Cycle 4 – Item 49
23 (Sat) February 2013
at Jaws Ddeokbokki
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Whereas street food is available in Oksu-Dong both at actual food carts, I go to brick-and-mortar Jaws for the odeng aka eomuk aka Busan eomuk. Whatever they’re called, the fishcake skewers have a much fuller fish flavor and chewier texture and come in a much richer broth, and they’re a bit more expensive at 700 won apiece, 2,000 won for 3, compared to 500 won each at the carts, where the fishcakes are rather pasty in flavor and crumbly in texture, along with a rather watery broth.
(I prefer the food cards for other stuff.)
As previously explained, Japanese-style fishcakes satsumaage are traditionally referred to in Korean as “odeng.” This is something of a misnomer, derived from the Japanese oden nabe, a soup that includes fishcakes, among other things. These days, some places insist on referring to them as “eomuk (어묵) = eo (fish) + cake (muk).” The fishcakes were imported to Korea during the Japanese Occupation via Busan, where they quickly entered the mainstream as street food, and never looked back. Some pioneering fishcake monger in Busan was undoubtedly responsible for the naming error.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)