EMILIANO & JAEHEE
emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
Take the C train to Clinton Washington | Map

IMG_2757Chow down with Hun, Yoon, Gael and Emi. Cheap and Cheerful Night eating at Gwang Jang Market!

I am sure you all like Korean BBQ. And Me too! But there is so much more beyond BBQ in Korean food and the most fun part is that you can enjoy all sort of eateries in different price, ambiance and based on seasonal specialties. It’s already mouth watering brain storming where to go for tonight or for tomorrow’s lunch. At the night market? All vegetarian Ssam place? North Korean cold noodle soup, Nang Myun? or Freshest Sashimi at the fish market! The possibilities are truly endless and you will need months and months to taste all these wonderfully cultural food that Korea can offer.

My dear cousin Yoon and her husband Hun are maybe the 2 best eatery guide you can ask for ! We have been eating the most delicious food around Seoul and having the best time catching up!  Soju became our new favorite drink and now that Emi had tasted real deal of Korean food in Seoul, I better Up my Korean cooking skill back in New York…!

Now, are you ready for some Korean food?  Then let’s start!!!

IMG_2752First, we are checking the water out at the market.  There are so many banquets of all market and street food vendors.  Market food usually means Noodles, Korean blood sausage, Jun ( pan fried anything that’s dipped in the egg wash), Ttuck boki ( rice cake cooked in chili paste), Oden soup ( fish cake soup), Sashimi and much more!  This runs good half mile long on a long isle between the shops.

IMG_2793Thanks for the big smile!  These little fingerling Korean maki ( Gim Bap) are so good that it has a nick name ” Drug Maki”. So addictive. Carrots, crunch sweet and sour Pickled Radish root, Spinach and touch of wasabi paste. Delicious!

IMG_2744It’s a crab season in Korea and Crabs are everywhere!  These are Soy Crab. Soaked in a tub of soy sauce. These are cleaned and raw.

IMG_2746Chili paste version. Spicy and sweet.

IMG_2764Down and low in local way. Eating is one thing but most of all, the talking and being together in such atmosphere is the key here. Keeping the company over just good simple food.

IMG_2705Sample station.

IMG_2704So much memories with my Ttuck boki. It’s Korean way of comfort food.

IMG_2700Perfection of Dumplings!

IMG_2748Serious set of All kinds.

IMG_2755Post Soju and lots of food face.  We hit already 2 banquets!

IMG_2761Sashimi Section!

IMG_2767Korean Style Sashimi. Cooked and uncooked are mixed. Cooked Octopus, Shell fish and raw salmon and flounder.

IMG_2787Next we are at the BEST Mung bean pancake house.

IMG_2790Yummmm! Yoon and Hun say this is IT!

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IMG_2783Cheap and Deep!  Crispy around the edges with hearty and satisfying fillings. Delicious! Gael just loves loves loves!

IMG_2784Pickled sweet Onions in Soy and Kimch on the side!

IMG_2983It’s very first time my dad and Gael are meeting in person. We had the best 3 days doing little things as a family visiting local markets, garden and a Korean folk flea market.  It makes me feel so happy to see my dad and Gael walking hand in hand. We are going for dinner!!

IMG_2999One area in the west side of Seoul is called ” Mapo” and here we are with dad hitting the most typical Mapo style BBQ place!  I really liked overall vibe in this particular area. There were many little places in sort of 70′s style in such Korean way.

IMG_3008Coals are in!

IMG_3006First, a waitress comes and spread some slightly cooked kimchi on the rim of grill.  I am curious as it is my first time to see this.

IMG_3014Ah ha! the Egg wash goes over the Kimchi! It makes steamed egg from the heat!  Grill’s busy with chopsticks!

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IMG_3016Eggs are all gone and Dad takes charge in Grilling!  We ordered 2 kinds of meat. Pork with simple sea salt and Sirloin slices marinated in typical Gal bi dressing ( soy based). They melt in your mouth. Tender and Delicious!

IMG_3009Dad pouring Soju for Emi. You receive it with 2 hands especially when you are younger than the person pouring. It’s our way to pay Respect. A beautiful tradition.

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IMG_3013Serious grilling here.

IMG_3017Gael learned how to sharpen Scissors from dad. The first tip from grandpa!

IMG_3020The second tip from Granpa. Now you pour with 2 hands to dad. Another beautiful tradition. I love this moment.

IMG_30033 generations together. Love you dad!

IMG_3141Now we are back with Yoon and Hun in Norayngjin Fish market.  We are going to buy our own ingredients and have one of restaurants on the second floor at the market cook for us! It’s a typical way to have your fish and seafood at the market. Isn’t it a brilliant idea?!!!

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IMG_3108The market.

IMG_3118Calling it all!  Avalon, Conch, Cockle, Clam and …and …and!

IMG_3122King Crabs!

IMG_3125Bass. They are big and totally fresh. I mean they are in the water swimming up to the point you purchase it!

IMG_3130Popular wild caught flounder! Great for Sashimi!

IMG_3139You pick one and pay for it . They Sashimi for you right there on a plate to go.

IMG_3110They look like from Mars.

IMG_3146This is Hun and Yoon’s only spot to go to have their freshest seafood purchased cooked. It’s a small and clean place with lovely owner lady. She’s holding our Korean ” Flower” crabs, mixed Shell fish and a whole Bass! You pay the restaurant to prepare the seafood you bought however you wish. Steam, soup, fry, Sashimi… It’s a still excellent deal as the fish itself is way cheaper here at the market than any shops in the city. And also you are eating them at the best quality. I mean how fresher can it be?

IMG_3148Sashimi Bass.

IMG_3153Steamed Flower Crab. They are plump, juicy and Sweet! The best!!  And of course Soju to accompany.

IMG_3152Mixed steamed Shell Fish.

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IMG_3156The owner will make this sort of fried rice with crab meat and crab juice and sesame oil. Yum!!

IMG_3199After dinner cigarettes. Hun and Emi. After dinner, we are on the 2nd round of fun at Korean karaoke and late night snack at Hong Dae!!

IMG_3191Digesting.

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IMG_4959Happy!

IMG_4427For another fun dinner, here me and Yoon patiently waiting for our table at “ Bong San Jip”  It’s my second time with Yoon and all of us!

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IMG_2637Yay! It’s about to Start!

IMG_2641Thinly sliced beef brisket is maybe one of my favorite thing now! This old school ” Bong San Jip” restaurant only serves 1 menu. Not many sides like other places. Just Beef brisket to grill. But the secret is in this Killer Soy dipping sauce with lots of fresh chopped scallions and sweet green chili peppers. And one pot miso soup again with beef brisket in! You just to have to be here!

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IMG_2648The miso is here!

IMG_2647Cabbage, Tofu, brisket, chili and miso.

Honestly I must say “Fooding till Drop” may the main highlight of this trip. Family get together is absolutely the most precious thing but experiencing all these amazing food in Korea has been One cultural shock even to myself as a Korean.

Like Emi Says, ” Korean Kicks Butt!”

LOvE FoOD, LOvE EaT, LOvE SeOuL!!!