Exotic Korean Food: Stir-Fried Offal

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The world of Korean food seems endless even for a native foodie like myself.  After spending fifteen years abroad, I was astonished to discover more varieties of Korean cuisine that I have never known when I spent my childhood in Korea.  I guess the difference is that back then I was too young to experience the exotic and “weird” side of Korean culinary world.  Now that I am old enough with my taste buds being more adventurous than ever, I have armed myself with the willingness to try anything – well, almost anything.

The tiny neighborhood joint near my home in Galma-dong, Daejeon was a jackpot finding for me and my parents.  My mother, who is very timid when it comes to “strange” foods, declared that from this day on she is a fan of beef offal.  The old place is simply called Hanwoo Naejangtang (한우내장탕: Hanwoo offal soup) and handles the freshest beef organs of Hanwoo – the premium Korean beef.

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Beef tripe, stir-fried and spicy

The bokeum (볶음: stir-fry) includes various parts of beef offal such as gopchang (곱창: small intestine), yang (양: tripe), gan (간: liver), makchang (막창: entrails), and so on.  The organs are cooked with spicy Korean chili sauce plus other veggies and tofu.  My personal favorite was the beef tripe.  From what I understand, a cow has four different stomach chambers and what we see in the stirfry is the combination of first three chambers.  The restaurant also offers uncooked omasum – chamber no.3 – along with fresh, uncooked liver.  I would dare myself to try the uncooked offal someday (once I become more brave).

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