Dwaeji Gukbap (means soup with rice in Korean) is famous in Youngnam, especially in Busan. People put rice into meat broth. This is made by boiling pig bone and has pork in it. It is similar to sundae (stuffed derma) Guk Bap in Gyeonggi-do, but pork soup is more greasy because of pig's fat. And pork soup goes well with chives while sundae soup goes well with kimchi and kkakdugi (sliced radish kimchi). 


One of the famous food in Busan is wheat noodles. Pork Gukbap is also popular in Changwon, Gimhae, and Miryang. Sundae Gukbap is gaining its popularity with Seoul as the center, while pork Gukbap is still well known in original place.

























Miryang Dwaeji Gukbap in Gimhae-si, Gyeongsangnam-do is very famous. You have to wait for at least 30 minutes during dinner time. The main dish, pork soup and  boiled rice served in soup with pork's intestines are each 6000 won. Tta Ro Gukbap is served with Guk (means soup) and Bap (means rice) separately, not putting them together. This food is 7000 won. 


I had to wait for 30 minutes. Most people had to find a parking space because there were so many people there. They have 50 tables and most of them are ondol (Korean floor heating system). So you have to take off your shoes when you get inside. I ordered Pork Gukbap. After five minutes, they served side dishes. Seasoned chives looked very delicious. Chives are produced mostly in Youngnam and good condition in spring.










































They also served green chili and pickled shrimp. Pork Gukbap is a folksy food. In the past, the poor working classes didn't have enough food. So they used to eat food with soup because they could share it. Seolleongtang (stock soup of bone and stew meat) is made with mostly beef while Gukbap is made with pork. In a very difficult time, pork's fat was considered as nourishment unlike these days. 


Seasoning called Da Dae Gi is made with chili pepper paste and Welsh onion. You can season with pickled shrimp or seasoned chives. Mak Jang, which is made with soybean paste and soy sauce, really goes well with pork. This is a special sauce only available with Pork Gukbap, not with Sundae Gukbap. Even though seasoned chives make the food less oily, most of the taste is lard. You should be careful when you season your food with pickled shrimp since most of the food like soup or chives are already seasoned. 































Due to Da Dae Gi and chives, the soup turned into red. If you don't like spicy food, just add less seasoning. Pork was very chewy and had enough lean meat and fat. This food is simple, not fancy, but is a very savory food. Fresh chives reduce pork's smell, so all the side dishes and main dishes are perfect partners. 


Location : (Miryang Dwaeji Gukbap) Inje Street 91, Gimhae-si, Gyeongsangnam-do. Tel : 82-55-337-1790  




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경상남도 김해시 활천동 | Miryang Dwaeji Gukbap
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For Koreans, chueotang (ground loach in hot bean paste soup) is special food. 

In the past, we didn't have enough food. 

So we used to catch loach in the soil to make a soup. 

Loach is very nutritious; plentiful protein, calcium, and minerals. 

Its  cooking style varies in different localities. 

In Honam district, they put perilla powder and in Yeongnam district, they put Agastache rugosa.

  

Nam's Seorak Chueotang Restaurant has 'Han Mo Deum' brand, of which main menu is sundaeguk for those who can't eat chueotang. 

Sundaeguk is more popular in Gyeonggi. 

People in Yeongnam more like boiled rice served in soup with pork. 

A lot of ingredients are in sundaeguk: sundae, liver, and head meat. 

It has more lean meat, compared to Yeongnam's soup. 




























Many employees like this sundaeguk as much as they like seolleongtang (stock soup of bone and stew meat) because it is warm. 

Kimchi is important when you eat this soup since it determines soup's taste (Koreans usually eat soup with kimchi). 

Before you put rice into soup, you have to season it to suit your taste with pickled shrimp or salt. 

Pickled shrimp is better because it is good for neutralize the fat.


Half a teaspoon of pickled shrimp is enough since fermented fish is very salty. 

And then add some red pepper powder. 

Again, half a teaspoon. It is spicy and little salty. 

Other than this, you can add garlic, hot chili peppers, or chopped Welsh onion if you want. 



























Lastly, put some perilla powder. 

It is good for health. But if you add it too much, it will make your soup dried. Half a spoon of it would be fine. 

Sprinkling pepper reduces pork's smell. 

One-eighth of teaspoon is enough. 

All these spices must be little. 

Too much spices might harm the original taste. 

Putting rice into soup is better since the rice makes the dish more thick.


Sundae in Sundaeguk is very hot, so do not eat them right away. 

Pick sundae out of the pot and cool it off. If you worry about the fat of the meat, you can order only sundae except the meat. 

But as you know, it is better to have it with meat. 























 









Sundaeguk's price varies in different localities but mostly it costs from 6000 won to 8000 won. 

A good sundaeguk is less smelly and has thick soup. 

Most of the restaurants use sundae from factory. 

Sundae's recipe is almost same, so it is okay. 

If you put perilla powder, drinking all the soup is a good way to eat all those powders. 

But if you season it salty, don't drink that all. 


Both chueotang and sundaeguk is very good here. 

Especially sundaeguk is the best menu at lunch. 

Just be careful when you season it with salted fish. 


This restaurant also sells chueotang in can. Nurungji snack (crust of overcooked rice-snack) and tofu snack are also available.


Locatioin : (Namganae Seorak Chueotang) Songnae-dong 385-3, Sosa-gu, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do. Tel. : 82-32-662-9992




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경기도 부천시 소사구 송내2동 | Namganae Seorak Chueotang
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There are some Korean food treated contemptuously but suddenly beloved these days. A leatherfish is a typical example. At first, this fish was sold at half cost of squid and people often throw them away by reason of its taste. But since people like this food as time goes by, recently, some leatherfish are more expensive than squid. This is because leatherfish only can be caught at sea, not in fish farm.  



Ganggu-Hang, Yeongdeok-gun, Gyeongbuk has a lot of snow crab. In winter, dozens of restaurants which sell snow crab open for business. Lately, light house in this area became drama location, so more people visit here. In Yeongdeok, there is a fish named Mi Ju Gu Ri, which means halibut in dialect. It is a very ugly fish like a moray, but actually it is one of Pleuronectidae. It is used in making sikhae (fermented fishes with grains) and this is very famous food in east coast area.

























However, Ganggu Mijuguri Restaurant's sign says that a store specializing in Moolwhe & Makwhe. Both are derived from sashimi. Moolwhe is a sashimi food made of raw fish, water, ice, and vegetable with various sauce. Makwhe is slices of rather cheap raw fishes. The word 'Mak' means everything at random. 


