We went to the Gwangjang “Eatery Street” Market yesterday and I’m so glad we found it. The market is hidden within a mirage of store front businesses and you have to walk through aisles upon aisles of fabric vendors to get to the food part.
Each section of vendors sold similar foods – fried foods and pancakes, seafood, pork and rice cakes, and kimbop. We ate towards the center of each of these “streets” to get the most variety of tapas sized portions to share.
This is tteokbokki. It is a traditional food found at most street vendors in the city – formerly, it was a palace food. The banana looking things are rice cakes – a dense, chewy, flavorless strips cooked in a mildly spicy red pepper paste.
This is one of my favorites – jeon, or Korean pancakes. The dough is made of mashed mung beans and egg, mixed with shredded vegetables, seafood, meat, or kimchi then flattened and pan fried in oil. It kind of tastes like what a pizza crust would be if it was made of shredded vegetables and deep fried. The taste is pretty neutral and is dipped in a vinegar/carrot sauce or fish sauce and onion mix to give it an acidic bite.
The accordion folded golden things on a stick are called odeng, or fish cakes. The texture and taste are similar to meatballs except with fish. Also pictured from left to right are noodles that taste like chow mein, chicken feet, and clear udon noodles.
i didn’t realize that these were blood sausages (called sundae) before this post. Online descriptions say this is coagulated pig’s blood mixed with barley, inserted into an intestine sausage sleeve. Absolutely disgusting, right? But in reality, it tasted like a lightly seasoned fried rice wrapped up like a sausage. The sushi rolls you see in the corner are called kimbop and are pretty much the same in convenience stores as well as in the street. They tastes like sushi rolls filled with pickled carrots, radish, and spam. Above them are pig hooves and liver – no thank you.