1. Bingsuu - Patbingsu: Also known as “Patbingsoo” literally means shaved ice with red beans, nonetheless some variations are made without red beans. This type of dessert is very popular and the combination of shaved ice and red beans was first found in Korea around the 1400s. Even though there are many variations, most consumed toppings are fruits, fruit syrup, condensed milk, and red bean paste; and most consumed flavours are green tea, coffee, and yoghurt.
- Melon-bingsu, Mango-bingsu, Oreo-bingsu: Based on Patbingsu, many variations have been created over the years. With the creation of other kinds, variations are not only consumed during the summer season but also at weddings, parties, and family gatherings.
2. Bungeoppang: Traditional fish-shaped pastry! The word means carp bread and traditionally this pastry is stuffed with sweetened red bean paste. However, at street eateries, variations are also available with pastry cream or chocolate stuffing. So, the main ingredients are basically red bean paste, wheat flour, baking powder, water, and eggs (optional). It is made with a waffle iron and generally eaten during the winter season.
3. Dasik: The word stands for “tea food” and this colourful bite-size dessert is consumed along with a tea. The texture is crispy and it basically looks like a cookie. It is made by working grain dough or other seed flours with honey. After kneading, it is pressed into decorative shapes which are called dasikpan. The decorative shapes symbolize the family name (to wish a long life) and can either be letters, flowers or geometric patterns. Dasik is Korean originated and most common ingredients are glutinous rice flour (ssal dasik), pine pollen (songhwa dasik), chestnut (bam dasik), green soybean (pureunkong dasik), yellow soybean (kong dasik), and black sesame (geomeunkkae dasik). So the usual colours of this dessert are green, yellow, pink, black, and white.
4. Songpyeon: This half-moon shaped dessert is known as South Korea’s Thanksgiving Day (Chuseok) Cake and eaten during the autumn harvest festival. But also consumed on all holidays. When it is made at home, it should be shared with the rest of the family and neighbours because it is a sign of respect. It is basically made from rice powder which is shaped into small-size rice cakes. The fillings can either be sweet or semisweet such as sesame seeds & honey, sweetened red bean or chestnut paste. In order to get the smell of fresh pine trees, these ingredients are steamed over the pine tree needles.
5. Yaksik: Another traditional dessert for holidays and special events. It is usually made in the middle of January for the Jeongwol Daeboreum holiday. The word means “medicinal food” and also called yakbap. It is made from steamed glutinous rice and mixed with chestnuts, pine nuts, and jujubes. Seasonings for this dessert are honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, and cinnamon (optional).
6. Mandugwa: As dumplings are known as a side dish or snack, there is a sweet version of it. The fillings can be honey, jujube or cinnamon powder and they coated with rice syrup which is called jocheong. Dumplings are made from wheat flour with a mixture of honey, sesame oil, ginger juice, and the cooking method is only deep-frying. The key point of making mandugwa is marinating with rice syrup after the frying process.
7. Gwapyeon: This jelly-kind-of dessert is made from fresh fruits and fruit juices. The flavours can be Korean cherry, Chinese quince, apricot, Oriental cherry, magnolia berry, and blueberry. The jelly is made by boiling fruits in water, and then straining, and then adding honey and leaving it on low heat for simmering. The final step is cutting it into small pieces. Variations are often served at events.
8. Hotteok: These are the delicious sweet and sticky pancakes! Traditional ones are filled with cinnamon and peanuts and can be found at street eateries very easily! Also available in supermarkets at the same time. The dough of it is made from wheat flour, water, milk, sugar, and yeast (as can be guessed) and then cooked. Variations are also popular such as green tea hotteok, corn hotteok, pizza hotteok, and more.