In lunch time, employees of Central Government Complex or the Korean presidential residence visit these restaurants. There are restaurants which sell samgyetang (chicken soup with ginseng), noodle, or haejangguk (hangover soup) and some of them were famous because former presidents visited. The common thing in restaurants nearby school, company, institution or public office is that they have charge account. This is hardly found in stores at station or tourist attraction. The owner of the restaurant well knows his customers just by looking at their faces. So this charge account is similar to credit booking to them. 




























They use homemade moray (Gom Chi in Korean) in moray soup. There is a widespread superstition that using fish whose name includes 'chi' is bad at memorial rites for the dead. People who live nearby the shore of an estuary often say that they used to let morays go because they didn't taste good, but I don't believe this. They were so hard-pressed for food at that time. Anyways even though this fish is very ugly and soft, these days it gains its popularity.

 

Side dishes are  filleted fish, kimchi, dried laver, spinach seasoned with vinegar and other condiments, and salted and fermented squid. Tofu, white radish, mushroom makes the soup savory and spicy. 'Cool' is Korean's unique expression. We use the word 'cool' even though while we eat hot food. This means not cool in temperature but feeling much cooler or better.



























The atmosphere in this restaurant is family feeling. Rice is served family style in a huge electric rice cooker, so you can eat as much as you want. The white fillet of moray with rice is very soft and also good for relieving a hangover. Some people like eating chewy in the past, but these days they want soft taste. Sungnyung, scorched-rice water, is also huge. They add water in this rice cooker and boil them to make sungnyung.


It was good time for me because I can experience various kinds of food and Korean taste nearby the area of Gwanghwamun and Sechon.

















Location : (Ganggu Mijuguri Restaurant) Jeokseon-dong 21, Jongno-gu, Seoul. Tel : 082-2-733-7888 


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서울특별시 종로구 종로1.2.3.4가동 | Ganggu Mijuguri Restaurant
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Tteokbokki in Korea has changed a lot. Traditional one is made with flour rice cake with red pepper paste, fish cake, or other ingredients. These days very hot sauce with cheese is popular on everyone’s tongue.  Yeopgi Tteokbokki has very spicy and addictive taste. Yeopgi means seeking the strange and different.






As its name suggests, Tteokbokki here is very very hot. Just one rice cake will make you benumb by its taste. Even though i ate steamed egg and drink cold water, my tongue was still paralyzed. It is different from jalapeno peppers. After few minutes, i wanted to eat more although it was really hot.







I don't recommend this to those who have an allergy to spicy food. It is weird that you want more just after few minutes. In foreign country, they usually drink a milk which is good for reducing spicy taste, but this store sells Coolpis the beverage which will soothe your burned tongue. 




























Yeopgi Tteokbokki costs 14000 won and is enough for 4 or 5 people. Chewy cheese and soft fish cake were also good. In store, they have 13 tables for two or four. Interior was cafe style and quiet, so it is a good place when you hang out with friends. You can add toppings as you want: cheese, fried dumpling, ham, egg, rice cake, quail egg, or  cellophane yam noodles with extra cost. 







You can also ask them not to make the food too spicy, but even if you do that there still remains hot and spicy taste. As a side dish, they serve mini sized-rice ball. This is also good for soothing your tongue. If you are still burning with this hot food, just take your time for few minutes. Pungency will disappear. Since koreans like spicy food, many sweet beverage like Coolpis is becoming famous. That's why they have a phrase which says "check if this product is original or not" on its carton. Maybe there are lots of fake Coolpis out there.


















 












Hotseasoner, which is a franchise company, runs Yeopgi Tteokbokki and has 167 franchise including 11 stores under direct management. You can check the stores at http://yupdduk.com. You can take out your leftovers with 500 won. Although you don't want to eat anymore because of its spicy flavor, you want to eat them again in a moment.



Location : (Bucheon branch) Simgok-dong 192-14, wonmi-gu, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do. Tel : 082-32-662-8592. 





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경기도 부천시 원미구 소사동 | Yeopgi Tteokbokki
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Posted by 크레이빙코리아


One of the franchises use the name 'Cheongjin-dong Haejangguk' as their restaurant's title, but there is actually Cheongjin-dong Haejangguk Alley nearby  Jongro 3(sam)-ga Station. This alley is located between Jongro sam-ga Station and Jongrogucheong. This alley has a long history. During the Late Period of Chosun, there were lots of marketplace in here since 1945. Also, it has been 70 years since these restaurants sell Haejangguk. These days because of high buildings and redevelopment, this area has become very down at heel.


Many people used to visit this area after heavy drinking and eat Haejangguk, hangover soup. Jongro is a good place for people to hang out. Nearby there were lots of government offices and markets. However, the crowd size is not the same as it was because of redevelopment. Only middle-aged people and employees nearby come here, remembering the past.

 















Although it is rare that this kind of alley is in the very center of Seoul city, most restaurants and adult entertainment establishments are still popular. During dinner time, a lot of people visit these stores to drink and during lunch time, people order Haejangguk or Chueotang. Unlike the other high buildings, most buildings in this alley is one-story buildings. 




Some people who succeed in their restaurant business are looking for other business in other area, but there are still lots of stores remained in Cheongjin-dong Haejangguk Alley. Shabby stores still keep their positions and cherish their history despite redevelopment. This reminds me of the old saying; crooked pines care for one's family burial grounds. Large trees are used to make a pillar but no one wants to use crooked trees. So these trees, which are left, keep their position and protect graveyard in hometown.






















I went to "Cheong Chun Gop Chang, Won Ju Gol Chueotang". It was a small restaurant; only 10 tables. There is a small space under the chair, so you can put your bags, stuff, or clothes in there. Lunch Menu is Chueotang and Dinner Menu is beef intestines and Makchang (abomasum).



Chueotang is 8000 won and Soju is 4000 won, which costs more by 1000 won as compared with other suburb area. Chueotang is local food. People used to catch loach in rice paddy and boil them. Eating Chueotang varies in different localities.  Chueotang here includes chives. But there is one thing in common; put Chinese pepper powder. This powder have a strong scent but it removes fishy smell and make the food easy to digest. 



Unusually in Pohang, people put this powder when they make kimchi. You might think it is not delicious, but after you are accustomed to it, definitely you will like it.





















There are small pieces of dough (called sujebi) in Chueotang and it makes you warm when you drink its soup. You might take off your coat after you eat this food. Pickled peppers as a side dish was spicy and savory. Fresh chives make the food clear and simple. 

  

Unlike the other restaurants, this restaurant's interior was well-organized; wallpaper, floor, and table were all clear. The food is served in a small iron pot (called Gamasot) and as a meal family style. Side dishes are napa cabbage kimchi, kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi), and pickled peppers. You'd better make a reservation beforehand because they don't have enough tables.


