If there’s something that’s constant this quarantine, it’s our collective fall into the K-drama hole. I know you know some Korean words already, but we’re also becoming familiar with the different and interesting dishes that Korean dramas have to offer. While a trip to Seoul is currently out of the question, Korean food doesn’t have to be. Brush up on your K-drama menu with this handy list of our fave dramas and the food that we wish we were eating, too.
Korean Fried Chicken from “The King: Eternal Monarch”
Oh, to be Jeong Taeul getting mad at the literal king over a box of chicken and cold beer. While I can name so many dramas off the top of my head that features Korean fried chicken, no drama has yet to approach it with fresh eyes. “The King” is established in a world where parallel universes exist so when the king of one universe, Lee Gon, crosses over to the other universe, he literally has no idea what fried chicken is—and who can blame him? He’s a royal after all, who eats food exclusively from his royal kitchens and not at fried chicken joints. Enter Jeong Taeul who introduces him to the greatest invention of humankind that is fried chicken, all while helping him understand how multiple universes work. How’s that for a meet-cute?
Chapchae from “Reply 1994”
“Reply 1994” is not like other K-dramas in the sense that it focuses mostly on the friendship between young adults. The six students who hail from South Korea’s provinces are now living together in one household while attending university in the capital city. Like most coming of age stories, times are tough, love is sweet and the food is absolutely out of this world. The head of the household often prepares food for the young group and one of the dishes that’s always eye-catching and mouth-watering is chapchae, glass noodles mixed with various vegetables. While it’s commonly eaten as a side dish in Korean restaurants, “Reply 1994” presents it as the main course, with a big bowl of the noodles always at the center of meals and action.
Soft Tofu Soup from “Itaewon Class”
The enduring story of Park Saeroyi and his restaurant Danbam is what makes “Itaewon Class” a really inspiring watch. This Korean drama is all about the restaurant industry and the food that you see are so appetizing on screen that not salivating becomes a real challenge. One of the most prominent dishes, not just for its appearance but also for its relevance to the plot, is the soft tofu soup. Saeroyi is always working to perfect this dish as a staple of his restaurant and eventually uses the recipe he’s perfected to let his rival know that he’s beaten him. Come on, symbolism!