Korean food has one unique feature: it is fermented.
Fermentation in western countries brings up the image of yogurt or cheese. However, Korean fermentation is not only used as the additional ingredient of food but the food itself has also gone through fermenting process.
Two of the representative food are Kimchi and Doenjang(fermented soybean paste).
Kimchi and Doenjang go through aging process named fermentation and they would become totally changed; no country can copy it.
Then, what about salted fish?
Salted fish is used in some Southeast Asian nations, but it is more extensively used in Korea as an ingredient.
When the fermentation of Kimchi is at its peak, Kimchi would be changed into Mukeunji(old Kimchi), whose state is like the one of salted fish.
Kimchi can be eaten as fresh Kimch as well as Mukeunji; we can enjoy four kinds of the flavor of Kimchi.
Today’s dish is Galbijjim with generous Mukeunji. It is spicy Galbijjim.
The place around Yeoungdeungpo Station has a large floating population from the nearby business zone.
It is because the place is not only an important traffic center but also the food culture of the place is flourishing.
The restaurant ‘Maeun Galbijjim’ is located between Yeoungdeungpo Station and Yeoungdeungpo Market and serves customers 10 big tables.
The main dishes are Maeun Galbijjim(spicy steamed meat) and Mukeunji Samgyeopsal (fatty slices of pork belly meat with old Kimchi).
Two dishes have Mukeunji(old Kimchi) in common.
Mukeunji becomes one of the trends as the ingredient for Korean food.
Kimchi gets thoroughly pickled beyond being mature and then 3-year-Mukeunji would be created. Some Mukeunji brings out its distinctive flavor by passing the old year.
Mukeunji looks paler than normal Kimchi.
It becomes light brown and salty. However, it is nicely salted and crispy, so most Koreans love it.
Mukeunji is usually used in a fish pot stew or a Kimchi pot stew; recently, it is used in restaurant menus, like Galbijjim.
However, some restaurants use cheap imported Mukeunji and its original taste becomes tarnished.
It is not easy to tell which one is original. We cannot help eating, counting on the conscience of the restaurant.
Generous Mukeunji Maeun Galbijjim was served.
There were bean sprouts, potatoes, and some fresh green onion in it.
Maeun Galbijjim can be cut, heated, and eaten. The spicy taste of Mukeunji is added to Galbijjim, and then the taste becomes better.
In its red soup, there were some pieces of rice cake for Tteokbokki.
After eating only Maeun Galbijjim leaving the soup, you can add the webfoot octopus, ramen noodles, and Tteokbokki.
While the added ramen noodles were being boiled, you can only eat Galbijjim and Mukeunji, leaving the soup.
To decrease the amount of the soup, we should put ramen noodles and make the noodles absorb the soup.
It is needed for us to eat fried rice.
At some point, most restaurants have served fried rice as the last dish.
Ramen noodles and fried rice would be delicious in case that they are not that salty. You should control the saltiness.
How to get there:
(1) Take exit 3 or 5 of Yeoungdeungpo Station, and then you can see the crosswalk. Cross the crosswalk and go straight about 100m.
(2) Then, before OUTBACK Steakhouse, turn into the right alley.
(3) After that, go straight about 30m and go straight in the direction of 1 o’ clock at the intersection.
(4) Go straight about 100m and you can see the sign ‘Maeun Galbijjim’ on the right.
Address: (Youngjung-ro 10gil 22) 16-3 Yeoungdeungpo-dong 3ga Yeoungdeungpo-gu, Seoul