Location : Cheongjin-dong 62-1, Jongro-gu, Seoul, 

Tel : 02-723-8750.   



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서울특별시 종로구 종로1.2.3.4가동 |
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Relieving a hangover in Korea is unique. Hot soup is good for chasing a hangover rather than cold one. Adding red pepper powder in the soup makes people sweat and then they feel like chasing their hangover. So, the best menu for relieving a hangover is soup; bean sprouts soup, Bone meat Haejang-guk, dried pollack soup, blowfish soup, and kimchi soup. Also honey water is good for relieving fatigue.


Going in and out hot water pool and cold one is widely known as a good way to relieve hangovers, but it might be bad for people who have heart disease or high/low blood pressure. The worst way is drinking again.  



















Kongnamul haejangguk (means bean sprouts soup) is the best way. Jeonju is most famous for this food. From the Joseon Dynasty period, it has been well known for its bean sprouts. Haejangguk in this area usually has a poached egg. You can put this egg in the soup or on the rice. 


Bean sprouts soup is not only for relieving hangovers but also good food in winter season. Aspartic acid in bean sprouts is good for chasing hangovers. And when you eat hot soup, it makes you sweat and eliminate waste matter from your body system. Winding or zigzag shaped bean sprouts is the evidence of not using agricultural chemical.


Reliving hangovers is different from country to country; in some country, people apply oranges to their armpit. Others drink tomato juice or eat yogurt, butter, rice porridge, or raw eggs. 




































Across from Bucheon Civic Center, there is  Jeonju jongga kongnamul haejangguk restaurant. Its simple and plain taste is popular for nearby employees as a meal. Breaking an egg into the soup makes the food more delicious. You can season it with salted shrimp to suit your own taste. Kkakdugi (sliced radish kimchi) goes well with this food.


Adding hot chilli pepper makes it more spicy. This restaurant is famous for slightly boiled squid. It is also perfect partner with haejangguk. Eating this sashimi by dipping it in red chili-pepper paste with vinegar(chogochujang) was really good and made my stomach full.
































Haejangguk in this area is really cheap; only 3800 won. And slightly boiled squid is 6000 won. Both are perfect for one’s meal or reliving food.


Ironically, this restaurant also sells Dongdongju and crude liquor.  Dongdongju is similar to Makgeolli (unrefined rice wine) in its ingredients and making process but those two are different. Makgeolli is made with residue left after rice liquor is drained and water. But these days makgeolli has more well-selected process to be made. On the other hand, people make dongdongju with more water, which causes deterioration in its quality.


Bean sprouts soup is perfect for one meal or reliving a hangover-food. Adding red pepper powder in it makes you feel better.













 









Location : Jung-dong 798-1 (across from Bucheon Civic Center), Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do. Tel : 82-32-668-9932 








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경기도 부천시 원미구 중동 | Junju Kongnamul Gukbab
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Gamjatang, Bone stew with potato and dried vegetable.

















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Bongchu-Chimdak, Hot spicy Korean chichen stew with noodle. 
















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Korean food has one unique feature: it is fermented. 

Fermentation in western countries brings up the image of yogurt or cheese. However, Korean fermentation is not only used as the additional ingredient of food but the food itself has also gone through fermenting process. 

Two of the representative food are Kimchi and Doenjang(fermented soybean paste). 


Kimchi and Doenjang go through aging process named fermentation and they would become totally changed; no country can copy it. 

Then, what about salted fish? 

Salted fish is used in some Southeast Asian nations, but it is more extensively used in Korea as an ingredient. 


When the fermentation of Kimchi is at its peak, Kimchi would be changed into Mukeunji(old Kimchi), whose state is like the one of salted fish. 

Kimchi can be eaten as fresh Kimch as well as Mukeunji; we can enjoy four kinds of the flavor of Kimchi. 

Today’s dish is Galbijjim with generous Mukeunji. It is spicy Galbijjim. 


The place around Yeoungdeungpo Station has a large floating population from the nearby business zone. 

It is because the place is not only an important traffic center but also the food culture of the place is flourishing. 

The restaurant ‘Maeun Galbijjim’ is located between Yeoungdeungpo Station and Yeoungdeungpo Market and serves customers 10 big tables. 


The main dishes are Maeun Galbijjim(spicy steamed meat) and Mukeunji Samgyeopsal (fatty slices of pork belly meat with old Kimchi). 

Two dishes have Mukeunji(old Kimchi) in common. 

Mukeunji becomes one of the trends as the ingredient for Korean food. 



Kimchi gets thoroughly pickled beyond being mature and then 3-year-Mukeunji would be created. Some Mukeunji brings out its distinctive flavor by passing the old year. 

Mukeunji looks paler than normal Kimchi. 

It becomes light brown and salty. However, it is nicely salted and crispy, so most Koreans love it. 


Mukeunji is usually used in a fish pot stew or a Kimchi pot stew; recently, it is used in restaurant menus, like Galbijjim. 

However, some restaurants use cheap imported Mukeunji and its original taste becomes tarnished. 

It is not easy to tell which one is original. We cannot help eating, counting on the conscience of the restaurant. 


Generous Mukeunji Maeun Galbijjim was served. 

There were bean sprouts, potatoes, and some fresh green onion in it. 

Maeun Galbijjim can be cut, heated, and eaten. The spicy taste of Mukeunji is added to Galbijjim, and then the taste becomes better. 


In its red soup, there were some pieces of rice cake for Tteokbokki. 

After eating only Maeun Galbijjim leaving the soup, you can add the webfoot octopus, ramen noodles, and Tteokbokki. 

While the added ramen noodles were being boiled, you can only eat Galbijjim and Mukeunji, leaving the soup. 


To decrease the amount of the soup, we should put ramen noodles and make the noodles absorb the soup. 

It is needed for us to eat fried rice. 

At some point, most restaurants have served fried rice as the last dish. 

Ramen noodles and fried rice would be delicious in case that they are not that salty. You should control the saltiness. 


How to get there:

(1) Take exit 3 or 5 of Yeoungdeungpo Station, and then you can see the crosswalk. Cross the crosswalk and go straight about 100m. 

(2) Then, before OUTBACK Steakhouse, turn into the right alley. 

(3) After that, go straight about 30m and go straight in the direction of 1 o’ clock at the intersection. 

(4) Go straight about 100m and you can see the sign ‘Maeun Galbijjim’ on the right. 


Address: (Youngjung-ro 10gil 22) 16-3 Yeoungdeungpo-dong 3ga Yeoungdeungpo-gu, Seoul 




[Dish] - Namdaemun Halmae Wangjokbal, “Dieting, go away!”


