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14 Of The Best Korean Snacks Of All Time

There's no better intro to any nation's food than the snack aisle.

There's no doubt that Korean food is currently surging in popularity in North America. Korean staples are even commonly stocked at major supermarkets now, like kimchi, gochujang, and loads of ramyeon. But if you haven't really had the chance to explore Korean food, or need a starting place, there's no easier way to learn about it than through the prepackaged snack aisle.

I often get a lot of questions about the best Korean snacks, so I took a stroll through my local Korean grocery store and handpicked 14 Korean chips, crackers, and desserts that encompass some of my personal favorites. Give them a try; they could be your new favorites, too.

Shrimp Chips or Shrimp Crackers

Shrimp chips (also labeled as shrimp crackers) are crispy puffed wheat snacks flavored with dried shrimp powder. The idea of shrimp flavoring a chip can be a little odd for Western culture, but I promise, these things are great. They taste savory, but don't club you over the head with shellfish flavor. That balance is the reason you might find yourself crushing a whole bag of these things in one sitting.

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Choco Pie

Choco Pies, made by companies such as Lotte and Orion, is a Korean cousin of the Moon Pie. Choco Pies are two cake-like discs sandwiching a layer of marshmallow, enrobed in chocolate, though you can also find non-chocolate flavors such as green tea. They come individually wrapped and are perfect for a school lunch, a mid-afternoon snack with coffee, or a late night post-dinner treat.

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Turtle Chips

I can guarantee you've never had a snack quite like Orion's Turtle Chips. While their texture is similar to Bugles in that light, puffy corn chip sort of way, these four-layered snacks are even airier, shattering into a thousand delicate pieces in your mouth. They're also unique in that they have both salty and sweet varieties; you can find them in flavors like Truffle and Seaweed, but also Sweet Vanilla and Chocolate Churros.

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Honey Butter Chips

Honey Butter Chips are exactly what they say they are: light and crisp potato chips, seasoned with a sweet honey butter flavoring that makes them a really fun sweet and savory snack. If the sweet-flavored potato chip idea throws you off, that's all the more reason to try them—you might find yourself surprisingly enamored with the combination.

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Tteokbokki Snacks

Tteokbokki is a popular Korean comfort food made of dowel-shaped rice cakes, usually tossed in a sweet and spicy red-pepper-based sauce. The dish can sometimes contain other ingredients, including fish cakes, green onions, sesame seeds, and more.

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The packaged snack version takes its cues from tteokbokki and applies those flavors to a savory chip; these rigatoni-shaped wheat-based crisps are seasoned in a tangy, spicy glaze. They're perfect if you like the combination of salt, sweet, and heat, all in one go.

Cosomi Crackers

Cosomi Crackers are one of the few types of crackers I can crush completely plain. They somehow manage to achieve both a delicate sweetness and light saltiness at the same time. The sweetness comes from the subtle addition of coconut, while sesame seeds add a little toastiness. These crackers come in individual packs, too, so they're good to keep around as on-the-go snacks.

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Pepero

You can think of these Pepero snacks as Korea's version of Japan's Pocky, the cracker-like sticks dipped in confectionery coatings like chocolate and green tea, sometimes rolled in nuts or cookie bits. Pepero might be less commonly known among Americans, but are just as beloved in Korea.

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There's even a whole day of the year dedicated to them, November 11. That's because when you write the date 11/11, the numbers resemble the shape of Pepero sticks. I've always found that endearing—just one more reason to love them.

Mushroom-shaped cookies

These mushroom-shaped cookies are a total delight. The biscuit "stem" is similar to the cracker component of a Pepero, but they're topped with a silky chocolate "cap" that melts away in your mouth as you eat it. They're satisfying because you get a big hit of chocolate all at once, plus the crispy, malty cookie to crunch on.

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There are Japanese versions of this snack that are exactly the same thing, such as those manufactured by Meiji under the name "Chocorooms." And just to be clear, there are no actual mushrooms in the snacks whatsoever.

Binch Cookies

Despite the term's usage on the internet, Binch isn't a euphemism for a curse word that was created to bypass profanity filters. Binch stands for "Biscuit 'N Chocolate," similar to how Nabisco's brand name came from "National Biscuit Company."

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These are individually wrapped half-biscuit and half-chocolate novelties, and they're a true crowd pleaser. The chocolate is rich, silky, and smooth, and paired with the relatively plain but satisfyingly crispy biscuit, it's the perfect any-time-of-day bite. They make a great gift, and they're easy to bring along if you're sharing snacks with a group.

Matdongsan

I have been eating Matdongsan for as long as I can remember. These are fried, finger-shaped cookies covered in a sweet syrup and coated in bits of crushed peanut. They are super crunchy, rich, and sticky to the touch, with a caramelized flavor. Matdongsan have been around for a long time, and are something that Koreans of all ages have enjoyed through the years.

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Chal-dduk Chocolate Pie

Chal-dduk is a traditional sticky and chewy rice cake with a glutinous texture similar to mochi. What's really unique about these chal-dduk pies from Lotte, however, is that they fuse the traditional mochi-like dough with chocolate instead of ice cream. There's not only a layer of chocolate filling in the middle, but also a thin coating of chocolate on the outside. Considering that Korean rice cakes tend to favor ingredients like sweet red bean, the addition of chocolate makes this a wholly unique snack.

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Couque D’Asse

Okay, I included these in part because practically everyone I know sends me pictures of this snack, usually with a "tee hee" tacked on. Yes, the name Couque D'Asse is hilarious and, in certain company, hilariously vulgar. But if you can stop snickering for a minute, I can explain why they're also a great treat.

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These are delicate shortbread cookies with a layer of creme in the center, and they come in various flavors like Coffee and White Torte (which is basically "creme"). And I wouldn't be recommending them to you as a prank, either, because I love my job too much.

Manufacturer Crown says of the name, "'Couque D'asse' means 'cookies from the Asse region' in Belgium, which are known to have been thrown to the people of Brussels by Leopold I, the first King of the Belgians, during his entry into the capital. He was German and of the opposition party, which forced him to flee to the United Kingdom."

There's a similar Japanese product of the same format and more or less same name, "Couque D'Asses," by a company called Sanritsu. And yes, fine, I admit the name is hilarious.

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Onion-Flavored Rings

If Nongshim's Onion-Flavored Rings look awfully familiar to you, that's because they're pretty much like Funyuns. They have the same extruded onion ring shape and are flavored similarly, though if you did a side-by-side comparison, the differences are more obvious. Both brands are a tasty interpretation of onion flavor, however, and Nongshim's version is crispy and light—a great reminder of why onion is infused into savory snacks all over the world.

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Ppushu Ppushu

"Ppushu Ppushu" means "crush crush" in Korean, and guess what? That's precisely what you're supposed to do with this bag. Squish it, press on it, shatter the ramen noodles inside.

Yes, I said ramen noodles. Ppushu Ppushu is a serving of instant ramen, seasoning packet and all. Once you're done crushing the contents of the bag, open it up, fish out the seasoning packet, and pour its contents inside. Close the whole bag with your fist and shake it around to distribute the flavoring, and snack away.

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Ramen noodles are already cooked, and schoolchildren have already been eating packets like this for years, so it's only natural that an official snack version was marketed to capitalize on that habit.

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