Micael in South Korea: ‘Amazing food’

Micael Coelho, third year International Business student at Windesheim, is studying at Konkuk University in South Korea until the summer. He reports on his experiences for WIN every month.

As an exchange student in South Korea, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to explore the amazing culinary scene of this nation,South Korea’s cuisine is full of surprises. Before arriving I was really scared if I would adapt or not to the food here, but I honestly get surprised everyday with the diversity of tastes the food here has.


Let’s talk about Kimchi first—it’s everywhere! An essential component of Korean cuisine, this hot, fermented cabbage is rich in flavor and, because of its beneficial bacteria and vitamins, is also very nutritious. Kimchi is also served in almost all restaurants here as a starter or just as a simple snack before your main dish, but you might watch out because a few of them are quite spicy.

Bibimbap and Tteobokki

Then there’s Bibimbap, which means “mixed rice.” Imagine a bowl of rice with a scoop of hot gochujang (chili paste), colorful vegetables, steak, and an entire egg on top. Everything is served in a warmed stone bowl that keeps everything warm as you mix it all together and crisps the rice at the bottom. Part of the excitement is that every bite is little different than the last.

Living octopus

Street food is another layer of the food scene here. Dishes like Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and Hotteok (sweet stuffed pancakes) show up everywhere and are super tasty and cheap. However if you are up for trying new things such as me, you can have a lot of unusual food, one example of that is the living Octopus which is literally served “moving”, crazy isn’t it?

Korean barbecue


What about Korean Barbecue ? It’s honestly my favorite. Korean Barbecue for me means just bringing people you like together while you grill your own food and have fun, honestly there is nothing better than this.

Eating is more than just filling up in South Korea, whether you’re sitting down for a big meal or just getting a quick bite from a street vendor. It’s all about spending time with friends and appreciating every flavor. What a wonderful way to truly experience this place’s vibe!

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