North Korea’s Legendary “Koryo” Burger! The Mystery Of A Mysterious Hamburger Revealed!

With North Korea in the news every day, it has led to some fascinating stories about this mysterious country – in particular THIS!

North Korea Has A Legendary “Mystery Meat” Burger!

Bravo to the LA Times for their story on North Korea’s “Koryo” Burger! I had no idea this was a social media phenomenon – here is their story:

“On Air Koryo, North Korea’s state airline, flight attendants are known to serve one thing, and one thing only: a burger as mysterious as the secretive country itself.

The burger is always served cold, and always on a paper doily. Inside the bun is a piece of unidentified meat, a slice of processed cheese, a dash of shredded cabbage or a lonely lettuce leaf, and a dollop of sweet, brown sauce.”

I love this! The state Airline delivers a cold burger that looks as unappetizing as anything I’ve ever seen – so of course I need to eat one!

The story goes on to report:

“The “Koryo Burger” features in countless Instagram feeds and online reviews, not many of them complimentary. It has “gained cult status among passengers,” the British tabloid Daily Mail remarked in 2015. Many wonder: Why a burger, of all things? What’s with the doily? What exactly is that meat?”

Just the use of the world “doily” is classic!

This is such a great article, because it goes from a story about this “mystery” burger to a look at life inside the country….here is more:

“Zhao Bin, 35, a businessman from the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, said that on his first visit to Pyongyang, in 2003, the electricity cut out every night. “The second time I went was almost 12 years later, and I think North Korea has developed a lot, and people’s lives have improved dramatically.”

Pyongyang’s restaurant offerings now include fried chicken, pizza, sushi — and yes, burgers. A burger, he said, costs about $1.50, and a 9-inch pizza costs less than $15. “My impression of having foreign food [at Pyongyang’s restaurants] is that the service is exceptional, and the ingredients are all very fresh — unlike China, where there’s so much low-quality meat and vegetables.”

Interesting that they actually have restaurants that can stay open, considering how little electricity there is in this country…

If you want more inside information about the “Koryo” burger, check out the entire LA Times article here:

North Korea has been in the news smooch recently – acting like a military power when in fact they are a small starving nation:

This book tells the story of life inside this repressed country, as told by refugees who managed to escape – see more here:

I want to go to this part of the world to see how people live – not North Korea, but their neighbor China:

J. Maarten Troost wrote a great book about China – with yak dumplings! See it here:

So, who is brave enough to bite down on a Koryo burger with me?

Categories: Books / Media, China, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Hamburgers, Japan, Memoirs, Politics, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized, Wacky Food

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15 replies

  1. I can’t help but think of Soylent Green

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t even know North Korea had an airline – who is actually allowed in or out of the country? But as we are in Lockdown Two what a pity I won’t get a chance to fly with them and taste the burger.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A definite… No! from me…Enjoy boys if you get the opportunity …Happy NewYear !

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m horrified by mystery meats and odd parts as you know, so I’m going to give this one a bit NO, but I love the backstory.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Did you ever wonder what a North Korean “Koryo” Burger was? Well, here it is – enjoy!


  6. Hmm.. mystery meat? Not for me. But I do appreciate your book referrals. I love learning about other places and cultures, food and all. thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would try one of those, John. Unless I found out that they contained dog!
    Yak dumplings are more to my taste though.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people


  1. Flying Pan Am’s First Class Meal In The Sky! LA’s Most EXCLUSIVE Restaurant! In Pacoima! – johnrieber
  2. The Roadhog Burger! A “XXX”-Burger! North Korea’s Mystery Meat! The Five Strangest Burgers! Cheeseburger In A Can Too! – johnrieber
  3. Flying Over Pyongyang! North Korea’s Surreal, Isolated City Of Color! Eat Their “Koryo” Burger Too! – johnrieber

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