You and I may have totally different tastes in K-dramas, but one thing’s for sure — we’ve both watched a show only to think, “Nakakagutom naman ‘to.”
Needless to say, food is an integral part of K-dramas. And so, it’s just fair that the influence of Hallyu stretches beyond our screens. We watch a drama and crave what they eat — whether it’s a traditional meal like miyeok guk or a favourite beverage like soju. Then, there’s also an endless list of K-drama snacks — regardless if these are outright product placements or simply chips that are too iconic to blur out, we’re always curious about how they actually taste.
If you’re as interested as we are, then why not taste these K-drama snacks for yourself? Here are some of the most popular K-drama snacks that you can shop for online.
Popular K-drama snacks to eat while watching
1. Kopiko Coffee Candy
You don’t need hawk eyes to detect Kopiko Candy in Vincenzo or Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. Whenever it appears in a scene, they make sure you won’t miss it!
Plus, Kopiko Candy doesn’t just stop at blatant cameos — you’ll hear characters rave about it, too. So, we can’t blame you for craving it when Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’s Ji Seong Hyun — who is, of all things, a producing director for a food variety show — attests that “it really wakes you up in the morning.”
2. Lotte Dream Cacao
In Hospital Playlist, doctor Kim Jun Wan takes his patients seriously — but his food? Possibly even more. His adoration for the Lotte Dream Cacao, in particular, makes us wonder how good it tastes. Even his darling Ik Sun noticed that this particular brand is his favourite!
3. Cheese sausage
Cheese sausages have long been one of the most popular K-drama snacks, thanks to Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. But recently, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha also gave it lots of screen time — even a backstory!
The series showed that Hye Jin lived off cheese sausages as a busy college student; apparently, this is no surprising behaviour, as many South Koreans have cheese sausages as snacks because they’re light, filling, and convenient to carry around.
You might be familiar with the trendiest K-drama snacks, but what about the most nostalgic ones? I’m talking Reply 1988 level of nostalgia. In the wistful series, we undoubtedly have several foodies, but Jin Ju seems to be the most passionate one. (No one dare take her snacks!)
In one scene, we see her clasping a box of Kkokkalcorn, which is, presumably, a Korean take on Kornets. And while the latter has been phased out, Kkokkalcorn actually still exists — albeit in smaller packaging.
5. Choco pie
Everyone in South Korea seems to love choco pie. We see the specific Orion brand in Descendants of the Sun, when Yoo Si Jin gave it as a goodbye gift. “It’s tasty, so please savour it,” he even said. Later, Orion had to clarify that the scenes actually weren’t product placements; the characters just simply loved it. Recently, another brand, the Lotte Mongshell Cake Pie, made a significant appearance in Hospital Playlist as well.
Refreshing K-drama drinks to try (besides soju!)
6. Red ginseng
If you’re handling as many responsibilities as Emperor Lee Gon, then you’ll certainly need the best food and drinks to boost your well-being. In The King: Eternal Monarch, the emperor is frequently seen drinking red ginseng, a Korean drink popular for its health benefits. It has long been used in South Korea, even by royalties, to boost immunity, stamina, and mental energy.
You may be familiar with soju — at this point, who isn’t?! But apart from this famous Korean liquor, makgeolli is also taking its reign on television.
Most recently, the rice wine made its appearance on Vincenzo, where Cassano and Hong Cha share the drink as they plot out their plans for justice. Beyond being a fun alcoholic drink, makgeolli is also known to help with digestion, boost immunity, and detoxify the body.
8. Maxim instant coffee
Another K-drama favourite, Maxim instant coffee is seen in Vincenzo, Her Private Life, Kill It, and The Secret Life of My Secretary. The brand offers four different variations of coffee: the original mix, mocha gold mild, white gold mild, and arabica. By the looks of it, most characters enjoy Mocha Gold, which apparently tastes smooth, creamy, and mildly sweet.
9. Banana flavoured milk
If you’ve been into Korean culture for a while, you’re probably already familiar with banana milk (Jungkook fans, say hi!). This gently sweet beverage also plays a cameo role in several K-dramas, like Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. But unlike other K-drama snacks, the banana flavoured milk doesn’t need additional publicity — after all, it’s been a staple Korean drink for decades!
Instant K-drama meals that give us a taste of Korea
Finally, a K-drama snack that needs no introduction. Almost every K-drama features the iconic ramyun. The simple pack of instant noodles has become a symbol of friendship (Reply series) and romance (What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?, Encounter, Crash Landing On You, Run On).
“Every time I watched their dramas, I always craved jjajangmyeon,” soldier and K-drama fanatic Kim Ju-Meok revealed in one episode of Crash Landing on You. To this, we can only agree. While ramyun certainly gets enough mentions in our favourite K-dramas, jjajangmyeon remains a classic, sentimental meal shared by many characters.
Tteokbokki is another K-drama staple; but unlike ramyun, this doesn’t seem to have popular Filipino versions. In fact, you probably tasted your first tteokbokki after watching a Korean series! The way characters gobble up this Korean street food makes us incredibly hungry; thankfully, it’s now widely available in the many Korean marts that dot the country.
We hope you can taste these different K-drama snacks the next time you go binge-watching. We’re looking forward to the day we can finally watch our favourite series and say, “Nakakabusog naman ito!”
Featured image credit: Netflix