Sundae Gopchang Bokkeum
Sundae (blood sausage) and gopchang (intestines) are foods Koreans are accustomed to, but might shock foreigners at first sight. Their looks might make you lose your appetite, but instead of staring straight at them, give them a try by closing your eyes and slowly savoring each bite. If it’s too much to handle, take baby steps and start with the mixed vegetables.
Sundae and gopchang’s peculiar ensemble can be found throughout the country, especially in “sundae gopchang bokkeum towns,” streets and neighborhoods where clusters of sundae gopchang bokkeum (stir-fried intestines and blood sausage) restaurants are found. The most well-known areas include Sillim-dong Sundae Gopchang Town in Seoul; and Suwon Jidong Sundae Town and Anyang Beonchang Sundae Town in Gyeonggi-do. Each region adds a local taste to their recipe, so consider adding a food tour of sundae gopchang towns to your itinerary if your schedule allows. Many of Korea’s sundae gopchang towns resemble a food court, consisting of individual restaurant vendors inside a spacious building. The competition among the vendors can be fierce, and you may even be stopped by aggressive touts.
At Wonjo (original) Folk Sundae Town in Sillim-dong, Seoul, there are approximately 25 vendors in a three-story building. Each vendor has their own original recipe, but they all meet the standard quality for a delicious sundae gopchang, so you can choose any vendor that draws your attention. Order a “wonjo baeksundae bokkeum,” which is an original stir-fried non-spicy blood sausage mixed with vegetables and gopchang. It should cost around 16,000 won for two servings.
The sundae, gopchang, chopped cabbage, leek, carrots, and other ingredients are cooked at the iron griddle on your table by the staff. All you have to do is wait and watch.
You can easily burn your mouth trying to eat food straight off the griddle, so scoop a portion to your plate and allow it to cool off before eating. We recommend trying sundae and gopchang separately, so that you can experience the difference in texture and flavor. If you want to spice up the flavors, feel free to dip the food in the special chojang (chili paste with vinegar) sauce provided. Once you get used to eating sundae and gopchang, explore different ways to enjoy the food by eating it as ssam (vegetable wrap), with a bowl of rice, and even straight followed by a drink of alcohol!