Taste of Korea Tuesdays: donkasu, haejangguk, mandu, gimbap!

Continuing with a saga of food in Korea, I bring you delicious menu options found throughout this glorious land.

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Donkasu (돈까스) is Japanese in origin, but it’s ubiquitous (and delicious) enough here to make the cut. This dish is basically a light, crunchy breaded pork cutlet, cut into strips and served with rice, Japanese curry sauce, and miso soup. Well worth trying, and best enjoyed with friends!

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Yup, I’ve definitely been out for donkasu and miso more than once!

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Haejangguk (해장국, literally, ‘soup to cure a hangover’) was quite a new experience for me. For starters, you’re brought a chunk of Korean radish and kimchi with tongs and a pair of scissors- it’s your task to cut up both items into bite-sized chunks.

Eventually, the soup is brought out in hot stone pots. It’s a delicious mix of potato noodles, leafy greens, onions, and lots of other goodies, however, the main draw is the delicious fall-off-the-bone beef. Damn tasty!


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Gimbap (김밥) refers to the rice (bap) and laver seaweed (gim) that are essential in its making. This is quite possibly a meal that I will eat at least once a week, every week, for the duration of my stay in Korea. It’s cheap (2000-3500 won per roll), fairly healthy, fast, easy, and DELICIOUS!

There are many varieties: chamchi (tuna), kimchi, bulgogi (marinated beef chunks), and my new favourite, donkasu gimbap! All variations tend to include pickled radish, cucumber, carrots, egg, fish cakes and a type of slightly sweet brown root. Unlike its Japanese cousin, gimbap typically uses rice flavoured by sesame oil, rather than vinegar.

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Mandu (만두) is another reliable mainstay- you may know it as gyoza, or Japanese fried dumplings, as the two are very similar. If you feel like throwing health goals out the window you can order gunmandu (군만두), or deep-fried dumplings 😉

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5 thoughts on “Taste of Korea Tuesdays: donkasu, haejangguk, mandu, gimbap!

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