The creator of “Consuming Viet Nam” just lately revealed a brand new ebook, this time chronicling his culinary adventures via South Korea.
Holliday shares 10 of his favourite Korean meals with CNN — masking every little thing from three-year-old kimchi in Seoul to Busan’s distinctive sort of bibimbap — and gives a number of recommendations on the place to seek out them.
Hanokjib Kimchi-jjim, within the Seodaemun district of Seoul, is minimally embellished, except for framed certificates, awards, information clippings, menus and photos — all pinned haphazardly to the wall.
The restaurant serves one factor: kimchi.
Normally comprised of cabbage and radish, kimchi that has fermented for six months or extra is named mugeunji and the mugeunji at this place is an beautiful three-year-old.
A thick, bitter, garlic-laced miasma greets you as you enter the normal Korean-style home.
The room shudders with the odor, as a protracted, bloody rag of kimchi unfold out like a lifeless octopus on an oval plate is positioned in your desk.
Hanokjib Kimchi-jjim, 178 Naengcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea; +82 02 362 8653
Dak galbi is a stir-fried rooster dish from the northeastern metropolis of Chuncheon.
Cooked on a big, spherical scorching plate that is constructed into the desk, the dish contains cabbage, rice desserts, onions, coarsely chopped leeks and candy potatoes — bathed in a scorching, barely candy sauce made from pink pepper paste, soy sauce and turmeric.
Dak galbi is particular — it is a mess, a mistake that works.
After it has been cooked and stirred, it seems to be like a constructing website the place every little thing Korean that is edible received dumped inside, turned the other way up and rattled about.
Dak galbi is an excellent dish and Chuncheon is the place to eat it.
1.5 Dak Galbi, 77 Human-ro, Hupyeong three (sam)-dong, Chuncheon, South Korea; +82 33-253-8635
Geum-Ak Kalguksu is a tumbledown restaurant down an alley in downtown Gangneung, on South Korea’s east coast.
It is a one-dish joint, and that dish is kalguksu — a thick, fiery noodle soup that drips scrumptious violence.
Diners sit in six- by nine-foot cabins with rickety sliding wood doorways.
The partitions and roof have been as soon as white, however now each inch of area is roofed in graffiti.
Tough-cut, slimy, thick buckwheat noodles poke via a floor speckled with seaweed and sesame seeds.
Outdated, fundamental eating places like Geum-Ak Kalguksu was all over the place in Korea however they’re quick disappearing immediately.
Geum-Ak Kalguksu, 12-6, Daehak-gil, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Mid-morning, a line kinds outdoors small, family-run Okya restaurant contained in the Sin-Sijang market within the central-eastern metropolis of Andong.
The 2 vats of soup contained in the kitchen flip like a livid, roiling sea, swathing the cramped, packed restaurant with a mighty spicy meat mist.
There is no must order, as there is just one dish.
Seonji gukbap — generally known as a “hangover stew with clotted cow’s blood” — comes with 4 facet dishes, rice, minced garlic and chili powder.
It is a healthful, beefy, barely candy and totally nourishing dish.
Okya restaurant, 307 Ogya-dong, Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea; +82 54 853 6953
There’s a row of straightforward sheds at one finish of the Jagalchi fish market within the southeastern metropolis of Busan.
Nearly each stall sells kkomjangeo, or grilled hagfish.
Cooked alive, unsurprisingly, the hagfish convulse violently as they sizzle on the grill.
This sort of fish wasn’t at all times eaten in Korea. It was the Japanese who harvested it after they colonized Korea in 1910.
They used the pores and skin to make sneakers and discarded the meat.
Hungry Busanites gathered the meat, spiced it up, ate it — and a Busan dish was born.
Jagalchi Market, 52 Jagalchihaean-ro, Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea; +82 51 713 8000
To the west of Busan, Jinju metropolis is house to a variant of the globally well-liked bibimbap.
It’s yukhoe — uncooked strips of julienned beef — that distinguishes Jinju bibimbap from the opposite iterations of this South Korean staple.
It is available in a big, shiny, stainless-steel bowl, stuffed with a base of steamed rice, yukhoe, mung bean jelly, steamed bracken, dried seaweed gochujang (a pink chili paste) and some facet dishes.
All variations of bibimbap observe the identical child meals precept: sling every little thing in a bowl, stir it up, spice it up, and spoon it down.
Cheonhwang Sikdang, within the central market space, is the oldest and hottest bibimbap restaurant in Jinju.
Cheonhwang Sikdang, three Chokseok-ro207beon-Gil, Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea; +82 55 741 2646
The White Home restaurant within the city of Naju, in South Korea’s southeast, belongs to a disappearing, but gloriously alive, breed of eating places.
It is a cussed previous boot that has rejected change. Beef steam hisses from the doorway to the kitchen, the place seven girls in blue aprons work the gomtang soup vats, rice steamers, chopping boards, kitchen sink and serving trays.
An ajumma (middle-aged lady) with rubber gloves, a perm, an uninviting glare and a bathe cap ladles the soup from one among two humungous, three-foot-wide vats.
The meat in gomtang is cooked very merely and slowly, leading to a clear beef broth.
Inside the new stone bowl, the soup comprises beef brisket, rice, spring onion, and skinny, noodle-like egg strips.
White Home (하얀집), 48-17 Jungang-dong, Naju, Jeollanam-do, South Korea; +82 61 333 4292
The meals of Jeju island, off the southern coast, is kind of completely different from that discovered on the mainland.
There are extra contemporary greens, and nearly no spice in any respect.
The island is house to its personal distinctive dishes, together with mom-guk — a easy pork and seaweed soup.
Mother-guk appears to writhe like a trapped serpent contained in the bowl because it bubbles, squirms and hisses in entrance of you.
It’s an unimaginable soup. Steamy inexperienced vapors rise like seaborne butterflies from the cauldron in your desk.
It is emerald, complicated and divine. And, for me at the least, it was the only largest revelation on my journey round Korea.
Jeju Tosok 제주 토속, Ido-1dong, Bosung Conventional Market (Metropolis Corridor), Jeju Metropolis, South Korea; +82 64 758 8948
The southwestern metropolis of Jeonju is thought to have the perfect meals in all Korea.
Considered one of its most well-known dishes is kongnamul gukbap, a bean sprout soup.
Hyundai-ok is without doubt one of the extra well-liked eating places that serves this native specialty.
It is available in a stone bowl and fizzes with a healing bean sprout fog as it’s positioned upon your desk.
In a small metallic bowl subsequent to the soup are two eggs, simply ever so barely cooked.
On a wood condiment platter, there’s a small dish of tiny shrimp, some cabbage kimchi and a bowl of salty fermented octopus.
Vacationers affected by a hangover could wish to go to for breakfast — kongnamul gukbap is well known for its restorative properties.
Hyundai-ok restaurant, Nambu Market 2-74, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea; +82 63 228 0020
Nakji bokkeum — stir-fried octopus — is one among Korea’s spiciest dishes.
It’s believed to have been invented in a tavern within the Mugyo-dong district of Seoul in 1965 by a grandmother named Park Mu-sun.
Nakji bokkeum rapidly caught on. Phrase unfold, and a nationwide favourite was born.
Now a part of the modern-day Myeongdong district, Mugyo-dong was probably the most modern space in Seoul on the time.
Nonetheless immediately, in case you poke round sufficient, you possibly can nonetheless discover a few of these previous nakji bokkeum joints in Myeongdong.
Myeongdong Halmae Nakji, 31-7 Myeongdong-2 ga, Junggu, Seoul; +82 02 757 3353