Say what you may, but I’m totally merciless when it comes to food. I’m glad that Korea’s weather in early April had been very cold, made me burn the calories faster and I was eager to draw a tick on my food list – 3 full pages of A4 papers. A good place to hit as many birds with one stone is none other than the notorious Gwangjang Market.
A good place to hit as many birds with one stone is none other than the notorious Gwangjang Market. The moment we stepped into the covered market, known for its plentiful street food, we were inevitably greeted (or led on?) by the layers of aromatic smells.
The market can be entered from a few points which all leads into the heart of the market like tunnels, and along these ‘tunnels’, are where dozens and dozens of hawker stalls aligned. There’s hardly any stall that is not having a brisk business even though competition is assured by the many stalls that serve the same food.
While the food dominates the ‘main tunnels’, the clothing industry rules the other small pathways. If anyone wants to buy a hanbok, I’m sure Gwangjang is the place to go. The hanboks are so pretty and colorful and stocks at each shop are quite unique.
Back to the food, the most domineering smell in this market would be the mung bean pancake, Bindaeduk. It’s hard to pass by these stalls without buying at least one small size pancakes. Mung beans are grounded into batter using the huge stone mortar, then fried up with spring onion and beansprouts. I forgot how much we paid for the pancakes but rest assured that they cost only a few reasonable thousand won.
There’s a few stalls selling these preserved seafood but as much as I would love to try, I’m left with just a small little corner (in stomach) to fit in the Abaisundae.
After food and clothings, kitchenware is another large business in Gwangjang Market.
Other notable food in the market includes Jokbal (boiled trotter), boiled intestines, seafood sashimi, Tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) and hotpots (shabu-shabu).
My main reason to be here in the first place – Abaisundae a.k.a the blood sundae. We paid only 3,000 won for a whole plate of them. Pig’s intestine were stuffed with glutinous rice, boiled and served with a little pinch of salt. It didn’t turned out as good as I imagined, quite bland but hey, that’s an experience one must have when visiting Korea – sampling every culture and food, right?
To get to Gwangjang Market, get to Jongno-5-ga line 1 and get out from exit 8. The market is within walking distance from Dongdaemun. The shops are open till evening while the food stalls open till around 11 at night.