If there is anything I’ve learned in the time I’ve lived in Korea, it’s that they know how to snack here! From interesting packaged snacks you find at convenience stores to fresh street food, the tasty options are endless. It’s not just korean food either. Korea has no problem with bringing the delicious foods of other countries back to home base to share with us, its lucky inhabitants.
On that note, Japanese food is quite popular here. In fact, the number of izakayas and ramen houses continue to grow at a rapid rate each year. However, among all the Japanese snacks, takoyaki is probably one of the most popular in Korea. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, takoyaki is a ball-shaped snack made with a flour-based batter. It’s usually filled with pieces of octopus, tempura crumbs, pickled ginger and green onion. It’s then brushed with a special takoyaki sauce and topped with dried seaweed and fish shavings called katsuobushi. Of course this is just a basic description, as there are many different variations.
I really enjoy takoyaki, especially on a cold night, but if it isn’t prepared properly it tends to give me a stomachache. I have tried lots of different takoyaki places in Korea with no luck of finding one that I liked or didn’t upset my stomach. Fortunately I FINALLY found a fantastic takoyaki truck called Bong Daritaco (봉달이타코).
Bong Daritaco has four different types of takoyaki to choose from: original, spicy, parmesan and mozzarella. My absolute favorite is the mozzarella, which is part of the topping not the filling. So, once the takoyaki balls are made, mozzarella is melted in the molds and the balls are then rolled in the gooey cheese. Mouthwatering! I also really enjoy the parmesan. The cheese flavor is nice and subtle, plus the overall snack is not as heavy as the mozzarella takoyaki.
You can buy them in servings of 8/₩3,000, 14 /₩5,000, 22/₩8,000 or 28/₩10,000, with the exception of the mozzarella takoyaki which is only sold in servings of 10/₩5,000, 16/₩8,000, 20/₩10,000 and 28/₩14,000. My boyfriend and I once bought a pack of 20 mozzarella takoyaki because we were really hungry, but we could barely finish it! It’s pretty heavy food, but too tasty to waste and doesn’t taste good reheated. Needless to say, we’ll be sticking to the smaller portions from now on. A serving of 8 is really more than enough for two people (lol).
This truck can be easily spotted with its bright red color and cute little takoyaki mascot painted on the side. When it’s set up, red lanterns are hung and the back doors open up to reveal a mini takoyaki kitchen on wheels. Then you get to watch the magic happen. The only down side is that the locations of these trucks are not always consistent, so you pretty much have to grab them when you can. There is usually one roaming around 홍대 (Hongdae) close to the university. So next time you see a bright red truck with a cute little takoyaki on it, be sure to drop by for a bite. Happy eating!