Bungeo-ppang (붕어빵; "carp bread") is a fish-shaped pastry stuffed with sweetened red bean paste, which originated from the Japanese taiyaki.[1] One of South Korea's most popular winter street foods,[2][3] the snack is often sold at street stalls, grilled on an appliance similar to a waffle iron but with a fish-shaped mold. Red bean paste is the standard filling but many bungeo-ppang sold as street food are filled with pastry cream (called "choux-cream" in South Korea), pizza toppings, chocolate and others. Usually, it costs about 1,000 won (KRW) for three bungeo-ppang. However, small bungeo-ppang costs 1,000 won for five and large bungeo-ppang costs 2,000 won for one, indicating that the price range varies depending on the size.[4]

Bungeo-ppang being sold in Toronto, Canada
Place of originJapan
Region or stateKorea
Main ingredientsWheat flour, red bean paste
Similar dishesTaiyaki, gukhwa-ppang
Korean name
Revised Romanizationbungeo-ppang


The word bungeo-ppang is a compound of "carp (bungeo)" and "bread (ppang)". The pastry, however, contains no ingredients from its namesake fish or any other fish; rather the name comes from the shape of the pastry.


Bungeo-ppang was derived from the Japanese treat, taiyaki (baked sea bream), introduced to Korea around the 1930s when the country was under Japanese rule.[5] According to the 2011 book Bungeoppang Has a Family Tree, bungeo-ppang began as a mix of Western waffles and Eastern dumplings, as the taiyaki itself was a Japanese adaptation of Western waffles introduced to Japan in the 18th century.[5][6] The change of fish-shaped pastry continued, as the sea bream-shaped taiyaki became carp-shaped bungeo-ppang in Korea.[1] Although bungeo-ppang's popularity did not last long, it found its way back into popularity during the 1990s with the retro craze in South Korea.[7]

Recently, bungeo-ppang has been seeing higher demand, so to provide information on remaining stalls, enthusiasts nationwide created a "bungeoppang map." Through Google Maps, users mark the stalls’ locations with brief reviews, prices and opening hours to share with others.[8]


Bungeo-ppang batter is made of wheat flour, baking powder, water and/or milk, and optionally eggs. The batter is poured into a fish-shaped mold in the bungeo-ppang grill, an appliance similar to a waffle iron. Sweetened red bean paste with bits of broken beans and bean husk is added, and then more batter is poured to encase the paste. The mold is then closed to grill the pastry until it is golden and crispy.[9]

See also

  • Gyeran-ppang
  • Hoppang
  • Hotteok
  • List of Korean desserts
  • Street food in South Korea


  1. "bungeo-ppang" 붕어빵. Standard Korean Language Dictionary (in Korean). National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  2. Carruth, David (28 November 2016). "10 Korean Winter Street Foods To Bear The Cold For". 10 Magazine. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  3. Vis, Karin-Marijke (14 June 2016). "6 Traditional Vegetarian Snacks in South Korea". Paste. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  4. "[겨울, 그 계절의 풍경](3) 천원의 행복, 붕어빵". 강원일보 홈페이지 (in Korean). Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  5. Lee, Woo-young (23 April 2014). "[Uniquely Korean] Street food evolves". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  6. Yoon, Deok-no (2011). Bungeoppangedo jokboga itda 붕어빵에도 족보가 있다 [Bungeoppang Has a Family Tree] (in Korean). Jeonju, Korea: Cheongbori. pp. 18–25. ISBN 978-89-965021-2-8.
  7. 박, 정도 (25 November 2012). "추운 겨울 붕어빵으로 온정 느껴 보세요". The Kookje Daily News (in Korean). Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  8. Herald, The Korea (2018-02-28). "[Video] No fish in fish-shaped bread? 'Cause it's bungeoppang". Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  9. Goldberg, Lina (22 February 2013). "Asia's 10 greatest street food cities". CNN. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
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