12.055 Boribab


1 (Mon) March 2021



at Hyeongje Sikdang

-Hoehyeon (Namdaemun Market), Jung, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Hyeongje Sikdang (형제식당) is a food stall.  One of 8 identical food stalls in Namdaemun Market’s famous “Kal Guksu Golmok (Alley).”  Specializes in kal guksu and boribab.

Although I’ve passed through the alley countless times during the course of nearly 3 decades, on my way to and from the optometrist shop and the parking lot, tonight was my first experience eating there.

2 buildings away is the optometrist shop where I’ve been getting my glasses for 27 years.
The nondescript entrance is even less conspicuous during the day.
It’s not a building, rather an alley between buildings that’s been roofed and wired and piped for business – usually packed, eerily empty this evening.
Every stall has the same set-up.
Every menu offers the same items.
Every boribab consists of the same ingredients.

I’d imagine that the stalls weren’t always the same.  Early on, each stall was probably its own thing, then they began to figure out what worked and what didn’t, and copied each other bit by bit until they ended up doing the same thing, realizing how much easier sameness is for everyone, including customers.  In fact, when walking through the alley, the proprietors call out “It’s all the same, no need to browse, just take a seat here!”

Boribab (보리밥) is a Korean dish.  It’s essentially bibimbab: mixed vegetables and steamed rice – with bits of barley (bori) in the rice (bab) – seasoned with sesame oil and gochujang (see also 2.200 Deulbab).

The kernels with the brown stripe are barley.
Id est, bibimbab.

The boribab was fine.

The kal guksu was better (see for comparison 12.013 Kal Guksu).

The alley’s eponymous kal guksu.
Excellent texture in the handmade noodles, rich anchovy-based broth.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

2 thoughts on “12.055 Boribab

  1. I notice the meny both has “냉면 + 칼국수”, as well as “칼국수 + 냉면”. What’s the difference?

    1. That’s so funny. I hadn’t noticed. Even funnier that they’re different prices. I’d bet it’s just different portions. I’ll be sure to ask next time.

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