[SEOUL] Tucked right outside the popular Gwangjang Market is Buchon Yukhoe 부촌육회, arguably one of the best yukhoe houses in South Korea.

It is also awarded with a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

So, what’s Yukhoe?

Yuh-hoe (육회) in Korean means raw meat, and this dish makes use of marinated raw lean beef. Consider it the Korean version of the Western dish beef tartare.

When I visited the shop, the server welcomed me at the entrance saying “Beef Sashimi, Beef Sashimi…”.

It started in 1956 as Buchon Sikdang selling short rib soup, but eventually the focus shifted to Yuk-hoe.

It is especially well-known in Bucheon, a city in Gyeonggi Province, hence the name “Buchon Yukhoe”.

Buchon’s founding matriarch offered an original Yuk-hoe as it was done in Jeollado Province seasoned with chili paste.

From this, the menu has grown to a variety of Yuk-hoe dishes to choose from.

You can order Yuk-hoe which is Korean-style raw beef (19,000 Won) as is; or with Chopped Live Octopus (32,000 Won).

They also offer Gan & Cheonyeop (15,000 Won) of raw beef liver & omasum); and Sannakjitangtangyi (15,000 Won) which is Chopped Live Octopus. (The omasum is the third chamber in the ruminant stomach.)

Clearly not for the faint-hearted, and those not used to eating raw food.

The Yuk-hoe (19,000 Won) came with high-quality beef sliced very thinly and marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, and other spices.

It is served pear slices, sesame seeds, and a striking raw egg on top. Give it a good mix before eating.

While I cannot say that I fancy this a lot (some psychological barrier to get across first), I can imagine why people would love this dish.

The beef slices had a slimy but tender texture, were fresh-tasting, made tastier with the sweetness from the pears and fragrance from sesame oil.

You can also try Yukhoe Bibimbap (7,000 or 11,000 Won) coming a bowl of assorted veggies (fresh cucumber strips, shredded perilla leaves) and thin strips of Korean pear, topped with raw meat sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

There was also a serving of rice and gochujang (red pepper paste) to mix into the ingredients, plus side dishes of beef radish soup and kimchi.

Once combined, each ingredients added a layer of flavour to the dish, from the nuttiness of the perilla leaves to the sweetness of the pears.

The soft texture of the beef was a delightful contrast to the crunch of the cucumbers and pears.

The fluffy rice blended with the spicy and savoury paste just helped to tie everything together.

Plain wooden tables and round stools provide basic seating for diners in a well-lit space. Around 30 plus diners can be accommodated, and is more of a fast-paced, eat-and-go place.

If you have always been keen to try out Yuk-hoe, then this can be considered a refreshing, tasty dish on a warm day – great as appetiser, a small plate in between meals, or even as main dish.

Buchon Yukhoe 부촌육회
165-11 Jongno 4(sa)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (outside Gwangjang Market)
서울특별시 종로구 종로 200-4 1F
Opening Hours: 10am – 4pm, 5pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)

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