[Stew] - Songgane Beoseot Kalguksu in Ilsan, Popular for Tender Shabu-shabu


[Stew] - The Best Choice for Lunch, Songtan Budae Jjigae & Cheolpangui in Front of Konkuk University


[Grill] - ‘TongKun TongGalbi-Generous Rib’ in Front of Hongik University


[International] - Songkran can be the good choice when you lose your appetite.


[Burger] - Banana Grill in Seorae Village


[Stew] - 'Sinuiju Chapssal Sundae' Samsung Store of Food Court in COEX


[Stew] - Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken) near Seoul Station

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서울특별시 영등포구 여의동 | Maeun Galbijjim
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Posted by 크레이빙코리아

What is the standard for the Gourmet House? 

Does it mean the restaurant has just delicious dishes?

Flavor can be judged very subjectively and hardly calculated, so we cannot easily define the standard. 


‘The food is delicious.’ and ‘the food does not suit my taste.’ are different. 

The expression ‘the food is delicious, but does not suit my taste.’ is possible. 

Therefore, we cannot judge the food by our own view of taste. 


In that sense, the restaurant that would be introduced today is difficult to be introduced as a Gourmet House. 

To get to the point, it was great. However, some customer graded ‘low’.

Nevertheless, this restaurant has always been full of customers. 



We went to see an acquaintance off and visited ‘Wondang Gamjatang’ just behind Severance Building at lunchtime. 

It is Gamjatang(Beef Bone Soup) restaurant. We ordered Ppyeohaejangguk(Hangover Soup with Bones) and Sanchae Bibimbap(Steamed Rice with Assorted Wild Vegetables); the image of the dishes are as follows. (Refer to the picture.) 

Just then, it was lunchtime and the restaurant was about half empty. As soon as we had seats, successive waves of customers poured in. When we left, the restaurant was full. 


Gamjatang restaurant that we visited without any expectation was an ordinary restaurant that served Ppyeohaejangguk with dried radish greens and some bone-in-beef cuts, tasty Doenjang soup, as well as salted shrimps.

This restaurant is also that kind of restaurant. 

Considering the current price, it is not easy for us to have meals for 6,000 won. For that reason, the Sanchae Bibimbap was not bad to eat. 


Soon, I realized why this restaurant had so many customers. 

The reason is that it is open around the clock. 

This restaurant focuses on the lunchtime and the dinner time for the workers in nearby offices. Also, we could hardly find the restaurant was open on Sunday. 

Especially, there is the food court in Seoul Station. Then, few people come out from Seoul Station to have meals and most restaurants near Seoul Station close on Sunday. 

Therefore, the people visited the place come to this restaurant by finding the sign ‘opens around the clock’. 


We enjoyed Ppyeohaejangguk with picking the rib clean. 

Sanchae Bibimbap was simple Bibimbap mainly with vegetables and it can be said to be healthy food except its saltiness. 

The main dish was Gamjatang. Gamja means not potatoes as we know, but the part of the back bone. Therefore, it is called as Gamjatang. 

However, it also includes potatoes. Usually, Gamjatang has potatoes and beef bones. 


Outside of Seoul Station, you can visit Wondang Gamjatang, one of the rare restaurants that are open at lunchtime on Sunday. 

It serves the low-priced food and gives the fast service to the customers, so it is the good place to have a light meal. 

I would like to try Gamjatang and Ppyeojjim if I have the company that have lots of time.



Location : (Sejong-daero 2 gil 7) Namdaemun-ro 5-ga Jung-gu, Seoul , Tel. : 02-756-9389




[Burger] - Banana Grill in Seorae Village


[Stew] - 'Sinuiju Chapssal Sundae' Samsung Store of Food Court in COEX


[Stew] - Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken) near Seoul Station


[Plate] - Made In Korea: The Delicious Taste of Korean Style Chinese Food.


[Grill] - Excellent Food and Service at Ho-woo Yangkkochi


[Grill] - Craving Grilled Fish? Head to Sinchon's "Gosami"


[Plate] - Unlimited Korean-style Soba for 4,500 won? Mapo Instant Buckwheat Village in Hapjeong


[Plate] - Spannew, an Italian Restaurant in Hongdae



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서울특별시 중구 명동 | Wondang Gamjatang
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There is the food town called as Pung-dong Anigol near Baekma Station in Ilsan-gu (Goyang City) 

This food town full of the volition to recover its fame is ambitiously run by the private and the government. 

In Pung-dong Anigol, with the new street as the center, which is divided into the upper and the lower side, there are many cafes and restaurants in every part. 


‘Songgane Beoseot Kalguksu’ is located in Pung-dong Anigol between Pungsan Station and Baekma Station on Gyeongui Line. 

I do not remember when, but Kalguksu(Knife-cut Noodles) restaurants serving mushrooms to be boiled like Shabu-shabu have become popular. 

The restaurant that would be introduced today serves Kalkuksu, especially traditional Beoseot Shabu-shabu Kalguksu (Mushroom Shabu-shabu Knife-cut Noodles). 



It is not easy to get there by the bus or the subway, but I would like to introduce the restaurant because of its fame. 

Now ‘Songgane Beoseot Kalkuksu’ has been located on the site that was the parking lot of Hansomang Church moving to Paju Unjeong. It is popular for generous serving and the simple taste of the dishes. 



The main dish of this restaurant is, of course, Beoseot Shabu-shabu Kalguksu.

The price for two portions of Kalkuksu and Shabu-shabu meat is twenty thousand won. It is good enough for lunch or eating out with family.


As soon as we ordered the menu, Kimchi and Salted Cucumbers were served. 

This restaurant is also well-known for Mandu Jeongol (Dumpling Hot Pot), including hand-made dumplings.

Because it may have been located for 10 years on this spot, the interior design looks simple and friendly. 

However, when you start trying Shabu-shabu meat, you will realize the restaurant has something out of the common.


Enoki mushrooms, potatoes, water parsley, and other vegetables are served with chili powder sauce in Hot Pot. 

Pour meat broth and eat only the vegetable first as the meat broth begins to boil. Then, cook Shabu-shabu over a low heat and eat it. 

The meat combined with water parsley can be dipped into soy sauce with water parsley, of course.




The recipe is generalized, so everyone can create a suitable atmosphere of cooking it on the spot. 

Also, another tip of eating the food is that you can eat the vegetables, the beef, and the noodles regardless of the order. 

Usually, Kalguksu is boiled by using the meat broth left after eating only vegetables and Shabu-shabu; you can eat beef first, boil Kalguksu, and then eat vegetables in it. To that extent, every ingredient is savory.



After eating beef, vegetables, and kalguksu, people, including a male adult, would be stuffed with the large amount.

However, the meat broth with all of the boiled ingredients is also one of the delicious ingredients. 

