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
도움말 Daum 지도
Posted by 크레이빙코리아


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.

[Grill] - ‘Sankkomjangeo Buljogaegui’ for Delicious Clam Platters

[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

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서울특별시 종로구 창신1동 | Gwangjang Marketplace
도움말 Daum 지도
Posted by 크레이빙코리아