Food in North Korea is very similar to foods found in the south with some slight differences. Popular dishes found in North Korea are:
Pyongyang cold noodles
A noodle dish made from starch served in an ice-cold broth with pickled vegetables. It is common to add vinegar and mustard to the dish as you eat it and it can sometimes be quite spicy. This dish is also available in the south, however it is said the best cold noodles come from Pyongyang.
Korean BBQ has now spread throughout the world and is absolutely a feature of cuisine in North Korea. The most common BBQ meats you will find are duck and squid. These will be cooked on a grill at your table with various side dishes and lettuce leaves. It is common practice to grill the meat and then place it in the lettuce leaf with some pickled cabbage (kimchi) and then to put the whole thing in your mouth like a type of Korean lettuce taco.
Side dishes (anju)
Side dishes are an extremely important part of Korean food. If you have ever been to a Korean restaurant anywhere in the world then likely you will have your table covered with tiny dishes with different types of pickled or cooked vegetables. The most common of these is Kimchi which has many different variations, but the most common are cabbage and radish.
Others that are common feature are spinach that is blanched and mixed with sesame oil, cooked bean sprouts, boiled eggs with mayonnaise, and sometimes even slices of processed meat.
This is a classic Korean dish that can be found in nearly everyone Korean restaurant worldwide. It is a clay pot filled with rice and other sides such as raw egg, kimchi, bean sprouts and meat. The clay pot is warmed in the oven to make the bottom of the rice crispy it is usually served with Korean chilli bean paste known as gochujang.
Kaejang – dog soup
Yes, you read that right. Korea as a whole is one of the regions in the world where dog meat is consumed. Kaejang is considered a delicacy for Korean people and is eaten on special occasions. The meat itself is usually slow cooked and if you want to know what its like, well it’s kind of like beef.
Soju is an alcoholic beverage usually made from rice. It is clear and has a strong taste and smell with many different varieties. Soju is very much available worldwide thanks to the spread of Korean food from South Korean immigrants. However, Soju in the north is typically stronger than that found in the south ranging from 20-40% in alcohol volume.
Beer in North Korea in general is fantastic and the standout brand is Taedong beer, brewed in Pyongyang. There also exists several other varieties from microbreweries that use different combinations of wheat and rice to make beer. Stouts are also common with flavours of chocolate and coffee.