A "jumeok-bap", which in direct translation means "Fist Rice" is a ball of rice that is usually filled with some kind of ingredient (most commonly kimchi or tuna) and covered with seasoned sesame seeds. It's a very popular eat in Korea commonly found in "bun-sik" restaurants (분식점), not because it not only tastes good but because it is very inexpensive, usually costing 1,000 won per ball. For this reason, jumeok-baps have become popular for growing kids and teenagers and it is eaten frequently either as a snack or even several for a meal.

 

While on my way from work, I noticed a tiny restaurant with teenagers lining up the door. I noticed that the relatively small restaurant was right across the main door of Bucheon High School and that it was about the time that high school students were normally dismissed from school. I had never seen it before and I realized that it had recently opened, explaining why students were waiting to go through the restaurant doors.

 


The restaurant name was very "new" as well, as it was called "Bongousse Bap-burger", in other words, "Bongousse RiceBurger". It's a franchise that has been becoming popular in Korea and a new joint had been made strategically in front of a large high school.

 

When I first read the word "RiceBurger" my imagination began flaring as I began to think of the different ways a "rice burger" could potentially look like. As I began reading the banners outside the restaurant, I realized that these "Rice Burgers" were actually jumeok-baps, made to look like burgers. Wondering how that could possibly look like, I made my way into this student hub.

What caught my eye as soon as I walked into the restaurant was an entire glass wall devoted to notes and little messages that customers could leave behind. It was nearly packed with different colored comments already, signifying the popularity that this joint has already received so far.





After spending quite some time reading the comments that numerous students left behind, I looked up at the incredibly vast menu atop the counter and was amazed at the nearly unlimited combinations of the "Rice Burger" this place offered.

 

Like most jumeok-baps, these Rice Burgers were also very affordable, ranging from the original costing 1,500 won to the "special burgers'" costing anywhere in between 2,000 won to 3,000 won.



After waiting around the same time it usually takes for bun-sik restaurants to create a jumeok-bap, I received the two Rice Burgers I had ordered: one original and another special just so I could taste both.

 

Opening both up, I realized that it was indeed a jumeok-bap as the restaurant had fortunately accurately advertised. It wasn't very big, but it was enough and packed with flavor and the ingredient that I had chosen.


If you're into "fusion" foods, the Rice Burger might be one you should taste to taste an eerie combination between the American burger and Asian rice. Bongousse is a franchise so you can find them across the peninsula, so when you get the chance and some money to spare, try these Koreanized burgers out.


 

Address: Sosa-gu, Songnae-dong 450-8 




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