Sunday, 1 October 2017

Must Try Mouth-Watering Foods in Gangwon

Autumn and Winter are the best time to see nature wonders in Gangwon-do with endless of charm of natural scenery, breathtaking mountainscapes, spectacular coastlines and untouched countryside.

Appointed as one of Pyeongchang Olympics Supporter and knowing that some of you will be visiting Gangwon-do, I'd like to pay it forward all the kindness of my Korean friends, tour guide, KTO and SBS broadcasting staffs, taxi drivers, restaurant owners during my visits in Korea by sharing some of the speciality food in this region. 

Perhaps the Jeong (정) culture that embodies in Korean people where they love and generous to share especially when it comes to food. They always make sure you're full at all times, guide you how to eat the food like locals do, text just to check whether you're alright and even informing weather forecast, and more!

Actually, I experienced the same when having dinner gathering for PyeongChang Winter Olympics Supporters. Mr Yoon & Mr Kim from KTO also order extra foods for us to share. Mr Kim even offered his Kimchi Fried Rice to us before he started to eat it. Well, it's not about food, but the feeling like you're being treated as part of their family is one of the reasons why I love Korea~!
Ok, let's start to embark on tasty journey to food paradise in this region~!

Chuncheon Dalk-galbi (춘천닭갈비)

Dakgalbi is prepared by marinating chopped chicken in gochujang and then added with rice cakes,  Cabbage, green onions, sweet potatoes and fried in a large cast iron pan.
 Spicy stir-fried chicken (철판 닭갈비) - ₩10,000/person.

Phone : 033 257 6611 | HP: 010 8232 4875

This photo taken in 2012, and I forgot this restaurant's name.
It's just at the carpark area near the zip line and ferry point.

On our Special VIP Tour sponsored by KTO, we're introduced another type of Dalgalbi. It's served like samgyeopsal pork BBQ which is charcoal grilled instead of stir fried.

Let's eat it Korean way - Ssam style~! 

Even my kids love to eat it this way, they'll wrap the meat vegetables, topping it with non spicy banchan without garlic, kimchi and ssamjang and then stuffed it in the mouth. They called it bite-size "Korean Taco." 

Add: 337-2 Gangchon-ri, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Phone:+82 33-261-8815

Although I recommend some of the restaurants I visited before, but feel free to try other restaurants as most of them serving similar local specialities. Some of the best Chuncheon Dalkgalbi restaurants scattering at Dalkgalbi Alley near Chuncheon Myeongdong Street and carpark at Nami Island and beside Chuncheon Station.

They are all authentics, just that the taste might slightly different because they have their own recipes which mostly handed down from generation to generation... 

Chuncheon Makguksu (춘천막국수)

Buckwheat is staple crop in Chuncheon area. Buckwheat is packed with nutrients, antioxidants to reduce the signs of premature ageing. Goblin like to eat buckwheat... it reminds me of extremely popular K-drama 'Goblin (도깨비).' Ji Eun Tak questioned Kim Shin: "What does buckwheat flower mean?" He answered: "Lovers (연인)~!" 

I also love the beautiful buckwheat field, which is located at Borinara Hagwon Farm [보리나라 학원농장] in Gochang-gun, Jeollabuk-do. Ups.. out of topic again! Sorry I think can't focus properly when I'm hungry and have to write something about food.

Chuncheon Makguksu - ₩7,000.

Another unique dish from Chuncheon is buckwheat noodle which using buckwheat instead of flour. This noodle stimulates your appetite as served in a chilled raddish or cabbage broth with condiments. on top. Add mustard sauce and vinegar for more kicking delicious taste.

This dish usually sold at dalkgalbi restaurants because people often order them together.

Every year between August and September, Dalkgalbi and Makguksu Festival is held in Chuncheon.

Roasted Hwangtae (황태)

 Roasted Dried Alaska Pollack ₩12,000
Cuttlefish Roast Meat ₩12,000

For Koreans, Pollack is more than just a fish. It's believed to bring good fortune and even until today, some people will tie dried pollack in the string and hang in the new house or newly opened business. It's also one of the key foods offered in sacrificial and ancestral rites. 

Hwangtae refers to a certain variety of dried pollack which is repeatedly frozen and thawed in mountainous areas where the temperature fall below -10C for 40 to 90 days. The pollack slowly dries, freezes at night and thaws during the day. These repeated contractions and expansions turning it to yellowish Hwangtae. This reminded me of historical Korean drama "The Merchant: Gaekju (장사의 신: 객주) starring Jang Hyuk.

Gangwon-do is renowned and takes pride in producing the best pollock (황태 = hwangtae) and cuttlefish in Korea. Hwangtae is salt-removed Pollack dried in a cool and properly dried by adequate wind and cold. It is cooked in a hot cauldron with special spices and condiments. Flavorful with soft and chewy texture.

There are lots of way to prepare pollack, either by stir-fry, steaming or for cooking soup. Dried pollack soup is one of the best food for hangover and liver detoxification.

Our taxi driver recommended this restaurant and they are really delicious. You should try this if you're in Pyeongchang...

348-4 Hoenggye-ri, Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Phone: +82 33-335-5795

Chodang Sundubu (초당 순두부)

Fresh Chodang Sundubu specially prepared for us from Seongyojang Hanok House.

Sundubu (순두부) is made from the clean water of the Seoraksan Mountains and salt from the East Sea. This simple sundubu is higly labor-intensive because they're keeping traditional way to preserve original flavor and only produced in small amount as it's consumed on the same day.

This Korean-style silken tofu has a mild,  delicate taste that it melts in your mouth... Chodang-dong Sundubu Village district has some restaurants serving this dish.

Spicy Fish Soup (매운탕)

Jumunjin Fish Market (주문진수산시장)

Hoe (raw fish), Maeuntang, fried fish, snow crab + driver's meal - ₩50,000

I think you won't find a better place to have fresh seafood feast without breaking your pocket. tucked away in an alley behind Jumunjin market are these eating houses where you can select the live fish in the tank. Soon the hot and delicious seafood will be served on the table. 

The restaurant owner was so kind to include snow crabs as service and even specially cook the maeuntang (spicy fish soup) became flavourful anmaeuntang (non spicy fish soup) just for the kids! You can imagine the taste just by looking at the photo. 

It's near Jumunjin Breakwater which is now very popular spot as K-drama Goblin was filmed there. Check out this link to read more...

Gomchiguk (곰치국)

Moray / Snailfish Soup - ₩60,000

Snailfish ranging from 45 - 60 cm is the main ingredient of Gomchiguk (Moray Fish Soup) cook with tofu or kimchi is local speciality of Samcheok city. Previously, soft texture of Gomchiguk was enjoyed only by people living in Gangwon area during winter, but now is considered as a nationwide delicacy throughout four seasons.

The soup is cupposed to be spicy, but we requested not to put gochujang... A bit dissappointed with the taste because it's not as tasty as what we had at Jumunjin Market. Maybe next time I should try the original spicy flavour. [Read more...]

The restaurant is opposite Samcheok Romantic Road where 
you can find a big snailfish water fountain there. 

Please stay tuned for more delicious delicacies in other regions~! 

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