Noodles in Beef Broth: An Old Seoul Classic

Noodles in beef broth was one interesting variation of korean noodles dish that I came across in Seoul. In Daejeon, where the traditional kalguksu noodles is famous for, the broth is often seafood or vegetable-based. Dried anchovies or whole clams are boiled to release the savory flavour of the soup. However, in the old part of Seoul where seollengtang, or beef bone soup, has been widely consumed, it is no coincidence that here the noodles are served in same type of beef broth.

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Charcoal-Grilled Chicken & Beer at Daejeon Tongdak

This is one place that I miss in Daejeon already. Chicken and beer is everyone’s favourite in Korea but from so many different varieties that I’ve tasted this place in Daejeon was surely one of a kind.

Charcoal-grilled chicken coughing up thick clouds of smoke

Daejeon Tongdak, literally meaning Daejeon chicken, operates in its own building in Yuseong district of Daejeon. They do have good old regular fried chicken and half-and-half with sweet and sour sauce. However, the signature of this place is charcoal-grilled chicken, with or without sauce. Continue reading

North Korean Dumplings Soup at Libuk Sonmandu

Ever since moving to Seoul, I gained the joy of visiting old restaurants in my neighbourhood. To be more specific, old hanok restaurants. Jongno, the heart of Seoul, is a forest of modern skyscrapers but among those, in the back alleys, are the old hanok (traditional Korean architecture) structures waiting to be discovered.

I was happy to find a North Korean restaurant right across from my work, and then I was even more thrilled to learn later on that the restaurant was built by renovating the owner’s personal hanok home. Park Hye-sook, the lady who owns the place, is from Pyeongyang, the capital city of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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The Old Noodles Restaurant That Became Historic Site

Cold buckwheat noodles is now a popular dish in South Korea but many are aware that naengmyun is regional food originated from Pyeongyang, the capital city of North Korea. ㅡMy local friend who is in love with Pyeongyang-style naengmyun told me that I must try Wooraeok, one of the oldest restaurants and a pioneer responsible for popularizing such significant dish in Seoul.

Pyeongyang-style cold buckwheat noodle soup. The signature dish at Wooraeok.

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Cubed Snailfish Soup: Day 2 of East Coast Bike Trip

Last Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) was the one to remember. I got to ride my bike along the east coast of Korean peninsula for a whole week. From Gangneung to Pohang, I soaked myself in beautiful coastline and got to try delicious seafood fare for every single meal. A trip of a lifetime, I might say.

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Bike-only path along the Korean east coast. Highly recommended!

Of many strange things I had since I returned to Korea, the lunch on second day of our bike trip would definitely go on top of the list.  Ever heard of cubed snailfish or mulmegi (물메기)? In Korean, it literally means “water catfish”. Continue reading

Traditional Korean Sausage (Sundae) in Baegam, Yong-in.

Korean sausage, or sundae (순대, pronounced soon-day), is still a thing to avoid for many of my foreigner or even Korean friends alike. For these people, the unique smell or the mushy texture of stuffing wrapped in gummy intestine is just not so appealing. It took years for my sister to finally learn to enjoy the Korean delicacy but my mother still cannot stand the smell. Whatever the case is, I do not blame those who cannot make themselves to like sundae. Everyone has different tastebuds. I am just glad that I can excuse myself to travel around the country to try so many different variations of one of my favourite Korean foods.

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Baegam-style sundae in Yong-in, Gyeonggi-do

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Pyeongyang-Style Buckwheat Noodles in Seongnam

The city of Seongnam is more known as popular residential area in Gyeonggi-do province. Geographically it is not part of Seoul but the city is conveniently connected to Gangnam and other parts of Seoul through Metro.  When I hopped on a bus at Daejeon Government Complex bus terminal that was bound to Seongnam I really did not have much thought on where I wanted to go. It was simply the bus to Seongnam was what was available at the moment. Soon I got off in a town that I have never been before and started to venture off into the snow.

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Warm buckwheat noodle soup, the way they enjoy it in the capital city of North Korea (maybe)

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