29 March 2004

Street Food 2

Continuing with our street food theme, let's cover more ground today. You'll find many pojangmacha (street stalls/carts) littered all over Seoul. Some stalls are permanent fixtures, like the one below, while some operate out of the back of open-panel vans. During winter, they put up clear plastic tents to keep customers warm.

Front row left, you'll find some mini kimbaps. Beside it are baskets full of twigims (flour-battered deep fried veges, prawns, squid, etc. even hard-boiled eggs).

This must be the staple of all pojangmachas. Teokbokgi (떡볶이) are rice cakes in hot pepper sauce. These are originally long cylindrical rice cakes which are then cut into shorter pieces, and simmered in a spicy sauce made from gochujang (chili paste), chili powder & syrup. It can be eaten as it is. However, it is usual to also throw in some twigim, hard boiled eggs, goon mandu (dumpling) and odeng (fish cake).

This is soondae (순대). It is Korean traditional sausage made by steaming pig's intestines filled with a mixture of chopped vegetables, Chinese glass noodles and pig's blood. I guess it's one of those things you either love or hate, like Scottish haggis.

Soondae is usually served with a side of seasoned salt. I do not find it repulsive at all, but personally I don't fancy it because I find the taste rather bland and unexciting.

The next set of photos are from a different street vendor. The standard "meat" (don't ask what meat) sausages and fish cake sausages, with and without sesame seeds sprinkled.

The tray in front are skewered deep-fried chicken nuggets smothered in sweetish chili sauce and sprinkled with sesame seed. The tray behind this holds pan-fried goon mandu, Korean dumplings stuffed with minced pork, Chinese glass noodles and spring onions. Similar to Japanese gyoza.

This stall also offers teokbokgi.

In the forefront is dakkochi, one of my favourite. This Korean chicken kebab is made from several cubes of boneless chicken skewered alternately with leek or other vegetables. It is then grilled over a hotplate and smothered with sweet and spicy sauce.

This is odeng, fish cake skewered into a sausage-like form. I actually enjoy the soup more!! The soup is made from turnips and anchovy stock and peppered liberally. Served in paper cups. Very nice on a cold night.

Eating at such stalls is inexpensive (by Korean standards). Typically a skewer of anything is KRW1,000 - KRW2,000. The price for a plate of teokbokgi varies, depending on what you load it with but generally it shouldn't cost more than KRW2,000 - KRW3,000.

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