Seoul Food Tour with Haechi
Episode 12: Wangsimni's Gopchang-gui Alley
"Want to go for some gopchang and soju tonight?" You may or may not have heard this question before, but it is a very common question that Korean people ask their friends when making plans for an evening; gopchang is THAT popular. The moment a plump and chewy morsel of gopchang goes into your mouth and it's washed down with a refreshing glass of soju, any and all stress just fades away.
There are two versions of gopchang-gui.
On the left) Yangnyum-gui: Gopchang marinated with gochujang (red chili pepper paste).
On the right) Sogum-gui: Gopchang seasoned with only salt only.
Gopchang-gui is a dish of grilled beef or pork intestines that have been either seasoned with salt (called sogum-gui) or marinated with gochujang (called yangnyum-gui). Gopchang doesn't look very nice and the fact that it is the small intestines of an animal may make some people reluctant to try it, but once you do, you'll see right away why so many people love it! The crowds of people that come flocking to Gopchang Alley in Wangsimni every evening makes it ever more evident.
The most popular gopchang restaurants are the ones that serve the freshest-tasting and the plumpest gopchang. Compared to other cuts of meat, gopchang is rich in iron and vitamins, and high in protein and low in cholesterol, making it a healthier alternative. And when it's eaten with alcohol, gopchang protects the walls of the stomach, helps to break down the alcohol, and promotes digestion, thus making it a very popular dish to order when drinking.
Gopchang-gui Alley is always alive with people every night coming for a drink and some delicious gopchang-gui!
Gopchang Yangnyum-gui Recipe
Step 2: Re-grilling - Gopchang is chargrilled on a castiron grill to once again eliminate excess fat and smells.
Step 3: Final grilling - A gochujang-based sauce is used to marinate the gopchang and then it is grilled again.
Every gopchang restaurant has their own recipe, but each one makes sure that their gopchang-gui is removed of excess fat and tastes fresh, and is marinated at just the right time to ensure proper texture and taste.
Gopchang tastes more savoury with every bite.
The third and final stage of grilling happens at the diner's table. The gopchang comes topped with vegetables and additional sauce and is lightly cooked at the table. The moment you bite down on a morsel of gopchang, the juices hidden inside burst out for even more flavor!
You can order sogum-gui, gopchang-gui that is only seasoned with salt, if you want to try gopchang-gui in its natural form, but ordering gopchang-gui in the yangnyum-gui style is recommended as the special sauce that is used to marinate the gopchang is a culmination of decades of gopchang-gui-making experience.
As for banchan (side dishes), the usual accompaniments to gopchang-gui are vegetables and a sauce to dip the vegetables in, usually ssamjang (a mixture of gochujang and doenjang); in addition to sauce to dip the gopchang in. The vegetables are there to balance out the intense, savory flavors of the gopchang, and because they're just a healthy accompaniment to have! Also, the vegetable banchan are free, so you can have them refilled to your heart's content!
How to Get There
Take subway line 2 to Sindang Station and go out exit 2. You'll see Jungang Market, go straight through it and out the other side. You should see an intersection which marks the beginning of Gopchang-gui Alley.
A. Angyeong Halmoni Gopchang (안경할머니 곱창) / Tel. 02-2236-1954
B. Ddaengcho Gopchang (땡초곱창) / Tel. 02-2234-1240
C. Sammijip Gopchang (삼미집 곱창)
D. Mokpo Hoegwan Gopchang (목포회관 곱창) / Tel. 02-2252-4158
E. Yeonggwang Gopchang (영광곱창) / Tel. 02-2253-6161
F. Yeongmi-ne Gopchang (영미네곱창) / Tel. 02-2253-3341
G. Seonho-ne Gopchang (선호네곱창)
H. Borami-ne Gopchang (보람이네 곱창) / Tel. 02-2235-5255
I. Haengbokhan Gohyang Gopchang (행복한 고향 곱창) / Tel. 02-2252-4731
J. Monnani Gopchang (못난이 곱창) / Tel. 02-2238-9967
K. Kokji-ne Gopchang (꼭지네 곱창) / Tel. 02-2231-6062
L. Samseong Gopchang (삼성곱창)
Sogum-gui: 9,000 won / Yangnyum-gui: 9,000 won
Most restaurants are open from 3 p.m. - 3 a.m.
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[2011-10-21 06:36 Input / 2012-03-21 17:32 Modify]
Article source: Seoul Metropolitan Government Tourism Division