4.288 Nanjawans

Cycle 4 – Item 288

20 (Sun) October 2013



at Dongboseong

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W + DJ, AHY + KIT + J, CJH + KKH, CSW, HCY + HWS, LHS + YYH, YI

The occasion was JH’s birthday.  With the exception of MtG and NSJ, the whole camping crew showed up to celebrate.

As explained in the previous post, it’s unusual for a large gathering to eat at a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, almost unthinkable for a birthday celebration.  But the birthday girl wasn’t feeling very well, so she wanted to keep it nearby and casual, so there we were.

Somaek is a Korean cocktail.  Made with 1 part soju (SO) + 4 parts beer (MAEKju).  The sole purpose of drinking it is to get drunk, fast.

Nanjawans is a Chinese dish.  Consists of ground pork, along with extenders of various sorts, formed into fat/flattish palm-sized patties, pan-fried, served in a brownish garlic sauce.  Though available at nearly all Chinese restaurants in Korea, its popularity is somewhat second tier; many people don’t even seem to know what it is.  The term “nanjawans” is the Koreanized pronunciation of “nanjianwanzi = southern (nan) pan-fried (jian) meatball (wanzi).”

DID YOU KNOW?  The term “jian = 煎 = 전 = jeon,” which I’d always assumed this to be a purely Korean word.

I like nanjawans, if only because it’s so different than everything else.

The nanjawans here was okay, probably the best dish of the evening, but too much filler, and the sauce was spicier than I would’ve liked.


Across the board, the food was pretty good.  Everyone at the table seemed amazed that the food could be so good, given the source.  Seriously, I’ll say it again, even though Koreans eat more Chinese food–albeit Korean-Chinese food–than any other foreign cuisine, they just don’t eat it at “the joint around the corner,” regarded generally on the same level as fast food and thus don’t engender much respect.  We stuffed ourselves silly

(See also BOOZE)



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