15 (Sun) Feb 2015
The Original Storm
at Jukchae Tongdak
with Wife, DJ, various members of the camping crew
The Prodigal Son Returns to Shepherd His Sons, Day 2 (see previously 6.040 Yukgaejang – Galbi-Tang).
In town for a few days, first of two trips within the coming week, reasons to be revealed as the week unfolds.
Tongdak is a Korean chicken dish. Consists of a whole chicken–“tong = whole” + “dak = chicken”–typically quite small (around 500 grams), lightly seasoned in salt-pepper and deep-fried in vegetable oil, simple as that. It’s the traditional Korean-style fried chicken (see for example 3.264 Fried Chicken), before it evolved into the Korean-American hybrid Kentucky (see generally 3.093 Kentucky), then to the full-on heavily breaded American (see for example 3.223 Fried Chicken), and now with all the new-fangled sauces/glazes (see for example 4.094 Original Soy-Garlic Chicken). Exceedingly rare these days to find a place that does tongdak the old-fashioned way.
Jukchae Tongdak is a Korean chicken & beer pub. Specializes exclusively in tongdak, plus a few variations thereon. Each chicken is encased in a bamboo basket–“jukchae = bamboo net”–which is dropped into a vat of hot oil, extracted when the chicken is done, and served on the plate as a kind of oil rack; other than the functional convenience and visual appeal, the bamboo basket wouldn’t seem to add anything in terms of flavor. In addition to the Oksu location, other branches of this new business are in operation across the city.
The chicken was excellent. Exquisitely crispy skin. Moist and juicy flesh, not at all greasy. Perfectly seasoned. I could eat one of these for every meal every day.