Stark photos show what street food is like in North Korea

When North Koreans need to buy groceries, they don't go to a grocery store. 

According to Reuters, 70% of North Koreans still use the state's central distribution system as their main source of food. But many also visit illegal "grasshopper markets" — which earned their name because of how fast stalls must be set up and taken down — as well as officially sanctioned ones, where traders must pay a fee to the state to sell their wares. 

The dishes you'll find there, such as "injogogibab," which is also known as "man-made meat," rely heavily on rice, kimchi, and bean paste. Lacking in essential fats and proteins, these dishes are made with ingredients that have been a staple during the country's ongoing food crisis, which has left two in five North Koreans undernourished. In the 1990s, a famine killed up to one million North Korean people.

Reporters have seen signs of chronic hunger in the country as recently as 2013, but some who have defected say the food supply has improved in recent years, according to Reuters. 

Ahead, take a look at the food that North Koreans can get from both illegal street vendors and from some of the legal, officially sanctioned markets. 

13 PHOTOS
Street food in North Korea
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Street food in North Korea
A photo illustration shows corn powder-based rice cakes made by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye at her North Korean food store in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
A photo illustration shows North Korean sausage "sundae" cooked by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye at her North Korean food store in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A photo illustration shows corn rice and rice displayed at a North Korean food store run by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
North Korean candy is seen in this picture illustration taken in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye demonstrates how North Korean people make rice cakes with corn powder at her North Korean food store in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A photo illustration shows North Korean snacks at a North Korean food store run by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
A photo illustration shows "Injogogi", which means a textured vegetable protein, at a North Korean food store run by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
A photo illustration shows North Korean candy at a North Korean food store run by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
A photo illustration shows a dish of "Injogogi-bab", which means rice with textured vegetable protein, cooked by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye at her North Korean food store in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A photo illustration shows packed North Korean powdered spices in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
A photo illustration shows North Korean candy at a North Korean food store run by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
A photo illustration shows a dish of "Injogogi-bab", which means rice with textured vegetable protein, cooked by North Korean defector Hong Eun-hye at her North Korean food store in Seoul, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Picture taken on September 28, 2017. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Illustration
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