Seoul: Getting Jjigae With It

31 Oct

We were wandering around Hongdae when we found this random Jjigae (Korean stew) place that seemed quite popular with the young locals, and decided to give it a shot. After all the elaborate meals and copious amount of BBQ meats on our trip, we figured we could do with something simple. Each pair/group would share a gas stove for the huge cast iron pan containing the Jjigae later. and The menu was all in Korean but thankfully there was a friendly waiter who was keen to practise his English with us. It was actually a DIY Jjigae place so you could basically customise your Jjigae with whatever ingredients you wanted.

Most of the people around us were eating what seemed like Budae Jjigae (army stew). Budae Jjigae was popular after the Korean war as food was scarce in Seoul and people would take discarded food like hot dogs and spam from the US Army bases and incorporate them into the traditional Korean soups. But because the hubs doesn’t like eating processed meats such as spam and hot dogs, we opted for something more seafood-ish instead. We ordered mussels, squid, tteok (rice cakes), fishcake, beancurd, cheese and ramyeon (instant noodles).

We were told to wait for the contents to bubble before digging it. Everything looks very red because of the gochujang (red chilli paste) and kimchi! The stew tasted slightly spicy and sweet (because of the cheese) and the instant noodles and soft and chewy tteok were infused with the flavours of the soup. Maybe the taste would have had more depth with the traditional spam and hotdogs because of the saltiness. While it was an interesting experience, it’s not something that I would crave for – it does seem like fast food version of Korean food. Still, it also makes for a very cheap and carbo-filled meal if you’re running out of won after too much shopping in Dongdaemun ;)

Price: $ (<10 SGD per pax)
Location: I’m sorry I don’t have the exactly location but you should be able to spot similar Jjigae joints in Seoul. Do let me know if you have a Budae Jjigae joint in Seoul to recommend and I will put it up here!

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