2.287 Dan Hobak Galbi Jjjim


19 (Wed) October 2011

Dan Hobak Galbi Jjjim


at Doore

-Insa, Jongro, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with meeting participants

2nd WHO Expert Consultation on Public Health Law (Day 3 of 3)

Farewell dinner for the participants of the 2nd WHO Expert Consultation on Public Health Law, which was yesterday through today.  The meeting was a follow-up to the one held in Manila back in May (see 2.120 Pork Goulash), this time hosted by Yonsei University Asian Institute for Bioethics & Health Law at the Yonsei University campus in Songdo, Incheon.

On our final evening together, the participants had dinner in the neighborhood of Insa-Dong (인사동) in Seoul.  Though commercialization/gentrification in recent years has buried much of the neighborhood’s original cuteness/quaintness, it remains one of the must-see destinations for tourists, known for art galleries and antique shops and souvenir stands and tea houses and restaurants.  The restaurants are often found in renovated traditional Korean houses called “hanok” (한옥), offering traditional Korean food called “hansik” (한식), served by women wearing traditional Korean garb called “hanbok” (한복) – the dining experience is an idealized version of what could’ve been, even though nobody in history wearing such clothes ever served such eats in such places.   If I’d been in charge, I would’ve taken the group to a real Korean restaurant where real Koreans eat real Korean food.

Doore (두레) is a Korean restaurant.  One of those hanok/hansik/hanbok places.

Case in point, the featured dish was essentially the same thing as standard galbi jjim, only the ribs were served in a gourd that was dramatically sliced open at the table and eaten along with the meat.  I can’t say for sure how traditional this manner of presentation may be, but I’d never seen nor heard of it before, so it’s certainly not commonplace.  Way overpriced at 40,000 won, especially considering that the ribs themselves weren’t that great.

The gourd is called “dan hobak” (단호박) in Korean, which means “sweet” (dan) “squash” (hobak).  The orange flesh tastes like sweetened pumpkin pie mix with the soft yet slightly fibrous texture of cooked sweet potatoes, more commonly pureed into a soup or deep-fried like tempura or just steamed and eaten as is; steamed and mashed through a strainer, it was one of the first things that I made for DJ when he was being weaned.  Not really my thing.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

3 thoughts on “2.287 Dan Hobak Galbi Jjjim

  1. Those buildings are probably also newly-built copies of traditional house (didn’t Jeonju build a brand new “tradtional Hanok village” just a couple of years ago?)

    About the choice of venue: I remember being “scolded” by a Korean friend when I visited Korea 2016 together with two friends (who had never been to Korea) for taking them out to have our first meal in Korea at a 김밥천국. This was followed by soju and beer at some local drinking place (we stayed in a student area). For me, that felt much more genuine than finding some fancy placed geared towards tourists/foreigners…

    1. about the buildings, you totally read my mind! i started writing a caption under the photo about whether it’s a real hanok, then it started getting too long, so i deleted it.

      i support your choice of Gimbab Cheonguk 1000%! totally legit, genuine as you say. locals eat there every day. it’s the Korean equivalent of an American diner.

      as i’m migrating the old posts, i’m now coming across the ones where you visited. i think i tried my best to take you to the more authentic places. but next time you come, i’ll treat you to an authentic + fancy place.

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