[Seoul] During travels, taking the alternative route may lead you to hidden corners and the whole-in-the-wall food shops that is worth every bit of that discovery.
While Myeongdong is known for its touristy shopping, street food and shops selling all types of facial shops, it is a land of well-known restaurants and hidden gems.
I happened to find Geumgang Bogeul Bogeul, a 3rd generation Seokkeo Jjigae restaurant with a 40-year history.
Seokkeo Jjigae is made by simmering squid and pork with a hot pepper paste-based sauce.
Geumgang Bogeul Bogeul serves up a variety of stews, including Ojingeo Seokkeo Jjigae – Squid Stew (9000 Won Per Helping/Person), Osambulgogi – Cuttlefish with grilled pork belly and vegetables (10,000 Won Per Helping), and Beef Intestine Stew (12,000 Won Per Helping).
9,000 Won is about SGD$11.25, or USD$8.00.
There is also a Uijeongbu-Style Ham and Kimchi Stew (8,000 Won) – their take of the army stew. “Uijeongbu” is said to have military significance, and there is even a Uijeongbu Budaejjigae Street, literally an “Army Stew Street”.
That is because ingredients, such as luncheon meat, macaroni, vegetables, garlic, tofu, represent those that were taken from the US military camps, and used for stews during the Korean war.
I had the signature original Mixed Stew (8,000 Won Per Helping), with a pot of cuttlefish, sausage noodles, pork, udon, tofu, vegetables and ramen noodles cooked in a semi-spicy sauce.
Compared to the usual Army Stew that we are used to, this has a stronger, richer seafood taste which could give the base some sweetness. The texture is thinner, also because it doesn’t use canned tomato beans to thicken the sauce.
You may feel that the ingredients are more ‘worth it’ as there is a higher proportion of seafood and meat.
I liked the Seokkeo Jjigae, it was warm and comforting during the colder season, and appetising with its moderately-fiery stew base that went well springy instant noodles.
20 – 8 Myeongdong 7ga-Gil Jung-Gu, Seoul
Tel: +82 2779 3610
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Sun)