The Spicy Food Challenge: 7 Of Korea’s Hottest Foods

If there’s one thing Koreans are known for, it’s their crazy spicy food. They enjoy the feeling of having their mouths on fire, as Koreans believe that spicy foods help alleviate stress. We all know how stressful life in Korea can get for students and working adults alike, so it’s not hard to see why!

Even with their love for spicy food, regular ol’ kimchi jjigae or ddukbokki doesn’t satisfy their cravings for that tongue-burning sensation. Instead, restaurants and companies have gone to the extremes to create perfect fiery concoctions that can only be found at their respective domains.

With a ranking of one fire-breathing Jin to five fire-breathing Jins, check out seven of these foods that will scorch the taste buds right off your tongue!

Spicy Fire Noodles

Perhaps one of the most popular spicy foods at the moment is the spicy fire noodles. Popularized by the YouTube challenge, many people have gone ahead in trying to devour these noodles without a sip of water. They’re a little sweet, taste great, and definitely have a kick that you can’t find in most instant noodles.

For these noodles, we give them one fire-breathing Jin. They are spicy, but compared to the rest of the list, they are still pretty low on the spicy scale. If you’ve tried these and still couldn’t handle the heat, try adding cheese!

Chicken Feet

Although chicken feet might turn some people off, it’s one of Korea’s favorite soju accompaniers. A fatty dish that’s perfect to snack on in between shots of soju, they also come glazed in some of the spiciest sauces.

You can get them either boneless or with the bones still intact, and grill them to perfection for an enticing smoky flavor. Wrap them in perilla leaves or eat them with a rice ball!

These chicken feet get 2 fire-breathing Jins.

Fried Chicken

Korean fried chicken is the best kind of chicken and you can’t convince Koreans otherwise. Luckily for those who enjoy wiping down sweat and tears every few bites, a super spicy chicken menu is now included in most chain restaurants.

Nene Chicken in particular sells the Shocking Hot chicken. It’s crunchy and has the perfect chicken-to-sauce ratio. Also, Nene Chicken literally describes it as a chicken “you can’t eat without shedding a few tears.” For that, it receives three fire-breathing Jins.


Ddukbokki is one of Korea’s national foods. OK, not really, but everyone knows it’s widely consumed both in Korea and abroad. There are variations to how one can cook ddukbokki, from a light, soupy broth-based one to one that uses jjajang (black bean) sauce, but there are a couple that are famous for being insanely spicy.

One chain that’s infamous for this is Yupki Ddukbokki. The enormous plate includes ddukbokki with mini sausages, various tempura, and slices of fishcakes. It’s topped with a layer of gooey mozzarella cheese, providing the perfect stretch alongside the rice cakes.

Since the chain also provides rice balls, danmuji (yellow pickled radish), and Juicy Cool drinks to make eating the ddukbokki bearable, it receives four fire-breathing Jins.


Although curry originates from India, Koreans absolutely love this food. The Japanese kind is especially popular, particularly at chain restaurants such as Abiko, since customers can adjust the spice level in accordance to a number from one to five.

Level one is called “baby level,” while level five is called “ultimate level.” Abiko has also labeled level five as being “two to three times spicier than the spicy fire noodles,” so for that, it receives four fire-breathing Jins.


Just by looking at these pork cutlets, you’ll either run away in terror or already be scrolling down to find the location of these monsters. Famous for being the spiciest donkatsu you can find in Seoul, these will definitely have even the most seasoned spicy-food eaters tearing up.

This ruby red donkatsu can be found at Onjung Donkatsu in Seoul and is literally called the “You Die” donkatsu. It deserves five fire-breathing Jins on the spicy scale, so proceed with caution.


In Korea, instead of asking if you’re more of a “cat or dog” person, people will ask if you’re a “jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles) or jjambbong (Korean seafood noodle soup)” person. Those who prefer a soupy, slightly spicy dish will answer with the latter.

At Singil-dong Spicy Jjambbong, jjambbong enthusiasts who clearly don’t love themselves gather to drink down these bowls of liquid fire. This giant heaping bowl of seafood and noodles is drenched in fire red soup made with ghost pepper powder.

The restaurant even has a poster in the front that notes how many people have fainted from eating the noodles. This dish definitely deserves five fire-breathing Jins.

Clearly, food that guarantees tears is the trend in Korea at the moment.

Hey Soompiers! Which of these foods have you tried before? Is there one you really want to try? Let us know your experience in the comments below!

We’re celebrating Korean food this month for our Soompi 20th year-long celebration! Tell us some of your go-to Korean foods with #FromMeToYou! Find out more here.

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