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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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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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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Spicy Yaki Udon in Daegu: A Korean Version of Japanese Stir-Fried Noodles

Daegu is a city that I try to stop by whenever I travel to Busan or anywhere in Gyeongsang-do. The metropolitan city has rich history of culinary fare and it is not too difficult to spot a restaurant that has been operating for decades. Apparently, the city of Daegu has selected 10 dishes and named them “Taste of Daegu” to promote their city’s own culinary creations. And this day we were about to get a taste of one of those ten – and ironically, it’s a Daegu creation that is called “yaki udon”.

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Meet spicy, red, Korean yaki udon!

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Old Noodles Place on Streets of Seongbuk, Seoul

There’s Pho in Vietnam. And Udon in Japan. In Korea, Kalguksu (칼국수, literally translated to “knife noodles”) is the simple, basic noodle soup  made with flour noodles and fish or vegetable broth. You can find this humble dish all over the country but Koreans know that a version from Myeongdong district in Seoul has made itself famous over time. What I didn’t realize was that locals from Seoul also go to the streets of Seongbuk district–the old town up north of the river–to seek noodles restaurants with history.

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Seafood Pancake in Dongnae District of Busan

If you are a beginner who just start to learn about Korean food then pajeon is probably one of the very first dishes that you get to try along with other popular dishes such as bulgogi and bibimbap.  Pajeon, or seafood pancake, is one of those classic Korean dishes that is enjoyed by so many. It’s simple, tasty, and has been around for many years.

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Dongnae-style pajeon served on brass plate

History tells that the famous Dongnae Pajeon, a regional style originated from Dongnae district of Busan, was presented on royal dining table back in Joseon Dynasty. It was first introduced to general public in 1930s when the neighbourhood of Dongnae was filled with taverns and bars serving government officials. The popular recipe then spread amongst merchants of Dongrae marketplace where the workers and peasants began to enjoy what was once only presented on royal tables. Continue reading

Beef & Rice Soup in Naju: First Day of Youngsan River Bike Trip

Last November, a few friends and I decided to go on a spontaneous bike trip to Youngsan-gang, a river running through the province of Jeolla-do. I mentioned number of times on my blog that Jeolla-do is the mecca of traditional Korean cuisine. Nowadays, it is a popular tourist destination not only for foreigners but for Koreans from other provinces as well. Living in Daejeon, the center of South Korea, it is just an easy two-hour bus ride to Gwangju, the largest metropolitan city of gourmet province.

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Naju gomtang, beef broth with rice

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