Everland is crowned the largest amusement park in Korea and one of the most visited attractions in the country with over 8 million visitors per year. Filled with laughter and lively buzz of people, swoosh of the rides, carnival music, animal growls and firework booms, Everland is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous fairy-tale places in Korea. However, the 40-year long road to success was not always a smooth one. Developing alongside the country, the evolution of Everland can be seen as a manifestation of the drastic changes that happened to South Korea in the last decades. Just as the country turned from a farming land into the Asian jewel it is now, so did Everland (quite literally). Our tale starts with the Farmland, and, as any proper tale, it starts with hard-work and struggle. The Origins In the far-away 1976, when Samsung Company founded its first theme park, Korea was a turbulent young country struggling under the rule of a military regime. Even though Seoul already had its first skyscraper – a 31-floor Building 3.1 – it was not the country and city that later became famous for its neon lights, expensive shopping districts and extravagant K-pop culture. It was mostly covered with fields and farms, with active industrialization just on its way as the Fourth Republic government was pushing forward the 5-year development plans. In the 70s the economy slowly but steadily started to grow, and first chaebols 재벌 – big family- owned businesses – began spreading their influence over the whole country. Against this background the first version of Everland – at the time called Farmland – was opened in Yongin, Gyeonggi province. From the very start the project had to face several serious obstacles. Fuelled by political discontent, civil protesters were a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately for the Farmland, this force was aimed against it. The original location was supposed to be in a place called Anseong, but faced with heavy protests from the locals, Samsung had to back down. Second attempt also ended in failure. Yongin dwellers stood their ground protecting the Yongin Korean Folk Village, where the new construction site was planned. Having no other choice, Farmland was moved even further into the mountains. The Development Despite initial difficulties, the park quickly became popular with Korean families. Set in a beautiful and serene location at the foot of the mountain, Farmland had a botanical garden, a zoo, a safari with tigers and lions (as a great novelty, guests could drive around wild animals in special buses - as they still do), beautiful fountains and fun rides for children. In the 1980s, despite the growing unrest in the country following the assassination of President Park Chung-hee and a military coup, Farmland continued to grow. As the new economic reforms propelled automobile and electronic industries, Samsung could direct more investments towards entertainment. Yongin Farmland started opening more rides and roller-coasters, hosting festivals and parades, and opened the first version of the Global Fair. Its motto became: “The Land of Nature, the Land of Fairytale”. The Rose Festival became iconic spot for couples and romantic dates, while the 530-meter long Snow Sled Slope set the trend for seasonal attractions in the park. By the late 80s, following nearly a decade of stable economic development, Korea successfully entered the global arena by conducting the Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics. After the first democratically elected president Roh Tae-woo took the office, a new era has begun. As changed the country, so did the Farmland: in 1996, after 20 years of service, the park officially changed its name to Everland. Korean population did not meet the new English name favorably. Pronounced by the natives, 에버렌드 sounded too much like 애벌레 – larvae in Korean. But Samsung, and the whole Korea, were dreaming big: the time has come to go global. The Rise of Everland The 90s became the game-changer for the now country-wide famous Everland. After opening the Caribbean Bay – the world’s first indoor and outdoor water park – Everland’s road to global recognition has started. By the new millennia, the park won several international awards among the best themed parks in the world and celebrated its first 100 million visitors. Similar to the Disneyland, Everland has stopped being just an amusement park. Apart from gardens, rides and safaris, it has opened its own accommodations, a gold club, a gallery, multiple food courts, experiences, as well as several venues for concerts and international events. Growing in size and influence, in 2006 Everland changed its name once again to the Everland Resort and became the place we love and know today. Starting as a countryside recreational park and growing into the world’s leading entertainment hub, Everland sets a perfect example of Korean spirit. After 40 years of hard-work and persistence, the park has welcomed over 200 million people overall and brought joy to countless families. Looking into the future, Samsung has invested heavily into VR and technology as it strives to bring the fairy-tale even closer to reality. Everland Resort is a place where tradition is intertwined with modernity, and nature can be enjoyed with all the comforts of the civilization.
