[Seoul] Travelers to Korea rave about their street food all the time – the Tteokbokki, Odeng, Hotteok and the likes.
The one other ‘Korean Street Food’ that has captured the attention, is the unassuming Korean Street Toast 계란 토스트.
(Click PLAY for the video of the making of a Korean Street Toast.
One of the most prominent and popular brands in Seoul is “Isaac Toast”.
Its outlet at Myeongdong (Myeongdong Station Exit 5, near Days Hotel) attracts constant long queues, with tourists going for the Bulgalbi MVP (3,200 Won, SGD$3.80), Bacon Best (2,800 Won, SGD$3.30) and Ham Special (2,400 Won, SGD$2.90).
During the last trip, I took a short turn past Issac Toast, and found an ajumma serving similar toasts in a street side stall near Uniqlo (the biggest Uniqlo in Seoul) and decided to give it a go.
Boy oh boy, it was ”Daebak!”
Firstly, what makes a normal egg, ham and cheese toast different from the rest?
The Korean street version includes lots of thinly shredded vegetable, drizzles a special spicy-sweet sauce, and some will sprinkle sugar towards the end.
This street stall served “Usually + Ham + Cheese” at 3,500 Won (SGD$4.20), which I found out later that “Usually” would mean eggs, butter, and shredded vegetables of cabbage and carrots.
I was a joy to watch the hawker prepare her sandwiches. While it looked like a fuss-free, easy-to-prepare to-go breakfast, she did take about 8 – 10 minutes to get a set of 10 toasts ready.
While she used the same flat pan, she constantly flipped the eggs and soft bread up and down, such that they would be cooked just right.
During the final steps, she would top up with even more vegetables, then finish with red sauce and a forceful sprinkling of sugar.
Some might have thought this was just an ordinary ham and cheese toast, but the fluffiness of the egg, the refreshing crunch of the vegetables, and light sweetness made all that difference.
Certainly a sandwich beyond the rest, and this seals as one of my future must-have breakfast should I make a trip back again. Hopefully, very soon.