With piles of cardboard boxes and sacks of rice half obscuring the shop entrance, fluorescent lighting that is a tad dim on the inside, and a nonplussed manager who seems more enthusiastic about the Korean drama showing on the mini-telly than your arrival, Seoul Plaza Trading doesn’t quite scream welcome.

Yet it is one of the oldest Korean speciality food stores in Singapore, having been around for more than a decade (according to said manager). And we discover why, when we look more closely at its inventory. A sign on the entrance proudly states that it does not stock products made in China, or Korean products made for export.

This means the wares on its racks are exactly what you would find in the shops of Korea. What sets Seoul Plaza Trading apart is also the occasional fresh, seasonal products that come in, and some niche items clearly stocked for its Korean clientele – such as canned silkworms.

20 North Canal Road


Often served as a side dish at watering holes, beondegi is a snack familiar to many Koreans. This is literally a can of worms – silkworm pupae, to be specifi c. Immersed in a soya-based marinade, the pupae are soft, with a slight crunch – a little like chewing on soya-soaked softshell crab.

While most premixes for the Korean winter snack hotteok require a few hours for the dough to proof, this one is as instant as it gets. It makes a quick and tasty alternative to the usual breakfast pancakes.



Clearly, the Koreans like their food hot. Simply labelled “Capscaicin”- a compound of chilli peppers- this is literally liquid heat. Chilli fiends can add this to just about everything and anything they eat, and a drop goes a very long way.



Move over, fruit and vegetable chips. Vegan Korean snacks that pack a fiery punch come in the form of dried whole chillies that are coated in a light batter, and seasoned with salt and sugar.



This alkaline salt is a Korean speciality made by baking at high temperatures in sealed bamboo trunks. It is a revered health food believed to be a strong antioxidant, and is said to help balance the body’s pH. Use it as you would normal salt in cooking, or even as a body scrub.



Despite its name, sundae isn’t a dessert. It is a Korean blood sausage stuffed with rice vermicelli. Usually sliced and eaten as banchan (a side dish) or anju (a snack to accompany drinks), it can also be added to hot pots and stir-fries.