Initially built in 1418 by the Great King Sejong in honor of his father, the palace was not very well used until much later, when it became a residence for the queens and concubines. Since then the palace had been witness to ruthless courtly intrigue, great love stories, devastating fires and gruesome murders. Deadly Charm: The King and His Lover One of the most famous (or infamous) concubines of the Joseon era, Jang Ok-jeong lived and weaved her intrigue in Changgyeonggung in the 17th century. She was a woman of great wit and unsurpassed beauty, coming from a long line of court interpreters. After seeing Ok-jeong during his visit to his grandmother, King Sukjong was hopelessly infatuated and favored her greatly. Their romance was highly controversial: the king was only recently married and, to make matters worse, Ok-jeong’s family belonged to the opposing facture. Angered by Sukjong’s actions, the king’s mother expelled Ok-jeong from the palace. However, luck was on her side and soon she was called back by the official wife of Sukjong – Queen Inhyeon. Using her wit and charm, Jang Ok-jeong started to climb the court ranks with unprecedented speed. After giving birth to the royal heir (the future King Gyeongjong), concubine Jang took her ambitions to the next level: she prompted the king to make her son Crown Prince. The child was not born to the official queen, so Sukjong pressured his young wife Inhyeon to adopt Gyeongjong. The queen refused, causing one of the bloodiest upheavals in Joseon’s history. Several noble houses were massacred, poisoned or banished, including the queen and her father. As a result, Jang Ok-jeong became the royal consort. Her influence grew exponentially, and soon the king became wary of the consort’s lust for power. He started favoring other concubines, demolished Ok-jeong to her previous status and even brought back Queen Inhyeon. The last straw was when the returned queen suddenly died: Jang Ok-jeong was accused of witchcraft and murder. The king’s wrath had no end. He executed all Jang’s relatives, supporters and her entire faction. Over 1700 people died during the trials of Ok-jeong. After her death, the Kind decreed that no concubine can ever be granted the title of the royal consort. Thus ended the story of the King's great love - and great anger. The Sorrowful Prince Some might believe that Changgyeonggung has a curse on it: not a century had passed until another tragedy struck. The second son of the second son, Prince Sado had met his horrible end in one of the palace halls. King Sukjong’s grandson, prince was the only royal heir in the line to the throne. Often underappreciated and bullied by his father, the ruling King Yeongjo, Sado grew up to be an anxious, sickly young man. He bonded strongly with the females of the household, who suffered similarly: his sister, grandmother and the king’s wife. After their fast consecutive deaths, Crown Prince’s mental health and relationship with his father deteriorated at an alarming pace. Soon his rage outbursts became violent: Sado first started beating, then killing, raping and torturing servants, ladies-in-waiting and eunuchs. Many details of prince’s sickening deeds and habits were documented by his wife in her memoirs. The outbursts continued, resulting in Sado killing his consort and battering his wife. He tried to commit suicide, but was saved by the guards. As per royal customs, crown prince could not be executed without subsequent exile or murder of his entire family and children. But something had to be done: Sado was becoming uncontrollable, threatening his own father and children. So, on a hot July afternoon, the King ordered his son to climb into a wooden rice chest and closed it. Sado was alive for 7 more days, until the chest was opened and he was pronounced dead on the 8th day. Until today the crown prince is known not by his birth name, but by the posthumous title Sado, given by his father – “Thinking of with great sorrow”. The Last Days of the Royals The last tragedy to befall the palace was in 1907. After the coronation of the "puppet" king Sunjong and his forced relocation from Deoksugung Palace to Chandeokgung, the adjacent Changgyeonggung was replaced by a botanical garden and a zoo by the Japanese. Up till 1984 it was an amusement park, but was restored to its former beauty. Nowadays only the botanical garden exists to remind of the Japanese occupation. An Unexpected Ending In 2006, an elderly man was detained by the police for setting fire to the Munjeongjeon Hall. Luckily, only the doors were slightly damaged. After short inquiry, the man was released. Two years later, the case of the serial arsonist became the talk of the country: the same man had burnt down the centuries-old Sungnyemun Gate, the National Treasure No. 1, to the ground.
