12.025 Kongnamul Gukbab


30 (Sat) January 2021

Kongnamul Gukbab


at Jeonju Kongnamul Gukbab

-Seongsu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-


Jeonju Kongnamul Gukbab (전주 콩나물 국밥) is a Korean restaurant.  The menu offers one dish: Kongnamul Gukbab.

Supposedly famous.

Indeed, on many prior mornings on my way to work, I had noticed customers milling around the entrance.

Located in a side alley, across from Seoul Forest, about a 10-min walk from the office.

Over the weekend, the office is undergoing renovations.  The project is sort of my thing, so I volunteered to open the doors for the contracting crew.

With no traffic, I arrived way early and used the extra time to eat breakfast.

At 0800 (when I arrived), the place was packed; by 0830 (when I left), half empty.

Gukbab (국밥) is a broad category of Korean soup.  The name means “soup (guk) rice (bab),” covering any big bowl of soup that traditionally comes with a bowl of rice already submerged in it, hence the name.  These days, the rice is often provided on the side, which is then dumped into the soup at the diner’s discretion.  The composition of the soup is usually meat-based (but doesn’t have to be), usually spicy (but doesn’t have to be), anything that’s hearty and punchy (see for example 3.214 Ugeoji Tang).

I don’t know.

It was just a huge pile of kongnamul in a clear, nearly flavorless broth, topped with scallions.


Not sure if it really qualifies as a gukbab, except in the most literal sense.  Not sure if it really qualifies as anything.

I can’t stop wondering, however, if I’m missing something.  All those customers, what are they seeing?

The soup came with a pair of rawish eggs.
When I asked the server what to do, she said to add some seaweed, mix, and eat – whatever.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

Leave a Reply