28 (Sun) February 2010
at Pung Mi
-Chinatown, Incheon, Gyeonggi, Korea-
Incheon is home to Korea’s only Chinatown. It’s just a couple alleys with a handful of restaurants. Unlike most Chinatowns throughout the world, however, this one isn’t Cantonese or really even Chinese. The food is the same Koreanized fare found everywhere across the country.
The one unique item that reportedly can only be found here is original yellow bean sauce jjajang myeon, the way that it’s made in China. Incidentally, the black bean sauce version – arguably the most common Chinese/delivery/fastfood item in Korea – was invented/developed/popularized around the turn of the 20th century in Incheon by Chinese immigrants coming through the port city, where fermented black beans were more readily available than the yellow.
Upon returning to port from last night’s island camping trip (see 1.053 Franks & Beans), MtG and I decided to take the opportunity to eat dinner in Chinatown. Alas, we were disappointed to learn that the restaurant that we’d chosen didn’t stock the ingredients for the yellow jjajang myeon on weekends, supposedly because the swarms of visitors, mostly from Seoul, never order it. Why anyone would travel so far to eat stuff that they could get back home is beyond me.