Pork is the most widely consumed meat in Korea because of its savory taste and relatively cheap price, especially when compared to beef. All parts of the pig, from its head to its feet, are widely used in Korean dishes, whether it's barbeque, stew, or stir-fry. However, the most beloved part amongst Koreans is by far pork belly, or samgyupsal. There are so many types of cuts of pork available that going into some Korean barbeque restaurants can be quite overwhelming. So rather than sitting at the table of a restaurant, struggling with Google translate, here's a quick guide to the various cuts of pork that are available at restaurants across Korea. Samgyeopsal (삼겹살) - Pork belly Moksal (목살) - Neck Deungshim (등심) - Loin Anshim (안심) - Tenderloin Galbi (갈비) - Spare ribs Hangjeongsal (항정살) - Back of the neck Galmaegisal (갈매기살) - Skirt Meori (머리) - Head Gopchang (곱창) - Small intestine Makchang (막창) - Rectum Jokbal (족발) - Trotters/Legs There are also lots of regional pork dishes, such as 'Heukdwaeji’, literally translated as black pig, an indigenous breed that’s most prevalent in Jeju-do and used for barbeque, or Daegu Makchang, a thicker cut of makchang compared to that of other areas in Korea.
By far one of the most popular dishes in Korea. Koreans really do love their samgyeopsal. The direct translation of samgyeopsal is ‘three-layered meat’, meaning the three visible layers of meat and fat. It is undoubtedly the most popular food for any type of gatherings. Surveys show that the average Korean adult eats samgyeopsal once every four days. A wide range of different cuts and grilling styles. Living up to the hype of ‘the country of pork belly’, Korea offers a huge variety of samgyeopsal. Not all samgyeopsal is the same; there are many different ways of enjoying samgyeopsal depending on the type of cut and grill. For example, daepae samgyeopsal is a thinly sliced style of frozen samgyeopsal, while buljip samgyeopsal is much thicker, with many diagonal cuts shaped like beehives on the meat. Both cook differently and come out with slightly different tastes. The type of grill also effects the taste of the meat, with a charcoal grill giving the meat a smokier flavor, and a gas grill giving the meat a more fried texture. Sometimes samgyeopsal is even cooked on top of a burning hot stone top. Various marinades bringing whole new flavors to the mix. A whole crop of different samgyupsal marinades have popped up over the years, the most common being herb, yangnyeom (sweet and spicy), and gochujang (spicy). Not every barbeque restaurant has these types of marinated samgyeopsal, but there are a number of restaurants that do specialize in them. "A delicious cut of meat that's perfect for dinner and drinks with friends or family" How to Eat Timing is important when you grill samgyeopsal. The meat should be fully cooked but not overcooked, or else it will become hard and dry. There's really no wrong way to eat samgyeopsal, but the most common way is to make a ssam, or lettuce wrap, with it. Take some of the cooked meat, put it in a lettuce or a Priscilla leaf, add various condiments such as garlic or ssamjang sauce, then eat it. While the meat is grilling you can throw in kimchi, bean sprouts or other vegetables on the grill to soak up the grease from the meat. If you are still craving something more after finishing the meat, then order fried rice. It's cooked right on the grill with the grease from the samgyeopsal along with shredded seaweed paper and other veggies. Where to Eat Samgyeopsal restaurants are incredibly easy to find. It's also incredibly difficult to find a bad one. However, there a quite a few that stand out from the rest of the pack. Yukjeon Sikdang in Sinseol-dong serves up some high-quality cuts of samgyeopsal and has specially trained servers cook your meat to perfection for you. Hongik Sutbulgalbi Saenggogi in the Hongdae area is also a well-known samgyeopsal spot, famous for its young raucous atmosphere and appearance in multiple dramas, such as Jealousy Incarnate and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. For a more unique, classic style check out Narieuijip in Itaewon, which has been serving a special type of thin, frozen samgyeopsal for over 30 years, called naengdong samgyeopsal. For a much cheaper option, head over to Gangnam Won Samgyupsal near Gangnam Station, where an order only costs 5,500 won.
