Everywhere you go, you can find a market in the core of that area.
This is because economic activity is the best function of the city.
There are lots of markets nearby Gwanghwamun, which is the center of Seoul.
Among them, Gwangjang Marketplace looks more like tourist attraction rather than a market itself.
This means that people put more value on their actual life, which is intangible asset, than buying and selling items, which are material assets.
There are two kinds of marketsplace.
At first, it is a traditional market which usually treated linen and cotton, but at some point, food alley is becoming much more famous and boisterous.
Food marketplace spread out like the spokes of a wheel, with intersection in the market as the hub. The market consists of several parts.
One side is crowded with restaurants which sell sundae and pork hocks and the other is full of noodles like udon, kalguksu. And there are sashimi and marine products, too.
However, these days the most attractive food is Drug-Gimbap and Bindaetteok.
Bindaetteok is little different from traditional one.
In some ways, it is more like fried food, rather than jeon, pancake.
I was satisfied to taste this Bindaetteok in this marketplace because it is usually available on holiday.
It is obvious that this Bindaetteok is the most famous food in this area because restaurants which sell them are located in the middle of the market.
Most Bindaetteok restaurants make the food on the spot by grinding mung beans with a stone mill.
In one part, people were grinding grain in a millstone and in the other part, Bindaetteok was being baked on a greased pan.
There are two kinds of fillings: vegetable or meat.
I ordered one vegetable Bindaetteok and one meat Bindaetteok. They were baked right away.
Just in two or three minutes, vegetable Bindaetteok was first served.
Well-cooked Bindaetteok tastes savory with a sauce mixed with soy sauce and onion.
It might be oily but you can taste plain mung beans’ texture.
The other Bindatteok that followed had lots of meat enough to chew them when you eat.
To reduce greasy taste, just try them with a onion soaked in soy sauce.
One Bindaetteok is enough for one meal.
Warm Bindaetteok was savory and clean in my mouth.
Meat Bindaetteok costs 500 won more than vegetable one.
But every store has different prices, so be sure to ask the price.
While Bindaetteok has remained as a main food in this area, suddenly Ma-Yak Gimbap (Ma-Yak means a drug) receives attention.
This food is very shocking just by its name, but actually it is not a new item. It is a upgraded version of existing small Gimbap.
But like the difference between Mp3 and iPod, Drug-Gimbap is much better than small Gimbap. It became a new icon in this market and occupied many places here and there.
The name was given by Kang Ho-dong, who is a famous entertainer, when he expressed the taste of this Gimbap as a ‘drug’ in one TV show.
The difference is that Drug-Gimbap is served with a special mustard sauce, which
brings out the characteristic mustard flavor.
But be careful; there is a significant price difference.
Even if the price is not more than two times, there might be a price difference by 1000 won.
By the law of supply and demand, it is cheaper when you go to the suburb part of the market.
Actually, Bindaetteok is enough for one meal but Drug-Gimbap can only be a side menu.
But this two food are perfect partners. After eating greasy taste of Bindaetteock, you can rinse your mouth with Drug-Gimbap.
Let’s try taste of Korea after touring Kyongbok Palace in Gwangjang Market.
Location : First, take the subway, the number one line, and get off at Chongno5-ga station. Then take exit 8. Second, go straight 30m. Then you can find an entrance into Gwangjang Marketplace.