12.307 Ingeo Bbang

Cycle 12 – Cycle 307

8 (Mon) November 2021

Bungeo Bbang


from J-Mart

at home

-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

In Korea, fish within the broader carp family Cyprinidae are divided into 2 types.  (1) Ingeo (잉어) (pronounced “eeng-uh,” not “in-jee-oh” as the standardized transliteration would suggest) = common carp, Cyprinus carpio.  Ranging in size from 20 cm to 1 meter or so.  Includes the brightly colored fish found in decorative ponds (i.e., koi fish).  (2) Bungeo (붕어) (pronounced “boong-uh,” not “bun-jee-oh) = crucian carp, Carassius carassius.  Ranging in size from 20 to 40 cm or so.  Includes gold fish (geum bungeo).  Both types are fished recreationally. Consumed to limited extent but not commonly found in retail.

Bungeo Bbang is a Korean dish.  Batter is poured into carp-shaped molds, filled with sweet red bean paste = pat (in Korean) = anko or adzuki (in Japanese), cooked until golden brown.  Similar in concept to hodu gwanja.  Though some places call them “ingeo bbang,” the shape is short and round, same filling, like traditional bungeo bbang.  A popular snack for kids.  Once commonly sold from street carts in front of schools, bus stops, etc., especially during the colder months, the item is increasingly rare to find these days, with the rapid disappearance of street carts in general.  

On occasion, seemingly at random, a woman sets up a stand in front of J-Mart (part of J-Mart?).  They’re called “ingeo bbang.”  1,000 won for 2 pieces, 2,000 for 5 pieces.

While I was waiting, a kid offered the woman 500 won for 1 piece.  She refused.  The poor kid looked confused.

The mold.
The standard version with pat filling.
A newfangled version with choux cream.
The molds, heated from a live flame underneath, are flipped once to cook both sides.

DID YOU KNOW: the Korean word for bread “bbang (빵)” derives from the French “pain.” 

When people are said to look alike, they’re called “bungeo bbang.”

As with most pastries, bungeo bbang isn’t really my thing.  But W and the boys like them, so I bought a few as a quick pre-dinner snack.  Tonight was, as far as I can recall, my first time buying them.

They were okay.  The breading had the taste and texture of a waffle, extra crispy on the edges of the “scales.”  The choux cream was weirdly sweet.  The pat was fine.  Tonight was, as far as I can recall, my second time eating them – maybe the last.



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