Barbequed pork ribs marinated in a sweet combination of soy sauce, fruit puree, and other spices. Dwaeji galbi is barbequed pork ribs marinated in a sweet combination of soy sauce, fruit puree, and other spices, as well as a traditional Korean rice wine called cheongju that's used to lessen the strong pork smell. This succulent and savory dish is a cheaper, but no less tasty, alternative to sogalbi (marinated beef rib barbeque), and is a popular menu item for all types of gatherings. Other tasty variations available. There are other variations of galbi, such as saenggalbi, which isn't marinated, and a spicy version of the famous yangnyeom galbi marinade, which is made from gochujang rather than soy sauce, to give it more of a kick than your average galbi. Sweet marinated pork short ribs grilled over charcoal for a slightly smoky taste. How to Eat When grilling, keep your eye on the meat, as marinated meat burns faster than non-marinated meat. The most common way to eat dweji galbi is to make a ssam, or lettuce wrap, with it. Take some of the cooked meat, put it in a lettuce or a Priscilla leaf, add various condiments such as garlic or ssamjang sauce, then eat it. It's also fine just dipping it in sauces, or eating it with various condiments on your table. It's all up to you! Where to Eat The mecca of dweji galbi is Mapo Dweji Galbi Alley in, you guessed it, Mapo. In the 1950’s there was a famous port in Mapo called Maponaru. It was a busy area of commerce and trade, and many restaurants, most serving marinated meat, began popping up to satisfy the demands of the hungry seamen. Maponaru is now closed, but many of the original dweji galbi restaurants still remain. The most famous of these restaurants is probably Jobak Jip, which became so popular they had to open a second branch across the street. Hongik Sutbulgalbi Saenggogi in Hongdae is a vibrant place with some good-quality dweji galbi that's also been the setting for quite a few dramas, such as Jealousy Incarnate (질투의 화신) and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (역도 요정 김복주).
Bite-sized slices of steamed pork belly served with a variety of sides and condiments. Bossam is a dish of sliced, steamed bite-size pieces of pork belly served with various sides. For this dish, the sides play as important a role as the meat and determine the taste of the dish. The basic sides that come with bossam are salted cabbage, lettuce, kimchi, and saewoojut (salted shrimp sauce). Other side dishes using seasonal ingredients, such as oysters or squid, are also served depending on the restaurant. Most restaurants that specialize in bossam usually also have jokbal on the menu and vice versa. A great late night snack. Many Koreans enjoy bossam and jokbal as a late night snack or as an appetizer when drinking, so many bossam restaurants stay open and offer delivery services until past midnight. Many restaurants around business districts offer an individual-sized bossam set during lunchtime called bossam jeongsik, that usually cost around 6,000 - 8,000 won. Steamed bite-size slices of pork belly paired with a wide variety of side dishes. How to Eat Take a piece of meat, dip it into saewoojut (salted shrimp sauce), wrap it in kimchi or salted cabbage with any other side dish of your liking, and, finally, eat it and savor the tasty goodness of bossam. Where to Eat There's a famous area filled with bossam restaurants near Jongno 3-ga called Bossam Alley. Two of the most famous restaurants in this alley are Heungbuga and Samhaejip. Both restaurants serve up oyster bossam, which is bossam with a side of oyster, eaten together. They also both give a free serving of either gamjatang or dakbokkeumtang with your order of bossam. It's a ton of food for a very reasonable price. Michelin-rated Manjok Ohyang Jokbal is also just as well known for its bossam as it is for its jokbal. As mentioned above, most restaurants serve both jokbal and bossam.
Pig trotters (feet) braised in a sauce of traditional alcohol and other spices, giving the skin a slightly sweet taste. Jokbal is a traditional pork dish that Koreans enjoy both as a meal and as an appetizer to munch on during drinking sessions. The main ingredient is pig trotters (feet), braised in traditional alcohol and other spices. The skin of the meat is full of collagen and has the most distinctive texture and flavor among all the cuts of pork. It is also rich in nutrition, being good for the skin. Taste differs between the front and back legs. The anatomy of the pig explains the difference between the front trotter and back trotter. Pigs have a longer hind leg than the front leg which allows their weight to be supported more by their front leg. Thus the front trotter is chewier as its muscles are more developed. But if you want your meat to be soft, eat the back trotter. Koreans usually prefer the taste of front trotter, although it’s more expensive. The original Jokbal restaurants can be found in Jangchung-dong The first jokbal restaurants in South Korea emerged in Jangchung-dong, Seoul. During the Korean War, refugees from the North found shelter in the abandoned houses in this area and started to sell a traditional food from their region, jokbal. That’s why when you go to Jokbal Alley in Jangchung-dong, now one of the most well-known food alleys in the country, you will see many restaurants with the word ‘원조’ (wonjo), which means ‘original’, on their signage. Soft, gelatinous pork trotters braised in a sweet sauce. How to Eat Side dishes differ by the restaurant, but the basic ones are saewoojut (salted small shrimp sauce), dongchimi (white kimchi), and lettuce or perilla leaves. The meat comes out cut up into bite-size slices, but usually, a bone as big as your face with meat hanging off of it is also served on the plate. Shrimp sauce is the perfect mix with jokbal as it not only enhances the taste, but the enzymes from the fermented shrimps help digest pork. Most restaurants offer jeon (traditional pancakes) and makguksu (sweet and spicy cold noodles) as side menus. Throw in a bottle of soju and you have the perfect Korean drink set. Where to Eat As mentioned above, Jokbal Alley in Jangchung-dong is where the best jokbal restaurants can be found in Seoul. They're all run by friendly old grandmas who have stuck to their own unique secret recipes for decades and they're sure to give you big, hearty portions that will leave you so full you can barely move. There's also the Michelin-rated Manjok Ohyang Jokbal, whose original restaurant is located not far from City Hall. It's so popular that they ended up opening four more stores- in the same alley. However, all the food is cooked in the original one, so you don't have to worry about which one to visit. For an interesting contemporary take on jokbal, check out Midamjinjok in Hongdae. Besides the usual platters of jokbal and bossam, Midamjinjok has concocted dishes such as Yuja Jokbal Salad and even a Jokbal Pizza.