At this moment, the rice mixed with some amount of the broth is also the best as if it demonstrates ‘the power of rice’, one of the ideas Koreans have. 


Again, people are craving for the unidentifiable rice that is neither fried rice nor porridge.

It can be roasted by a low heat or be the porridge by pouring more broth; there are many numbers of cases. 



The plates of this restaurant have served customers over for 10 years. The other ends of the plates are burnt or cracked. 

Rather, this thing shows the dignity of the restaurant and gives delicate flavor to the customers. 

In addition, if you say that you visit there after reading ‘Craving Korea’, you can be given more services. I am grateful for the owner’s sprit of business. 


The restaurant that opens from 11 AM to 10 PM separately has a big dining room and a medium-large size dining room; a group of customers can eat a meal there. 

The cracks on the extra plates boosting a long history show the deep taste of food in this restaurant. 

There was the female owner at the counter who was sensible and asked ‘Do you need something more?’ by the time we almost finished eating. 


There are temporary menus for summer, Seoritae Kongguksu (Cold Bean-soup Noodles Made with Black Beans) and Chic Naeng Myun (Cold Noodles with Arrowroot). They can be temporarily ordered. 

Beoseot Shabu-shabu Kalguksu vitalizes our body as we eat the food in the cool restaurant by avoiding the heat wave.

I think it was the best choice because the food was delicious as well as simple compared to other invigorating food. 



Address : (Gyungui St. 373) 862 Madu-dong Ilsandong-gu, Goyang City, Gyunggi (Songgane Beoseot Kalkuksu)






[Stew] - The Best Choice for Lunch, Songtan Budae Jjigae & Cheolpangui in Front of Konkuk University


[Grill] - ‘TongKun TongGalbi-Generous Rib’ in Front of Hongik University


[Global] - Songkran can be the good choice when you lose your appetite.


[Burger] - Banana Grill in Seorae Village


[Stew] - 'Sinuiju Chapssal Sundae' Samsung Store of Food Court in COEX


[Stew] - Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken) near Seoul Station


[Pasta] - Made In Korea: The Delicious Taste of Korean Style Chinese Food.


[Grill] - Excellent Food and Service at Ho-woo Yangkkochi


[Grill] - Craving Grilled Fish? Head to Sinchon's "Gosami"


[Pasta] - Unlimited Korean-style Soba for 4,500 won? Mapo Instant Buckwheat Village in Hapjeong


[Pasta] - Spannew, an Italian Restaurant in Hongdae


[Global] - Hacienda, Mexican Taqueria & Cantina


[Burger] - In-N-Out in Korea: Crycheese Burger


[Grill] - 2 Pizzas Starting from 8,900 won! PizzaGate's "Buy 1 Get 1 Free"



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경기도 고양시 일산동구 식사동 | Songgane Beoseot Kalkuksu
도움말 Daum 지도
Posted by 크레이빙코리아

In summer, hot food is not welcomed. 

Cold food beats the heat, and hot food has difficulty beating summer.

However, in addition to Samgyetang(Ginseng Chicken Soup), Budae Jjigae (Army Base Stew) - the representative of hot food - is popular for lunch among the workers. 


Budae Jjigae is especially the Korean style menu. 

There are many kinds of Korean food; Budae Jjigae may be the only food that is 50~60 years old and widely known. 

Budae Jjigae is the rare food that implies the modern history of Korea properly.



As known, it is true that Budae Jjigae originated around the American Army base in order to help Korea after the Korean War.

Ham and sausage, the representative ingredients of Budae Jjigae, are the ones the American soldiers have usually eaten.

Before the Korean War, that kind of ingredients was not usual and there were not such food in Korea. 


The food, which was called Kkulkkulijuk (meaning “pig’s gruel”), made with the leftover from U.S. Army restaurants and has directly shown the moment of Korea.

At that time, Korea was poorer than Philippines and Malaysia; eating three meals was regarded as the luxurious thing. 

In Uijeongbu or Pocheon where U.S. Army stayed, some people started to sell Kkulkkulijuk combined with Kimchi and vegetables. Recently, extra ramen noodles have been added to it. 


The ingredients were not legally authorized but the leftover originally for pigs or stock. They were filtered out and eaten.

The country, Korea, has been developed as a global economic power taking rank with other developed countries, including the U.S. during the half-century. The rocky history makes us so surprised.

Nevertheless, Korean people still enjoy Budae Jjigae.

The blood that makes people like Budae Jjigae runs in Koreans as if Koreans have the will to overcome the sorrow at that time. 



Take exit 2 of Konkuk University Station and you can find Songtan Budae Jjigae & Cheolpangui on the side. 

In hot weather, the restaurant that was cool by the air conditioner was full of the workers working nearby. 

Judging by its location that is near the school, Budae Jjigae does not seem to match the region. However, the restaurant was full of the workers coming from the neighborhood. 


There were some side dishes after ordering Haesanmul Budae Jjigae. 

They were Napa Cabbage Kimchi, Pickled Onions, Seasoned Leeks, and Salted Squids.

Napa Cabbage Kimchi was crispy, and Seasoned Leeks were well seasoned. 


Songtan Budae Jjigae has been stayed in business here over for 10 years. 

Now, the restaurant is on the first floor of the tall building, but it has been here even before the tall building was built.

This restaurant has a tradition compared to the many restaurants that want to try conclusion with the ephemeral items. 


One extra ramen noodle was served. 

I can recommend the service that the small octopus is cut into small pieces. 

The cooked glutinous rice followed by it was mixed with black rice and looks purple; it was too precious to eat. 

In Budae Jjigae, there were lots of mussels, tofu, ham, and sausage.

Whenever I visit this kind of restaurant, it may be asked MSG is safe. 

Of course, I could not taste of MSG in this restaurant. 


When you visit Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu, which is the well-known Korean restaurant in LA, you can see the menu especially adding MSG. 

Its name is 'ORIGINAL', it means that it is made with some amounts of MSG by the original recipe.

To try the dish made by the original recipe, when I visited the restaurant, I always ordered the menu. 

The soup became thick and I tried the soup. 

It was simple and I could never taste MSG.

In addition, there were lots of sea food in it, and its flavor made me feel the sea. 

For lunch menu, there are the noodles in cold bean soup, the noodles with Kimchi, Mul Naengmyeon(Cold Noodles with Water), and Bibim Naengmyeon (Spicy Buckwheat Noodles with Vegetables) served with 5,000 won as the temporary promotion event for this summer. 

They were good for the simple lunch menu. 

The special event of this restaurant is that you can refill rice and ramen noodles as much as you can. 

This event is for the University students who are not satisfied with just one bowl of rice, considering that the restaurant is located near the university. 


