Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finally...I Can Talk About This

Matt Gross, the Frugal Traveler, for the NY Times was here a few months ago. At the time Joe over ZenKimchi called me up and asked me to suggest a restaurant for him to take Matt to.

I'm not a foodie and, if you read my blog, you KNOW, I don't bother blogging about food. There are people with much better palettes, a deeper interest and who are just better writers than I am on food.

However, I do know what I like. I suggested we go eat 안동 찜닭, Andong jjim dalk, because I fell in love with this dish when I lived in the Daegu area. Basically, it's chicken with clear noodles, potatoes, veggies and chunks of pepper stewed in a very savory and soy-based sauce. It's a great dish to have during the winter months when you want a hearty meal. Dining in Korea is hopelessly social, so it's great to go there with friends and that made it an easy choice for me.

What I didn't know was the article finally came out last week. Since everyone who went with him to this meal were writers, either other journalists or bloggers, he asked us to hold off on writing about it until he'd published his article. No problem.

But now it's out, so I can talk about it.

Here is the link: The Weird, Wild and, Ultimately, Sublime.

I was happy to see the paragraph he wrote about the 찜닭 restaurant:

But such extreme dining is mostly a sideline. More commonly, I ate at restaurants like New Andong Zzimdak, which serves a single dish: boneless chicken pieces sautéed at your table with mung-bean noodles, vegetables, and gochujang, a red-pepper paste that is to Korean cuisine what butter is to French. This is easy food, slightly spicy, with an unexpected sweetness from caramelized gochujang. Like most Korean food, it comes in massive quantities and is meant to be eaten by large groups of friends (mine included Joe McPherson, who blogs about food at, who pour one another beer and soju and snip the long noodles with scissors.
Honestly, his description of 찜닭 isn't quite right but when it came time to talk about the dish, the foodies took the stage and, well ... improvised ;) 1) They bring the dish already cooked to your table. 2) The ingredients Matt lists aren't accurate.

This guy on Flickr has a much more accurate description of what the dish is made of as does the very reliable Wiki on Korea, Galbijim. It most definitely doesn't not have 고추장, gochujang, in it. The spiciness comes from the big chunks of pepper cut into the dish and not from pepper sauce.

Here is a recipe I found on Daum. I can read the ingredient list, but I can't translate it (yeah..."duh" is me.) However, here is the link so you can find a Korean friend to help you out if you're so inclined (it's about 1/2 way down the page.)
간편 안동찜닭


닭반마리, 감자2개, 양파 3/1개, 청고추1개, 홍고추1개,청양고추2개,다진마늘2/1작은술,

후추약간,참기름1큰술,간장3큰술, 1반컵,설탕2큰술,


1. 닭은 토막내어 세척한후 뜨거우물에 데쳐 찬물에 행구어 물기를 빼논다

2. 감자는 껍질을 제거해 큼직하게 썰어주고 양파도 큼직하게 썰어주고 청고추와 홍고추는

어슷하게 썰어준다

4. 간장에 청양고추를 반으로 잘라서 넣고 물1컵을 넣고 3-4분정도 끓여준다

5. 청양고추를 건져내고 데쳐낸 닭과 감자를 넣어 조려준다

6. 어느정도 졸여지면 다진마늘과 설탕을 넣어서 졸여주고 완성되기 1분전에 양파와

두가지색 고추를 넣어 버무려누고 참기름과 후추를 넣어 마무리한다

Matt ended the article listing two places that I just love: Myeongdong Kyoja, which serves some of the best, 칼국수, kalguksu and kimchee around, and the place we went to for 찜닭, New Andong Zzimdak. (Check out his article for websites and phone numbers.)

I'm glad to see it out because there is some both delicious and sometimes odd food concoctions to be had here in Korea.

Okay, it's very late and I've got a deadline to meet and I've got to be at work tomorrow at 9:20am. That's not extremely early but it is when it's almost 2am and you know you'll be up for, at least, another hour.

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  1. Really? No gochujang? Dammit! I coulda swore...


  2. Hey there Matt,

    Good to see you again in cyberspace.

    Nope, there is not a lick of gochujang in jjimdalk, sorry :( However, there might be some obscure version of it that includes it somewhere.


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