14.178 Nurungji Baeksuk

Cycle 14 – Item 178

2 (Sun) July 2023

Nurungji Baeksuk


at Chowon eui Jip

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

with W and IZ

Dakjuk Chon Minsok Maeul (닭죽촌민속마을) is a restaurant court*.  Every place serves pretty much the same thing: chicken and/or duck in various soupy dishes.  The name means “chicken porridge (chicken juk) town (chon) folk (minsok) village (maeul).”

*Don’t know if “restaurant court” is a thing.  I’m thinking of a food court, defined by Wikipedia as: “generally an indoor plaza or common area within a facility that is contiguous with the counters of multiple food vendors and provides a common area for self-serve dinner,” but with full-service restaurants each in their own buildings.

For some reason, soupy chicken/duck dishes are synonymous with Namhansan Seong (see for example 11.180 Baeksuk).

Located 3.9 km from home, directly across the street from the start of the road that leads to the entrance of Namhansan Seong.

Namhansan Seong is a fortress (seong) on South Han Mountain (Namhansan).  Construction starting in the 17th century, including fortifications, temples, and administrative structures, it was built to serve both as an emergency capital city during war and a government office in peace.  Now a popular tourist attraction, even for locals, it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014.

Currently 22 establishments, according to this diagram (found on the internet – provenance unknown).

Chowon eui Sikdang (초원의 집) is a Korean restaurant.  Specializes in chicken/duck hotpot dishes, like all the other restaurants in Dakjuk Chon Minsok Maeul.  Reputed by various sources as one of the best restaurants in the court.  Founded 1977, at a different location near Namhansan Seong, moving to the present site in 1999.

The first restaurant on the right.

To/from the cabin, 3 routes are available, depending primarily on traffic, though sometimes where we want to eat en route.  Following the GPS on our way home this time, we were passing by Namhansan Seong, just before noon, so we stopped for lunch.

For some reason, the dining area’s are compartmentalized – this being the right half of the ground floor.

Nurungji Baeksuk is a Korean dish.  A whole raw chicken rice and uncooked rice are placed in a deep pot, topped with water, infused with seasonings and aromatics (e.g., garlic, ginseng), then boiled until the chicken is fall-apart tender (baeksuk) (see for example 14.130 Baeksuk with Extra Chickeny Soup), the rice is cooked underneath, slightly burned where it touches the surface of the pot (nurungji) (see for example 1.256 Nurungji Tang), and the water becomes a rich soup.  Wholesome, filling, delicious – all in one pot.

Already cooked upon service, the server cut the chicken at the table into bite-sized pieces.
Anticipating that photos would be taken, the server was careful to dredge up a slab of nurungji and place it at the surface (see top left quadrant).
The dish was ultimately more about the broth than the chicken or rice.
Soon after this photo was taken, IZ scraped up and ate the remaining bits of rice – “We shouldn’t waste good food!” – well said, and done.

Excellent.  The chicken was tender and tasty.  The burnt rice was soft and nutty.  The broth was thick and delicious.  An amazing meal.

I will try to replicate this at home.

(See also HANSIK)


Leave a Reply