A slightly spicy, boiling hot stew of pork backbone, mixed with vegetables, perfect for curing hangovers. Gamjatang is a slightly spicy, boiling hot stew of pork backbone, perilla leaves, perilla seed powder, cabbage, potatoes, and a few other ingredients. It’s very nutritious, making it perfect for recovering stamina. Koreans often eat this dish to cure hangovers, but ironically it's also a popular food to have a few shots of soju over, with the broth working well as a chaser. Potato Stew or Spinal Cord Stew? There's also quite a bit of controversy over the name of the dish. Gamja is the Korean word for potato, and since potatoes are commonly used in the dish, many people think this is where the name originated from. However, according to some people, the spinal cord included in the bone used to be called ‘gamja’, and this is where the dish got its name, not from potatoes. After a thorough investigation by a television program, it was found that gamgjatang actually does come from the word potato, thus gamjatang that omits the potatoes should be called ppyeohaejangguk. A rich, hearty stew of pork backbone, perilla leaves, perilla seed powder, cabbage, and potatoes How to Eat Getting the meat off the bones may seem a bit tricky, but if you go to the right restaurant that knows how to properly cook it, the meat will be tender to the point that it just falls right off the bone. You can order ramen noodles or additional ingredients to go in your stew, and after you’ve finished, you can order fried rice that’s cooked with the remaining broth. Gamjatang usually comes out in a big pot to be shared with others but don’t worry if you’re traveling alone. You can order ‘ppyeohaejangguk’ (뼈해장국), which is essentially an individual-sized version of gamjatang without the potatoes. Where to Eat Gamjatang is a very common dish, and it's easy to find a 24 hours restaurant that serves it in any neighborhood. One popular spot for gamjatang though is Gamjaguk Alley in Eungam-dong, near Saejeol Station. Gamjaguk is another word for gamjatang. The restaurant owners in the area prefer to use the word gamjaguk because they think it has a friendlier intonation. There are about half a dozen restaurants in this small alley that serve gamjatang, and it's a very popular spot amongst locals. Dongwon Jip in Euljiro is another famous spot well-known for it's cheap and delicious gamjatang, that's also been featured on the famous food program Suyomisikhwe.
A savory, spicy dish of stir-fried pork and vegetables, served with rice and other sides. Jaeyuk bokkeum is a spicy stir-fried pork dish mixed with various vegetables such as carrots, onions, peppers, and scallions. The pork is left to marinate in a yangnyeom sauce along with vegetables over a period of a few hours (although for best results, it’s better to let it marinate overnight). It’s a very popular dish in Korea that can be found nearly anywhere, and it’s also inexpensive, with an individual order usually costing no more than 7,000 won. Some slight variations. Some Korean restaurants serve jaeyuk deopbab instead of jaeyuk bokkeum, which is essentially the same, except that it’s served on top of rice, rather than in its own dish. There's also a variation of the dish called ssambap, in which jaeyuk bokkeum is wrapped in lettuce or perilla leaf with other condiments. A delicious, simple spicy pork dish stir-fried with vegetables. How to Eat There are two ways to eat jaeyuk bokkeum, depending on how it’s served. Usually it will come on a plate, with side dishes and rice served separately. If that’s the case just eat it on its own or together with the rice. Sometimes it’s served with lettuce, perilla leaves, and dwenjang paste. If that’s the case then take some of the jaeyuk bokkeum, put it in a lettuce or perilla leaf, add rice, dwenjang sauce, and maybe pepper or garlic, wrap it, and then eat it. Where to Eat While no restaurants specialize in the dish, jaeyuk bokkeum can be found in any casual restaurant, such as Kimbap Cheonguk or Kimbap Nara. But for better quality jaeyuk bokkeum its best to go to a family-run restaurant or pocha. Most universities have a few family-run restaurants nearby that are popular amongst students, that serve up a good plate of jaeyuk bokkeum. If you're nearby a university just ask any student for restaurant recommendations and they'll be sure to help you out.