Hamul(Sea Food) Budae Jeongol, including lots of mushrooms, shrimps, and musels, is 7,500 won per one portion, and Songtan Budae Jjigae is 7,000 won. 

The restaurant has the waiters and waitresses who serve customers with smile as well as the cool space.

If you do not have the idea for special food, visit this restaurant. It has Budae Jjiage, the bland menu, and Noodles of 5,000 won that have made the restaurant stay there for a long time. 


Get off Konkuk University Station of Seoul Subway Line No. 2, take exit 2, and look back. Then, you can find the restaurant that is on the first floor of the big building. 



Address : 6-10 Hwayang-dong Gwangjin-gu, Seoul






[Grill] - ‘TongKun TongGalbi-Generous Rib’ in Front of Hongik University


[Global] - Songkran can be the good choice when you lose your appetite.


[Burger] - Banana Grill in Seorae Village


[Stew] - 'Sinuiju Chapssal Sundae' Samsung Store of Food Court in COEX


[Stew] - Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken) near Seoul Station


[Pasta] - Made In Korea: The Delicious Taste of Korean Style Chinese Food.


[Grill] - Excellent Food and Service at Ho-woo Yangkkochi


[Grill] - Craving Grilled Fish? Head to Sinchon's "Gosami"


[Pasta] - Unlimited Korean-style Soba for 4,500 won? Mapo Instant Buckwheat Village in Hapjeong


[Pasta] - Spannew, an Italian Restaurant in Hongdae


[Burger] - In-N-Out in Korea: Crycheese Burger



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서울특별시 광진구 화양동 | Songtan Budae Jjigae
도움말 Daum 지도
Posted by 크레이빙코리아

The restaurant of Sundaegukbap(Korean Sausage Soup with Rice) was not once the trend, but it has totally built its own field as a kind of restaurants. 

When the food service industry became popular, Sundaeguk(Korean Sausage Soup) - from Abai Sundae that was very unique in that period to a variety of Sundaeguk, - sprang up in the market. 


In the past, Sundae was generally the simple type that is made with the intestine of a sheep / a pig stuffed with rice, cellophane noodle, and blood.

Recently, there have been lots of changes in the outer and the content: Ojingeo Sundae made with fresh squid, Buchu Sundae made with Korean-leeks, etc.


Every region differs in the dipping sauce for Sundae.

In Seoul / Gyeonggi province, people eat Sundae with salted shrimp / the sauce made of garlic and sesame.  

In Busan / Gyeongnam province, Sundae is eaten with the mixture of sesame salt, chili pepper, and ground pepper.

Furthermore, in other regions, people eat Sundae with doenjang(soybean paste) or with watery sauce made of garlic and sesame. 


On the other hand, there is a celebrated restaurant of Sundaegukbap in LA, United States where many immigrants from Korea have lived. 

I think Western Sundae is the best one among them.


The restaurant located in Korea town is well known for Sundaegukbap, Seasoned Dandelion, Pan-Fried Potato, and Tteokbokki(rice cake in hot sauce).

If you take out three bowls of Sundaegukbap, the portion would be so much; it would be enough for five members in the family to eat.


Also, the restaurant of Mubong-ri Sundaegukbap is famed. 

The restaurant of Mubong-ri Sundaegukbap is good for the simple taste of Sundaeguk, generous servings, and the delicate flavor of the soup. Later, I got to know it is a franchised restaurant although I had not had the information when I was in LA. 


Last weekend, my nephews came from Daegu and we visited the aquarium in COEX. 

After we finished the three or four hours of sightseeing, we headed for Seoul Station. Then, we had to eat linner - a meal between lunch and dinner, and we all agreed to go to the restaurant of Sundaegukbap. 


Before we found the suitable restaurant of Sundaegukbap, we missed the food court of COEX and went to the wrong place, the food court of Korea City Air Terminal. In that food court, there were few restaurants that were opened but slack.


When we visited one Korean restaurant, there were three or four waiters and waitresses. However, nobody showed us into the seats and we, including my nephews, just wandered around the restaurant. After that, we got out of there. 

We did not expect 'a big WELCOME', but the restaurant was not basically ready for customers.

The waiters and waitresses only did their given task even though they saw us. Six of us wandered around to have seats and just got out of the restaurant.

We thought their service ethos was not actually ready for clients; we felt like being treated poorly and lost our appetite before trying food. 

 

I planned to go to Seoul Station first, but my nephews said they were so hungry. Then, we went back to COEX Mall, looked for the restaurant, and found the restaurant of Sundaegukbap. 

'Sinuiju Chapssal Sundae(Korean Sausage made with glutinous rice)' is the restaurant that we can encounter even when we visited any places. 

We are well aware of the limit of the franchised restaurant, but we wandered around almost for one hour and decided to go 'Sinuiju Chapssal Sundae' by being so into Sundae. 

Why are there so many restaurants in COEX Mall that are closed these days? 





 


 


Anyway, when we came to the restaurant, there was only one middle aged lady who was serving customers.

By the nature of the place, their main customers are the office people working nearby who visit the lunch time on weekdays rather than the people visiting on weekends, and they seemed not to care the business on weekends in particular. 

Was the Korean restaurant in Korea City Air Terminal the same as this?


We had seats, and saw Gondrebap(Rice with Cirsium in a Hot Pot), Sundaegukbap, Pork Rib Hangover Soup in the menu…


We ordered three kinds of dishes and started waiting. The only one waitress was serving other two tables, one table of new customers, and our table altogether. However, without any trouble, she gave us a fast service by moving so swiftly.

With that ability, I thought she might have no problem at all even in peak time when customers wait in line. 

Soon the dishes were served on our table. 


Gondrebap was first served, and Sundaegukbap was followed. 

Frankly speaking, I was disappointed with Gondrebap. 


From when I ordered Gondrebap, I wondered how it would be served. 

Gondrebap is originally made of seasoned Gondre(Cirsium) and rice that should be prepared at the same time. However, the customers are usually less on weekends but the rice would be cool down if rice was cooked in advance…

 

Therefore, I thought it might be served like Dolsot Bibimbap(Rice Hash Cooked in a Stone Pot). However, it was ‘Gondrebap’, the slight mixture of seasoned Gondre and rice just in the bowl. It was no more or less than that.


Doenjang soup that should be contemporaneously provided with Gondrebap was served later at a short interval of time, so only Gondrebap and seasoning soy sauce were on the table… They looked humble. 










Sundaegukbap looked meager, but I realized Sundae was fully made and had a generous amount of meat when I started trying it with my spoon. 

The youngest nephew, who wanted his own bowl at some point and increased his portion, ate up, but it was somewhat a large amount. 


Then, Pork Rib Hangover Soup was followed.

