My 10 favorite Kimbap Changuk dishes

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Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.I tend to assume that regular visits to kimbap changuk are a staple for any foreigner living in Korea.  During my two and a half years I’ve visited some variation of this ubiquitous Korean eatery at least twice a week.  Still, I occasionally run into people who avoid it.  Some people are intimidated by the untranslated menu, others have just had the misfortune of visiting a particularly bad location.  It’s true they can be hit or miss on food quality and sanitation, but if you find a good one, these ten items will keep you happy and help you avoid starvation during your time in Korea.

While these are my dishes of choice, I’m no expert.  If you’ve got some favorites, please add them in the comment section.

For info on how to order and some more generalized tips check out the always interesting grrrltraveler’s website.  For in depth analysis on what’s on the menu, have a look at the ‘mary eats’ blog.

*Many of these pictures vary greatly from the actual kimbap changuk items.  I wasn’t hungry enough to order all of them just to get some pictures, so these are the best wikipedia public domain has to offer.  It’s just meant to give a basic idea of what you’ll get.

1.  Chom-Chi Kimbap:  This is kimbap with tuna.  It usually cost 2,500 won and it’s pretty filling.  This is my go-to takeway food because they make it quickly and it’s cheap.  I’ve had it as my twice a week work snack/dinner for the past year.

2.  Goguma Cheese Donkatsu:  This one can be a bit pricier, usually around 5,500won, but it’s also very filling.  It’s a fried pork cutlet with sweet potato and cheese cooked into it.  It usually comes with a small salad on the side and a pile of rice.  It’s greasy and generally unhealthy and usually tastes best when either drunk at night or hungover in the afternoon.  Or if you’re just really hungry.  Regular donkatsu and cheese donkatsu are also good.

This image was originally posted to Flickr by luckypines at http://flickr.com/photos/21221877@N00/48544485

3.  Cheese Oem Rice:  This is the best straight up breakfast option if you haven’t adjusted to the Korean breakfast of the same stuff you eat for lunch and dinner.  It’s a large omelette stuffed with rice, cheese, and usually bits of ham and vegetables.  The kimchi oem rice is also really good.

This image, originally posted to Flickr, was reviewed on 29 May 2009 by the administrator or reviewer Juliancolton, who confirmed that it was available on Flickr under the above license on that date.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlastras/3456477829/sizes/o/

4.  Kimchi Jiggae:  This one might be an acquired taste for some.  But if you keep eating it, you learn to love it.  During extended periods away from Korea, Kimchi jiggae is the cheap food I miss the most.  It consists of spicy red broth, kimchi, and some pieces of pork.  It comes in a hotpot.  I  sweat profusely while eating it, both from the spice and from the heat of the bowl.  Use the rice to dilute the spice a bit. I find it a decent hangover cure, and a good smaller lunch  option.

 

5. Dolsot Bi bim bap:  This was the only food I knew when I first arrived in Korea.  I ate it for lunch and dinner everyday for about a month.  I didn’t want to taste or smell it for the rest of the year after that.  For those who don’t know, it’s rice and vegetables and some spicy red sauce served in a hot pot.  You take a spoon and mix and mash everything together.  It’s good for vegetarians (though beware some places do add meat, so ‘gogi opsoiyo’ is still a necessary clarification) and just a good filling lunch food.  If you don’t like the hot pot, just order plain old bibimbap.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.  Source: http://flickr.com/photos/agnes_ly/1394662616/

6.  Kimchi Mandu:  While the mandu at Kimbap changuk is rarely great, it’s reliably good at least.  The kimchi stuffed dumplings work well as a snack or a third item to share between two people, rather  than a standalone meal.  It’s worth it to seek out a good mandu restaurant and get the real thing, but until that’s possible, kimbap changuk can fill the void.

Source: {{Information |Description ={{en|1=Korean Mandu(dumplings)}} |Source ={{own}} |Author =Raven9722 |Date =2011-02-16 |Permission = |other_versions = }} )

7.  Tong Su Yuk:  I’ve had this sweet and sour pork dish at a few locations, though most I’ve been to don’t offer it.  It’s pieces of fried pork soaked in sweet and sour sauce with some vegetables.  It’s not exactly the same as the American style chinese dish, but it’s close enough and different enough from the other menu items to make it worth you while if they’ve got it.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

8.  Cheese Ramyeon:  I don’t particularly like ramyeon and I rarely if ever choose to order it.  But as far as the ramyan at kimbap changuk goes, this is my favorite.  It’s ramyan with…. a slice of cheese!  Slightly milder than the spicier options it makes for an okay snack or small lunch.

9.  Bulgogi Ddapbap:  This is a kind of beef and vegetable stir fry.  It comes with a pile of rice.  It’s good if you’re hungry for meet, but want to avoid the fried donkatsu options.  There’s one that comes on a hot place as well.  It’s a good general lunch or dinner option.

10.  Galbi-tang:  This is the bone-in pork soup.  It can be really good a specialized restaurants, but can also be an okay option at kimbap changuk.  It’s broth, pork and noodles.  You will have to cut or gnaw the meet off the bone after it’s boiled for a while, but it makes for a decent meaty soup option, if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

Related posts:

  1. Tasty Tasty Juk – Bon Juk Porridge Restaurant
  2. Sintobooli Meat Restaurant, Seomyeon
  3. A Tale of Two Restaurants: Pork Soup Restaurants in Seomyeon (Gyeongju Gukbap)


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