12.054 3-Year-Old Kimchi


28 (Sun) February 2021

3-Year-Old Kimchi


at Gogi Nara

-Changchon, Seowon, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Despite being featured only twice before on GMTD, Gogi Nara remains an all-time family favorite.  By default, to conclude a typical weekend visit to the cabin, we drop by for lunch as we head home on Sunday, always the beef and cabbage soup (see for example 3.214 Ugeoji Tang).  Only once have we ordered the grilled beef, the one occasion that we ate dinner there (see 4.342 Modeum).

In the restaurant’s first post 8.5 years ago, DJ is shown at the age of 5 and IZ at 4 months; here, DJ at 13.5 and IZ almost 9.

On a whim, we ordered grilled beef for lunch.  Such extravagance on a Sunday afternoon!

As previously noted, most of the banchan are made with vegetables grown on the premises, no artificial ingredients.
Chicory Salad (4.0): perfectly bitter, perfectly tangy.
3-Year-Old Kimchi (4.0): rinsed and seasoned with sesame oil.
15 individual items for a beef spread (only 5 items for soup).
While grateful for the bountiful plate of wrapping greens, we expressed concern that we wouldn’t be able to finish them all; the proprietor assured us that the untouched vegetables would be carefully rewashed and turned into banchan, or otherwise turned into compost – no wastage.

I just realized the polar distinction in optimal cooking styles for whole beef brisket, which is cooked low and slow via indirect heat for American-style barbecue, and shaved beef brisket, which is cooked high and fast over direct heat for Korean-style barbecue.

Chadolbagi (shaved beef brisket): as with any top-grade Korean beef (hanwoo), the meat was perfectly rich and chewy and fatty.

I also just realized that most Koreans in Korea have no idea that the rest of the world refers to Korean tabletop grilling as “Korean barbecue.”  Here, Koreans simply say “Let’s eat meat,” and it’s understood to mean tabletop grilling.

A slice of crisply grilled shaved beef brisket topped with the chicory salad was a perfect synergy of tastes and textures.

I told the proprietor that her banchan was the best that I had ever experienced in any restaurant, and I meant it.

While surely she’s heard such compliments before, she seemed very pleased, perhaps touched.

As a special treat, she then provided us with a wedge of special mugeunji (old kimchi), aged 3 years.  It was amazingly deep and spicy in flavor, surprisingly crisp and alive in texture.  While mugeunji is ordinarily too intense to be consumed as is, this one was perfectly delectable.  If only it had come earlier in the meal, to be eaten with the beef.

Just imagine the discipline and skill and patience required to mature kimchi for 3 years.

I’m thinking that we should order beef every time from now on.



4 thoughts on “12.054 3-Year-Old Kimchi

  1. Looks like a lovely meal. I especially like that the vegetables are grown on the premises.

    Since I’m really anal I have to comment on the fact that different fonts are used in different paragraphs in the post. I’m sure it’s not intentional though

    1. The location for the place given in the beginning (-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea) seems to differ from the previous posts as well..

      1. i’ve always wondered whether anyone notices the geographical descriptions. thanks for validating my efforts!

    2. for reasons that i’ve never been able to figure, the platform converts fonts on occasion. even worse, the rogue font is kinda similar to the chosen font, so I don’t always catch it right away. thanks!

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