In the soup, the outer leaves of cabbage were not bad, and the lean meat with bones was also nice. 

Adding one bowl of rice to the soup, the large amount of Gukbap was created. 


Originally, Gukbap is the food of quantity, so after all the plentiful amount may be the first virtue. On that point, this restaurant is said to be true to its own principles. 


In addition, Kimchi is its own secret.

Among them, Napa Cabbage Kimchi was like Geotjeori, which is Kimchi made a little while ago, and we ate two plates; one plate of the Kimchi was not enough for us. 

Usually, Gukbap and Kkakdugi(Cubed Radish Kimchi) are well-matched, but in this restaurant Napa Cabbage Kimchi went with Gukbap. 


'Sinuiju Chapssal Sundae.' It is a franchised restaurant, but it gave us a good service, generous servings, and good taste of Kimchi. 

You can try the food at the food court of COEX in Samsung Dong.







Address: 159 Samsung Dong Gangnam Gu, Seoul (in COEX Mall)



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서울특별시 송파구 잠실2동 | Sinuiju Chapssal Sundae
도움말 Daum 지도
Posted by 크레이빙코리아

This summer reaches climax.

Actually, it looks too boring to be called as the ‘climax’.

Showers are expected to bring slightly cooler temperature, but in reality the humidity is high and the discomfort index is just like the one of summer.

 

I think Samgyetang(Korean chicken soup with ginseng) is the best food to gain energy lost by sweating from the sticky weather. As I know, Samgyetang is originally enjoyed with a whole chicken and ginseng, and it was not easy for us to find the restaurant serving the original type of Samgyetang.

I was on my way to Seoul Station in order to meet my wife and my son wanted to come with me. Therefore, three of us gathered in a few days. 


With a view to get some energy as well as the family gathering, I searched the restaurant for eating samgyetang, found the restaurant ‘Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken)’, and finally visit there. 


You can take the exit 4 of Seoul Station and find the way to Namdaemun.

Go a few steps back from the exit, turn right along Severance Building, and then you can find the sign of ‘Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken)’.

Though the restaurant’s name is ‘Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken)’, the restaurant is actually located near Seoul Station, not Dongdaemun.

 

We expected that adults would be happy to get some energy from eating a whole chicken and children would be happy to eat a delicious whole chicken loved by people.

These days, many restaurants try to promote with the name of ‘a cow’ or ‘a pig’, so the name – ‘Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken)’– brings the image of increasing stamina to mind. 




 

It was around five thirty that was too early to have dinner.

There were some people sitting at the two tables and really tucking into their chickens.


I was grateful to them for serving wet towels in the bowls by counting the number of persons.

However, I didn’t feel like using the wet towel maybe due to the media influence.

This world is so rough, we are easily influenced by others, and we tend to question the source of those wet towels. ‘Ignorance is bliss.’ 


First, I ordered a whole chicken. The most distinguished one was the bean sprouts salad among the side dishes.

I had visited other restaurants serving napa cabbage kimchi, radish kimchi, and dry side dishes; I visited the kind of restaurant serving the bean sprouts salad in a long time.

Serving the bean sprouts salad, which can easily go sour in summer, shows that the restaurant has a high customer turnover ratio or immediately makes the side dish.


The restaurants serving the storable side dishes may show that they made side dishes beforehand or they do not have a high customer turnover ratio.

Bean sprouts salad can go easily bad after a quarter of a day from when making the salad.


Also, I was so satisfied with serving the chopped leeks and it was refreshing.

I don’t remember when, but the leeks have become one of the ingredients in the restaurants, instead of lettuces and green onions. We made the sauce by using soy sauce, leeks, and crushed garlic for the chicken to dip in.


A boiled chicken in nickel silverware was served. Most Koreans wallow in nostalgia of nickel silverware. 

The young Koreans also have memories of nickel silverware; for example, they boiled ramen by using nickel silverware or ate off nickel silverware in the past. 


Especially, Korean guys have that kind of strong memories.

In case of the guys who have served in the military, they may have the memory of boiling ramen by using nickel silverware on night duty.

I am not sure whether they did it in the past or not, but the nostalgia of boiling ramen by using nickel silverware always pops up when Korean guys share their memories.


Dipping the chicken into the sauce made with leeks, we chewed up a whole chicken in a second.

Baeksuk(the boiled chicken) was not only tender but also have a chewy texture. Contrast to the outside that was full of the heat and humidity, the inside of the restaurant using the air conditioner did not make me feel hot even though I was eating hot Baeksuk.


Now, it is time to start filling my stomach. 

I already had guessed the taste before visiting the restaurant, but at that time I really expected the taste of knife-cut noodles boiled by using the remaining soup after eating only the chicken.

I ordered two extra noodles. Usually, I order three extra noodles in the restaurants. However, at that time, I had to have one more round after having knife-cut noodles, so I ordered only two extras.


Before serving noodles, the new soup in the pot was added to the soup boiled down.

I thought the noodles are originally salty and was worried that the soup would be also salty. However, I felt relieved after adding extra soup.

However, the soup definitely looked salty.



 

The knife-cut noodles in the extra dish were not made by hand, but they looked nice and they were also delicious.

The knife-cut noodles permeated with the taste of soup were enough to make me full and satisfied although I was not totally satisfied with eating an entire chicken.

The following last event was the porridge made with soup and rice.


However, the problem was the salty soup.

For that reason, I ate only noodles and took the half of the soup out off the bowl.

The soup seemed to be salty and delicious, but I thought it might be too salty. I had no choice but to take it out of the bowl.

If I ate too much sodium, (I thought) it would be the worst choice for me along with eating too much chicken fat and carbohydrate.


I ate the two bowls of porridge made with one bowl of rice – actually ate only rice, not the soup – and I was so full. 

With total \33,000, including One Chicken \18,000, two extra knife-cut noodles \4,000, one bowl of rice \1,000, three people in a family can get energy in this hot summer.

It would be the best menu for summer because there are no useless things in the menu and you can take nutrients you need. 



