It is hard to define Hanjeongsik, Korean Table D'Hote. 

We can say that kimchi stew is made with kimchi, pork and tofu, but Hanjeongsik doesn't include specific food. 

In general, it includes normal table setting for Koreans. 

It is divided into 5 different kinds; table setting with 3, 5, 7, 9, or 12 side dishes. 

Hanjeongsik with 3 dishes has rice, soup, kimchi, soy bean sauce, and jjigae (stew). 

Usually ordinary person eat this kind of setting. 

Other side dishes are naengchae (chilled vegetables), meat roasted or fish baked with seasonings, food boiled down in soy sauce or other seasonings, jeon (pancake), traditional Korean sauces (soy sauce, soybean paste, or red pepper paste), dried side dishes, salted fish, or pyeonyuk (slices of boiled meat). 

7 or 9 side dishes usually are served in high-class families and 12 was served to the king. 


Side dishes such as uncooked vegetables, food boiled down in soy sauce or other seasonings, flake of kelp oiled and toasted, steamed dish, or jeongol were eaten with rice. 

In Hanjeongsik, main dish does not stand out and the number of the side dishes define its quality. 

Recently, this Hanjeongsik gain its popularity as Western food flow in. 

In the past, it was fancy restaurant's food but with popularization of vegetarian diet and abundant organic food item, it is slimed down.

In Juyeop-dong, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, there is Todamgol the Hanjeongsik restaurant. 

It is located on the second floor of han-yang shopping center. 

Except Sunday, they open business from lunch to dinner every day. 

Even in lunch time, it was full with people. 

Price is 9000 won for one person. They served sungnyung, scorched-rice water first. 

Nokdu jeon (green gram pancake) was cut into bite-size pieces and mini-Dduckalbi (ground and grilled short ribs with green onion and garlic with soy sauce) was small but well stuffed. 

Salad with lettuce and chicory was fresh and popular for so-called Misijok (married woman who behaves and dresses youthfully). seasoned raw crab with spicy sauce had lots of pieces of meat.


Only 10 years ago, Koreans like the table which is 'literally groaning with food' because they can feel being treated well. 

This is because we didn't have enough food at that time. 

However, as the income level rises and adult illnesses increases, eating too much is regarded bad. 

Now it is more important to consider quality than quantity. 

This is the era of well-being food and Hanjeongsik fits it. 

When you prepare Hanjeongsik, you don't have to cook the food fried or roasted with oil. 

Besides, food included in Hanjeongsik is high-protein, low-calorie. The main reason for abdominal obesity is greasy matter of meat and high-calorie diet. 

Traditional Korean food is basically focused on vegetables. Salad with fresh greens and muk (Acorn jelly) is simple but gives satiety. Boiled lettuce is good for circulation system. 


However, Koreans still need little salty or spicy food; perilla leaf seasoned with vinegar and other condiments and Doenjang stew (bean paste stew). 

Seasoned perilla leaf is aromatic and doenjang stew is essential to our table. 

Black rice is elastic and steamed Kodari (a kind of fish) is also good side dish. 

You can buy these side dishes. Seasoned raw crab with red sauce(Yangnyum gyejang) is 24000 won for 1kg and seasoned perilla leaf(Kaenip muchim) is 5000 won for 400g. 

Except steamed Kodari and Nokdu jeon, everything can be refilled if you want.

There is a plenty of space in parking lot, so you can use it for free in two hours. 

You can take out vending machine-coffee for 100 won and profits from here are used to senior citizen who lives alone. 

At dinner, you can order food until 8:30. It was a healthy and warm meal indeed as its name, Todamgol, suggests. 

You should make a reservation beforehand if you don't want to wait for a meal. 

Location : The second floor of han-yang shopping center #21, Juyeop-dong no.75, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do. Tel : 82-31-905-5592 

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경기 고양시 일산동구 백석동 1198-4 | 토담골
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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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