Today, the 9th October, is in fact Hangul Day. The holiday marks the creation of the Korean alphabet in 1446! While there is no official national holiday, and people don’t gather to eat a particular form of food, there are several things that Koreans may decide to eat. In this article, we’re going to go through some of these and spell out the word ‘Hangul’ to mark the occasion!
- H – Hotteok (호떡) : Often a street food, it is a soft, sweet pancake with crispy edges and studded with peanut chunks and covered in sugar, honey and cinnamon. Hotteok is often eaten in the winter in order to keep the body warm, so this may well be a snack that someone is tucking into right now!
- A – Anju(안주): Some young Koreans go out drinking on the 9th October, and with the day falling onto a Friday this year, people may still consider this as an option despite the pandemic. Anju are the side dishes consumed with alcohol and are often served at bars and restaurants. These can include tofu with kimchi (dubu kimchi), steamed squid with gochujang and pickled vegetables.
- N: Namul, seasoned vegetables. This could be an Anju, but could also be a side dish (banchan) to a wider meal. The types of vegetables also frequently change depending on the season; the summer months feature dishes such as pickled cucumbers, whereas the winter sees more root veggies on the menu.
- G: Galbi (갈비) – Galbi refers to pork or beef ribs which are cooked on a metal plate positioned over charcoal in the middle of the table; Korean Barbeque. What makes this different to bulgogi is that the meat is sliced much thicker. Delicious!
- U: Uyu Sikppang – Milk bread. Cafes and baked goods are fashionable, so naturally, this was to be on the list! Besides, is there anything more delicious than a soft milk roll? Uyu Sikppang is a form of milk bread that is commonly found in Asia and is much less prominent in Europe. The loaves are soft and there was no “crisp” crust. It’s definitely worth a try!
- L – Lotte Choco Pie: Lotte may be the brand, but in Korea, it feels like an essential part of the iconic snack. Like a Wagon Wheel, it’s a small round biscuit stuffed with marshmallow and cased in chocolate. Children at school are often encouraged to write an essay about the creation of Hangul, and this delicious snack may be a reward given by a teacher if the student’s work is excellent!
While Korean’s don’t have any alphabet soup, it’s clear that they have a wonderful food culture. Knives and forks at the ready folks!