 

Address : 12-8 Namdaemun Ro 5Ga Jung-Gu, Seoul



[Hansik] - Craving Grilled Fish? Head to Sinchon's "Gosami"


[Hansik] - Unlimited Korean-style Soba for 4,500 won? Mapo Instant Buckwheat Village in Hapjeong


[Pasta] - Spannew, an Italian Restaurant in Hongdae


[Mexican] - Hacienda, Mexican Taqueria & Cantina


[Burger] - In-N-Out in Korea: Crycheese Burger


[Pasta] - 2 Pizzas Starting from 8,900 won! PizzaGate's "Buy 1 Get 1 Free"


[Dessert] - Quality Boba and Milk Tea at "Gong Cha"


[Hansik] - "Bongousse Rice Burger" in front of Bucheon High School


[Hansik] - Cow blood and skin mixed in a stew?! Chang-nyeong's famous "Sugure Stew"

 

[Pasta] - A Modernized Cafe In the Midst of Nature: Caffe Raum

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서울특별시 중구 명동 | Dongdaemun Dakhanmari (A Whole Chicken)
도움말 Daum 지도
Posted by 크레이빙코리아

Coming to Korea (or even before coming to Korea), you've probably heard of the famous reality TV show "2 Days and 1 Night" (1박2일). There are many reasons behind its immense popularity, but one of the main reasons is the regional food that the cast scrumptiously eat every episode. The foods that the cast eat is usually sought after fiercely after every episode with viewers constantly trying to find where that specific food can be found to make the trip north, west, east or even south of the peninsula just to satisfy their cravings. If the "2 Days and 1 Night" team visit a restaurant during their broadcast, that restaraunt will usually advertise in that way, usually being effective in drawing in curious customers.

 

While on a visit down south to the city of Chang-nyeong in the Gyeong-nam Province (near Busan), I was able to eat one of the "2 Days and 1 Night" labeled food restaurants. It wasn't really a restaurant -- rather, it was a simple outdoor kitchen with tables laid out for customers to sit and enjoy their meal in the middle of a traditional Korean market.

Here, I ate a stew called "Sugure Stew" -- "sugure" apparently being the inner part of a cow's skin (I know, sounds disgusting, but it's not as bad as it sounds). It's loved due to its texture and from experience, it is most definitely chewy yet soft when it is mixed with the broth it's cooked with.

 

Nevertheless, Chang-nyeong is famous for their bowls of "Sugure Stew" and according to the banners that hung all over the market, "2 Days and 1 Night" had visited and filmed this market a while ago. This market actually contains numerous little food spaces where this famous stew is served, but I went to the spot that the cast actually went to.



I actually had to stand in line to grab a bowl, but that wasn't the end of it because I needed a seat to eat and there weren't too many available ones. It was usually packed with customers usually waiting anxiously on the sidelines like vultures waiting to claim vacating seats.

 

 

At last, I got my bowl and luckily also found myself an empty seat to enjoy this meal. 

 

This stew is served alongside some rice which is usually mixed with the stew to create something called "Gukbap" (국밥), literally meaning "Stew Rice". It's obviously your freedom in the method you'd want to eat it, but most of the customers eat it that way simply because it tastes better and it's the traditional way to eat it. I'd recommend you do the same to really enjoy this meal!


You may be looking at this stew and if you have tasted diverse Korean stews you might be thinking that it looks terribly similar to something called "Seun-ji Stew" which contains congelated cattle blood on the stew (again, sounds horibble, but it really isn't that bad). As you can see in the picture, there are chunks of that but there are several differences, the main one being the fact that this stew contains bits of "sugure" which like I aforementioned are chewy pieces of meat found in the inner part of a cow's skin.

 

It may be strange at first while you're eating the combination of what seems to be disgusting cow body parts, but that's why it is popular. Overall, the taste is a bit spicy but not overwhelming and it really gets you to empty the bowl due to its addictive spiciness.

 

If you ever make a visit down to this Gyeong-nam area, make sure to try this regional delicacy as these famous markets are usually not too far from the major freeways that connect the capital from the southern cities of Korea. It'll definitely be a new experience, but one you most likely will not regret.

 

 Location : Kyoungnam Changnyounggoon Changnyoungeup Suljungri 42-2(경남 창녕군 창녕읍 술정리)





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경상남도 산청군 금서면 | Changnyoung Sooguraegukbap
도움말 Daum 지도
Posted by 크레이빙코리아

Due to the emersion of food-based TV shows in Korean cable, the title of "Nice Restaurant" has become popular nationwide. Any restaurant with that title is considered to be a restaurant that tastes good while presumably not using any chemically engineered ingredients while the food is created, most popularly MSG. Although I personally believe that the words "Nice" and "Restaurant" should never be placed together to form a legitimately correct phrase, that idea is delivered nicely nationwide.


Due to this, the general public has been on the search for any restaurants with a plaque that labels them as a "Nice Restaurant" no matter how much the food might actually cost to eat fresher, healthier food.


Ironically, however, even the labeled restaurants cannot hide the reality behind their food making ways. Often times, cases of MSG are found in corners of "nice" kitchens and bottles of acetic acid is visible in these "nice" trashcans. These ingredients have unfortunately become almost inevitable to use for most restaurants in Korea, greatly nullifying any significance behind the labels they receive upon passage of a list of criteria.


For that reason, at times, it might be wiser just to head towards a cheaper restaurant rather than trying to find a "nice" restaurant only to be disappointed.


Near Gwanak-gu's police station, I found such a restaurant that serves a soup called "Haejang-guk" at an affordable price. The restaurant's called "Chung-jin-dong Haejang-guk" (청진동 해장국).


To those who do not know, haejang-guk, according to Wikipedia, "consists of dried Napa cabbage ... and vegetables in a hearty beef broth." 



The exterior and interior design of this restaurant is actually no different to any traditional restaurant that serves similar food items. The main menu in this restaurant is "Haejang-guk" but it's not ordinary haejang-guk. 


It's haejang-guk with congealed animal blood, most notably cow blood and sheep blood.


Yes, I know what you are thinking. But in Korea, it is actually not uncommon to see "seon-ji" (선지) in soups because it is not considered to be as discussing as Western cultures might consider it. It's definitely one of those curious try-outs for foreigners.


Nevertheless, in this restaurant, the haejang-guk is served alongside cabbage kimchi and radish kimchi. If you order haejang-guk with sheep blood, you also get some sauce to eat the congealed blood with.



The haejang-guk finally came out.


Two huge pieces of congealed blood are floating atop the soup together with kongnamul sprouts and other vegetables so it is often eaten in Korea to "cure" hangovers. It doesn't have to be necessarily eaten in that way, like in my case, and it will nevertheless taste good.


Honestly, the haejang-guk in itself is not very special when compared to other restaurants but what really drops jaws is the price of this meal. 


It only costs 3,500 won for one bowl of this traditional Korean soup -- add 1,000 won and you can get yourself a much larger bowl that most people probably aren't able to finish.



Choosing between a "nice restaurant" and a cheap restaurant is a decision ultimately made by the customer, but in a time when the economy is not at its best, going to a cheap restaurant might be better than heading towards a more expensive yet suspiciously uncertain "nice restaurants." 


If you're looking into a cheap food experience more than a meal, this is one place to check out.

























Location : Gwanak-gu Bongcheon-dong 1592-9, Seoul (서울 관악구 봉천동 1592-9)



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