened, white steam billows out, revealing pure white steamed buns underneath. Even if you don’t like steamed buns, the sight of the buns in the pot is simply too alluring to go past.
Ttoori Wangmandu’s steamed buns do not put sweetness to the fore.
Their sweetness tends to be understated and elegant.
The combination of tender buns and sweet red bean paste is nothing short of delightful.
Unlike other steamed buns, Ttoori Wangmandu’s filling retains whole beans for texture. What’s more, it’s KRW 1,000 per steamed bun.
This is an unbelievable price in an age of inflation.
The store’s namesake jumbo mandu is also worth checking out. Each mandu is made by hand in huge sizes.
The weight is immediately apparent, the thin skin giving way to abundant filling.
There are two varieties, meat and kimchi mandu, and many say the latter is the best.
- Address 34, Bokgaeseo-ro 89beon-gil, Namdong-gu, Incheon
- Tel. No. +82-32-462-5255
- Opening Hours 12:00~21:00
TIP) Other winter snacks in Incheon Moraenae Market
Busan Fishcake draws a huge line throughout the day.
There are three fishcakes: “Angel Fishcake,” which uses standard fishcake seasoning; “Spicy Fishcake,” which uses tteokbokki sauce; and “Hell Fishcake” in a fiery hot sauce. The soup is made with whole blue crab, matching it to blue crab soup in flavor.
Just in front of Busan Fishcake is the Oil-Free Griddlecake with Sugar Filling, which often sells out by about 19:00.
Unlike other griddlecakes, which are often fried in oil, this griddlecake is baked on a griddle with a lid.
The resulting cake is not oily, and the delightfully chewy texture of the dough makes it a perfect snack.
Sweet Rice Griddlecake with Sugar Filling from Chapssal Hotteok of Ongnyeon Market
This store, specializing in griddlecakes, is located on the left-hand side of Ongnyeon Market’s entrance.
It draws a crowd of visitors, making it easy to find.
Indeed, in winter, the season for griddlecakes, one must be prepared to wait a bit.
The store specializes in its namesake dish, sweet rice griddlecake with sugar filling.
These chewy griddlecakes are fried in oil, which balloons them into appetizingly crispy balls.
There are five flavors on offer. The basic flavor, sweet rice griddlecake with sugar and honey filling, can appeal to everyone with the fillings of honey and sugar.
Griddlecake with sugar and seeds filling is enriched with nuts like peanuts and pumpkin seeds, while the cheese powder-coated griddlecake with sugar filling taps into the renowned combination of sweet and savory flavors.
Those with a sweet tooth love Nutella griddlecake, which is coated with Nutella, while regulars swear by the griddlecake with mozzarella cheese filling.
They are served in paper cups and packaged in paper bags, and of course, they taste best when eaten right away.
Slush is also offered for cooling down from piping hot griddlecakes.
- Address 462-164, Ongnyeon-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon
- Tel. No. +82-10-5291-4229
- Opening Hours 10:30~20:00
Fishcake from Tteokdonald of Ongnyeon Marke
This joint is a beloved part of Ongnyeon Market. Once a small streetside stall, it has expanded to encompass a dining area for visitors indoors.
Many residents of Ongnyeon-dong remember this shop fondly for its warm fishcakes and skewer dishes.
The former comes in two variants: basic and spicy. Spicy fishcakes, which bring to mind the “red fishcakes” of Jecheon, are especially popular.
These fishcakes are made by folding fishcake sheets into curving lines, coating them in spicy red chili paste-based sauce, and topping them with minced and green onions for flavor.
These fishcakes are surprisingly addictive, and the warm soup warms one’s stomach on cold days.
The shop’s other draw is its skewers, lined out in neat collections. These skewers are straight from the childhood memories of Koreans, from rice cake skewers to chicken nugget skewers, boneless fried chicken skewers, and pork cutlet skewers.
Rice cake skewers, in particular, tug at the nostalgia of snack shops in front of elementary schools.
Rice cakes are fried until crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and coated in a light red sauce that tends toward sweetness.
Tteokbokki, served here, features a mixture of rice and wheat cakes and comes in a thick sauce boiled down over a long period.
- Address #101, 47, Dokbae-ro 40beon-gil, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon
- Tel. No. +82-32-834-0536
- Opening Hours06:00~21:00
TIP) Other winter snacks in Ongnyeon Market
Chumchuneun Wangmandu is full of winter favorites like jumbo mandu, steamed mandu, prawn mandu, steamed buns, and doughnuts.
Prawn mandu, in particular, features thin, almost translucent skin and springy prawns. Steamed buns here are filled to edges with sweet red bean filling.
Haengbokan Ingeoppang serves fish-shaped buns and Gangwon-style folk snacks like buckwheat crepe, buckwheat pancake, and pan-fried millet rice cake.
Buckwheat crepe is spicy and savory, filled with napa cabbage kimchi and glass noodles, while half-moon—shaped pan-fried millet rice cakes are filled with red bean filling for gentle sweetness.