Beef short ribs marinated in a sweet soy sauce. Galbi is a perfect combination of juicy meat and sweet soy sauce, deepened by a smoky charcoal flavor. Traditionally the marinade was made from Korean soy sauce, but nowadays many restaurants come up with their original recipes. The sweet and mild taste of galbi makes it one of the representative Korean dishes, but due to its price, Koreans eat galbi only on very special occasions. That’s why there is a saying in Korea that goes, “Never trust a person who buys you beef. They probably have a good reason for it.” A delicacy steeped in history and tradition, with many regional variations. Marinated galbi is believed to have emerged in Suwon, the capital of Gyeonggi Province. During the Chosun Dynasty, Suwon was the center of commerce in Korea, and the people of Suwon could afford to eat beef, signifying the city's wealth. The distinctive feature of Suwon galbi is its size. It is also known as 'wanggalbi', which means 'king galbi', and as you may have guessed from its name, the size of galbi in Suwan is larger than galbi in other regions. The bone attached to the beef can reach up to 15cm long! Other areas famous for galbi are Pocheon, also in Gyeonggi Province, with their Idong-galbi, and Busan, with their own Haeundae-galbi. Nowadays you can easily find galbi or beef barbeque restaurants all over Korea. Beef short ribs marinated in a sweet soy sauce and grilled over charcoal for a sweet, smoky flavor. How to Eat Galbi, especially marinated galbi, burns easily, so at most restaurants servers will cook the meat at your table and tell you when to eat (You can start eating when the outside is cooked). Unlike other beef cuts, Galbi comes out marinated so you don’t need to dip it into salt or sesame oil. Where to Eat One of the most well-known, popular, and delicious sogalbi restaurants in Korea is also one of the most interesting dining experiences in the country. Yeonnam Seo Seo Galbi near Sinchon Station has been open for over 60 years, and has not deviated from its original style and recipe since then. Patrons stand at oil drums, yes stand, just like the laborers who used to come here so many years ago used to, where a small grill is placed inside and cook up mouthwatering sogalbi, marinated in a sweet soy sauce and garnished with chives and onions. It's bound to be one of the most interesting and delicious dining experiences of your life.
Marbled sirloin with texture resembling a flower, with an evenly portioned amount of fat. Koreans generally prefer the fat to be evenly distributed on their beef. There is a term for it called ‘marbling’, and it is an important factor that determines the grade of the meat. Sirloin, with the evenly distributed fat, is called kkot deungshim. Kkot means flower, and when you see the raw kkot deungshim you can see that the white fat amongst the red flesh resemble flowers. The most premium of all Korean beef, making it very expensive. This cut of beef is always on the top of the menu, and even though it's one of the most expensive beef cuts, it's still among the most popular cuts of beef for barbeque alongside galbi. Nutrition-wise, kkot deungshim can’t be said to be good for the body as it contains a lot of fat. Also, only a small portion comes from each cow making this cut quite expensive. However, this juicy cut of meat, chock full of flavor, is hard for Koreans to give up. Korea's most premium style of beef, with the fat evenly distributed all across the cut. How to Eat At most restaurants, the servers will cook the beef for you, but you might as well grill it yourself as it doesn’t require much skill. You can eat it rare or well done according to your liking, but to feel the meat melt in your mouth, it shouldn’t be too overcooked. To savor the natural flavor of deungshim, eat the meat with a bit of salt and sesame oil. If you’re trying to be healthy, wrap it with lettuce or perilla leaf and throw some vegetable-based side dishes into the mix. Where to Eat To get the freshest and cheapest cuts of deungshim in Seoul, head on over to Majang Gogi Alley, located right next to the Majang Butchers' Market. There are well over a dozen restaurants that reside here, serving up premium hanwoo for very reasonable prices (remember this is Korea, so no matter what beef is going to be pretty expensive). Yukgap Sikdang in Gunbanpo also serves up deungshim for a reasonable price. Although the meat is imported, its procured from specific locations to ensure it's high-quality and then aged before being served to customers. If you're looking to splurge a bit, stop by Saebyeok Jip in Cheongdam, which also happens to be open 24 hours a day.
