6.345 Painting the Town Pink

6.345

16 (Wed) December 2015

Sausage Jeon

1.5

at Stall 65 (Jaseon-Ne)

-Jongro, Seoul-

with JL

The Prodigal Son Returns for Xmas, Day 1.

In Seoul.  Today through Christmas.  Going back on the 26th with the family to Manila, where we’ll finish out the year.

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2 portions of hanwoo ggot-deungsim (speckled ribeye) = 250 grams (about 8.8 oz) = 116,000 KRW (about $93) + 10% VAT — 16% pricier in local currency compared to our prior visit 5 years ago (see most recently 1.114 Grilled Ribeye), though globally cheaper by 7% due to the strong US dollar.

Hanging out JL, who happens to be in town on holiday.

For starters, dinner.  Joined by the wife and kids.  To introduce him to high-end Korean beef barbecue, we took him to Saebyeok Jib.  Though he appeared to enjoy the meal overall, his reserved reaction suggested a lack of wow.  Oh well.  In fact, we all felt the same, the wife and I later vowing never to visit the restaurant again, at least not on our own dime.

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The restauraunt’s signature seonji stew (see also 4.110 Seonji Gukbap), free and refillable upon request.
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Certainly good, but not nearly worth the cost.

JL is now the 12th colleague from WPRO with whom I’ve broken bread in Seoul.

  1. SM (5.265 Happy Medium)
  2. RD, SM, KP, HS, BK (5.277 Stars for Stars)
  3. JR (5.295 Grilled Hangjeongsal)
  4. KK (6.088 King Crab)
  5. AL (6.177 Bulgogi)
  6. RD, TK, AL (6.179 Shrimp Tempura)
  7. MK (6.320 Sacheon-Sik Tangsu-Yuk)
  8. JL (6.345 Painting the Town Pink)
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Gwangjang Market is an old school outdoor market.  Founded around the turn of the 20th century.  Located in Jongro.  Open 365, generally from 0900 to 2300, some food stalls later (see for example 4.234 …Dweji Galbi).
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While offering a wide variety of goods, the market is arguably now better known, particularly among tourists, for the food.
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Not many brick-and-mortar restaurants, mostly permanent stalls set-up along the walkways, .

Thereafter, more memorably, a round of postprandials drinks and snacks.  Just the two of us.  Gwangjang Market.  Among the myriad of options — which I’ll document individually per subsequent visits — I steered us to a stall specializing in classic street food (see generally 4.166 The Quad).  The food itself was kinda mediocre, but JL seemed to enjoy the experience.  As did I, the market being a food haven for tourists and locals alike.

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Jumbo sundae (back) and pork hocks (fore) — didn’t partake of either.
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Myeong-Dong-Style Ddeokbokki (2.0).
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“Mayak” (narcotic) gimbap — so named because they’re addictively good — one the market’s signature items; also widely available beyond the market, these mini rolls constitute the fifth core member of the street food family.

Whereas sundae in its various forms ostensibly represents the sole traditional sausage in Korean cuisine, the country’s first Western-style sausage is uniquely Korean as well.  Made predominantly of flour/filler, resulting in a doughy texture, vaguely similar to liverwurst.  No real nutritional value, though it’s less unhealthy in a sense than “real” sausages containing meat byproducts.  Distinct artificial flavor, nothing else like it, maybe something like cheap baloney, but not even close.  Food coloring provides an odd pinkish hue.  The most common method of preparation — in fact, the only one that I can think of — is jeon, often found in packed school lunches, back when students still brought their lunches from home.  Developed during the 1960s/1970s — no idea, too lazy to research, but sometime during the 20-year span should be right — presumably as a meat substitute when actual meat was scarce.   Nowadays, even when meat is relatively affordable, these sausages of yore are still popular, probably more for nostalgia than any intrinsic/objective good (see also 4.044 White Bread Baloney Sandwich).

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After all these years, I still haven’t decided whether I like the stuff.

Here, the jeon were greasy.

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