Pizza, at its most basic, is tomato sauce on flat, round bread with cheese on top. But what passes for pizza in South Korea stretches the boundaries of that definition. While most New Yorkers would find putting potatoes on pizza to be a sacrilege, Koreans find the combination sacrilicious.
But it doesn’t end there, everything from Chinese food to kimchi is going on pizza, and that’s just a single pizza!
Here, we take a look at six types of “pizza” offered in Korea.
6. Potato Pizza
One of most popular pizzas in South Korea is potato pizza, which contains big potato wedges and sour cream, surrounded by bacon pieces and sweet potato mousse at the crust. Potato pizza is moderately sweet but the ingredients complement one another nicely.
The dish is sold everywhere in Korea but was popularized by the Mr. Pizza restaurant chain, which sells their version for 22,500 won, or about $20.
5. Kimchi Pizza Tang Soo Yook
These unlikely food items, tang soo yook and kimchi, met up and threw a pizza party in Daejeon to create a whole new flavor. This crustless pizza is well known in South Korea’s fifth largest city and includes fried, glazed pork, or tang soo yook, pieces of kimchi, mozzarella cheese, corn, olives and so on. Fans of the dish say the kimchi makes this pizza seem less greasy and more spicy.
The restaurant which invented the dish, Masinae, was awarded a patent for the pizza, which sells for 13,000 won, or approximately $11.50.
4. Chicken BBQ Garlic Pizza
The popularity of “spooning pizza” exploded in Korea after this dish was released. If you want to go the original spooning pizza shop, 5ton Station near Hongik University in Seoul, expect to wait at least 30 minutes.
This pizza, which also lacks a crust, is basically a casserole in a skillet with barbecued chicken, garlic and tomato sauce all covered in a thick layer of well-done mozzarella and other cheeses. The price of this pizza is 13,500 won, or about $12.
3. Flaming Pizza
Why on earth would you set fire to a pizza? Because the folks at Grande, a restaurant located near Dankook University in Yongin, Geyongi Province, believe flambéing the pizza makes it taste and look better. This particular pizza is called apple-brie because it has, you guessed it, pieces of apples, brie cheese and pistachios.
They spray alcohol on the pizza and set it aflame, and quickly let it burn down. This unique approach to pizza has made the place famous. This pizza costs about 14,000 won, or $12.50.
2. Strawberry and Blueberry Dessert Pizza
These “pizzas,” which suspiciously resemble pies, have been featured many times on several popular TV shows in Korea. The Gangnam hotspot, I Have a Dream, popularized the tasty desserts using frosted strawberries or blueberries on a thin crust with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
It is very sweet and refreshing and makes for a great dessert. The price of one pizza is 14,000 won, or about $12.50.
1. Pizza Hut’s Potato Chip Pizza
Pizza Hut Korea recently released a brand-new pizza called the Cheese Crunch Pizza. The crust is made up of cubes of Gouda and cheddar cheese and potato chips, while the pizza is topped with Philadelphia cream cheese, mozzarella, wine-marinated beef and “premium” green beans.
The price of this curious monstrosity is 23,900 won (~$21).