23 July 2008

Kwangjang Market: Wang Soondae, Mayak Kimbap, and Bindaeddeok the Size of My Face

Okay, time to take a break from all the talk about beauty and glamor and get back to more important matter. Over the weekend, we took J.IM to 광장시장 (Kwangjang Market) in Jongno. It's sort of the Dongdaemun for ajummas. We didn't go to Kwangjang for flower print blouses and elastic waisted pants though. We went for the cheap market eats. As most restaurants in Seoul can probably proclaim, many of the food vendors in Kwangjang have been featured on SBS, MBC, or KBS. Not sure if it's due to all the hype, but there is definitely something special about this humble little market.

The marketplace is specifically know for three dishes: soondae, bindaeddeok, and kimbap. Of course, we had to sample all three.

The 왕순대 (wang soondae) is indeed king-sized. Quite frightening actually. I'm not really into soondae, but Cyndi says that it was good. If you're friendly, the ajumma might even thrown in a complimentary serving of sliced pig ear or intestines.

In addition to super-sized soondae, you can find platter-sized bindaeddeok. It's about the size of a medium pizza.

In my opinion, bindaeddeok goes well with a bowl of dongdongju.

Kwangjang Market is also well known for its so-called mayak kimbap, kimbap allegedly so addictive, it's like a drug. People even stop by regularly just to pick up several trays worth of kimbap. There are no actual drugs in the kimbap. It's just rice, carrots, and takuan (yellow pickles), dripping in sesame oil. Really, that's it.

I wouldn't say that the kimbap is remarkably tasty, but there is something about it that makes you want to eat more. I suspect it's the small bite size pieces that make it so easy to snack on.

To get to Kwangjang Market, take the subway and get off at Jongno 5-ga Station (Line 1). Take exit 8.


Anonymous said...

dongdongju?? - wuts dat?

p.s. have you guys tried having soju with pizza? this korean namja "swears" the pairing of the two is better than having soju with pork... jus wondering. i know u two are not really INTO soju, but wonder if you tried or heard the same sentiment.

-jus curious

annalog said...

I have not had soju and pizza. I'm still trying to get used to eating pizza and sweet pickles! I think that the soju industry has got most people thinking that soju goes well with everything.

Dongdongju is a rice wine that in my opinion, tastes like Milkis mixed with soju. It's very similar to another Korean beverage called "makkoli." I think the main difference is that dongdongju is filtered.