One of Korea’s most famous dishes. Bulgogi is one of the most famous Korean dishes, commonly made by stir-frying thin slices of beef marinated in sweat soy-based sauce. However, there are a plethora of different recipes for bulgogi that vary by region. In some areas, the meat is flavored with nothing but a pinch of salt to intensify the natural flavor, while in others it is cooked with beef broth and noodles. Soft, tender beef marinated in a sweet soy sauce. Generally, bulgogi refers to dishes using beef, but pork or chicken dishes that use a similar marinade also use the term, such as ‘dwaeji bulgogi’ (pork) or ‘dak bulgogi’ (chicken). Simple and easy-to-follow recipe. Bulgogi’s recipe is simple and the ingredients are easy to find, making it a popular home-cooked food. If you’re in Korea, you can buy raw marinated bulgogi at any butcher shop, stir-fry it on low heat, and prepare your dinner in no time. If you are traveling or feeling too lazy to cook, you can also find bulgogi in many traditional Korean food restaurants. The price of bulgogi is determined by the cut of beef used and may differ drastically. "A simple recipe of thinly sliced beef marinated in sweet soy sauce, and stir-fried or grilled" Styles of Bulgogi Grilled Bulgogi (석쇠 불고기): Marinated beef grilled on charcoal Gwangyang Bulgogi (광양 불고기) - Gwangyang (in Jeollanam province) style bulgogi refers to thin slices of beef that are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, fruit puree, sugar and other spices, then grilled over a charcoal fire. The meat is marinated just before being grilled, so the juice of the meat is well preserved. Eunyang Bulgogi (언양 불고기) - This style of bulgogi originating from the district of Eunyang in Ulsan consists of fine shredded marinated beef that comes out in the shape of a pancake. This beef pancake is grilled on a charcoal fire at your table. Rip off little portions of the beef pancake and eat it with rice and other vegetables. Yuksu Bulgogi (육수 불고기): Marinated beef grilled on a pan with broth and other ingredients such as vegetables and glass noodles. Sariwon Bulgogi (사리원 불고기) - Bulgogi following the recipe of the Sariwon region in North Korea achieves sweetness with a fruit puree (of pear or apple) instead of sugar. Seoul Bulgogi (서울 불고기) - Thin slices of beef sirloin are placed on a pan that has a dome in the middle so that when the broth is poured on, it only boils at the edges of the pan with the vegetables and noodles. When everything is cooked, dip the meat and vegetables in a special sauce and eat it. This Seoul style bulgogi usually has a sweeter taste compared to bulgogi in other regions. Ttukbaegi Bulgogi (뚝배기 불고기): An individual-sized Bulgogi stew that comes out in a clay pot. It’s commonly served in casual Korean restaurants (like Kimbap-cheonguk 김밥천국), and much cheaper than grilled bulgogi, albeit still delicious. How to Eat The way to eat bulgogi depends on the styles mentioned above. Grilled, boiled, or steamed bulgogi is generally dipped in sauce and eaten with various vegetables, such as green onion, diced pepper, or onion, and sometimes wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Ttukbaegi bulgogi is eaten straight from the bowl and mixed with rice, although its best to mix the rice with the bulgogi right away and put portions into your rice bowl to avoid burning your tongue. Where to Eat It's not hard to find restaurants serving bulgogi, many casual dining chains serve it, but it's hard to seek out good quality bulgogi restaurants. Luckily we have you covered with a few recommendations. First is Wooraeok, in Euljiro, a naengmyeon restaurant that also specializes in bulgogi, serving both yuksu and pan-grilled styles. While a bit on the pricey side, it's very high quality. For less pricey, but still tasty bulgogi, Woosami in Jongno 5-ga serves yuksu style bulgogi for just 15,000 won per 300 grams, and Gangnam Bulbaek, a restaurant popular amongst local office workers near Gangnam Station, serves cheap bulgogi course meals for 7,000 won. For a different kind of taste, check out Hwangsoojip in Jonggak, which serves up a spicy variant of bulgogi marinated in gochujang.