I Love Cheonggukjang

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It certainly wasn’t love at first taste – I wholeheartedly agreed with Grace back in February when she wrote about the “muddy” non-deliciousness of cheonggukjang jjigae. But last week, my friend introduced me to a version so wonderful and delicious that I want to bring everybody I love back to enjoy it with me.

best cheonggukjang ever

Unobtrusively located in a small back alley near Anguk Station, the restaurant (Byeolgoong Shikdang) has about six items on their menu. For 7,000 KRW (slightly more than $6) each, my friend and I ordered the most perfect stew.  Their cheonggukjang jjigae is the right balance of nutty, salty and creamy with some chewiness from enoki mushrooms and softness from the fermented beans.  The accompanying rice and sides similarly so pure and tasty that my friend and I ended up eating too much, waddling out of the restaurant but with no regrets.

On a different note, I don’t know if seaweed (김) counts as a side dish, but in this case, I’ll count it because it was a notable highlight among the sides.  Their roasted unadorned seaweed has a sweetness that made me stuff sheet after sheet into my mouth.  It is so good that the seaweed with some rice and some soy sauce for dipping would be a lazy, but simple, complete and happy meal on itself.

Byeolgoong Shikdang (별궁식당)

Near Anguk Station (Line 3), Seoul, Korea

Tel. (02) 736-2176

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5 Responses to “I Love Cheonggukjang”

  1. foodhoe Says:

    Hello, I’m not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I love reading about these delicious sounding dishes!

  2. Grace Says:

    I’m jealous! Did it taste like cheese?

  3. Diane Says:

    It did have a silken blue cheese texture but without the sharp salty accent.

  4. annamatic Says:

    oh, this is right near my house, i’ll have to try it! i love cheonggukjang — my favorite restaurant is near gwanghwamun — if you come back to seoul, give 깡장집 a try… 🙂

  5. Restaurant Review: Chinese-Korean or Korean-Chinese? The edible mystery of Myung Chan Dong in Flushing, New York | ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal Says:

    […] people who came into the restaurant that day were obviously Korean.  I heard one of them order cheonggukjang, which is an especially smelly and intense version of doenjang or Korean soybean paste, that has […]

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