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5 Foods To Try in Gyeongbuk


5 Must Have Foods in Gyeongbuk

When we think of food in South Korea, many non-natives think of bulgogi, bbq, and Korean tofu soup. These dishes are excellent, but here is a brief introduction to some foods in Gyeongbuk that are not as well known to foreigners.

1. Andong- Jjimdak

Jjimdak is a flavorful steamed chicken dish that is marinated in a ganjang or Korean soy sauce. The broth is the backbone of the dish. It is prepared by boiling a chopped chicken, onions, ginger, pieces of whole garlic and Cheongyang gochu(a type of chili pepper) altogether in a large pot. The green chili pepper packs a punch; this dish is not for the faint of heart. A delicious complement to the chicken is the addition of cellophane noodles that have been soaked in water. Cellophane noodles, also known as glass noodles, are a translucent noodle made from starch and water. The cooked chicken then simmers in a savory sauce of ganjang, mulyeot, sugar, and pepper. Vegetables are added to the pot and set to boil over high heat. The noodles are added to the pot along with a small amount of wheat flour. The dish is served piping hot with a generous garnish of sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Share with friends! The portions are plentiful while being easy on your wallet. When in Andong, you must have Jjimdak! There are dozens of restaurants near the market that specialize in this dish alone, you won’t have trouble finding this spicy treat.

2. Pohang- Samgyetang

In the sweltering summer months you will find that Samgyetang, a ginseng chicken soup, is very popular among Koreans. The soup is prepared using a whole, young chicken, ginseng and various other medicinal herbs for their health benefits. I find the simplicity of the soup most appealing. The ingredients are never cut or grounded. They are added whole for the maximum nutritional benefit. The flavor is unassuming and fresh, almost a palette cleanser. You can find many restaurants that cater to this dish solely. A great one to try on the main pedestrian street is Chowon. 

3. Gyeongju- Galchi

Tobagi restaurant located at 21, Bukgun-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do provides a lovely country-like setting in which to enjoy your dinner. Galchi, a largehead hairtail fish, is always prepared fresh from Jeju. The fish is flown in daily to ensure maximum freshness. It is served with a side of stone pot rice and various side dishes. Tobagi serves delicious food in a beautiful must-see building. A worthy addition to any foody Gyeongbuk to-do list!

4. Uiseong- Garlic

Garlic? A must try? Yes. Especially in Uiseong. Uiseong garlic is notable for its unique flavor- a combination of hot and sweet. Each clove is juicy and potent. You only need a few cloves of this delicious garlic to season any dish. This garlic is ideal for adding to kimchi. Kimchi will ferment slower and taste less sour with this garlic added to the pickling process. Load up on this delcious garlic at galbi and bulgogi restaurants. Locals love dipping the sliced garlic in soybean paste. 

5. Andong- Andong Dakgalbi

Andong made the list twice. Andong Dakgalbi is a restaurant located on the popular “Restaurant Street.” You can find tasty dishes such as hot-pan bokkeumbap, a Korean fried rice dish, and of course dakgalbi, a stir fried marinated chicken dish. Try different versions of bokkeumbap, kimchi bokkeumbap with beef for example. It’s cheap, delicious and filling! Perfect for the hungry traveler.

When traveling in Korea, an open mind and an open mouth are key! There is so much to try. Traveling in small groups is most advantageous when it comes to ordering at restaurants. Most meals are prepared with groups in mind and nothing bonds travelers more than good food and conversation.