Wang Gun Bossam, Seoul

It’s been awhile since I posted about Korean food although I’m posted in Seoul. So for dinner, my sister, husband and I decided to head to Yaksu Sijang (Market) at Yaksu station (intersection of line 3 and 6) to get some BOSSAM!. It’s a very old market with lots of grandmas and grandpas selling vegetables, fruits, fish and other goods. Wang Gun Bossam was in the alleyway near subway exit 7.

We ordered the Modeum Bossam which consisted of:

  • Bossam (which is boiled pork meat and included both lean meat and pork belly);
  • Jokbal (it’s the darker meet below, this sounds grosser in English but pig’s feet);
  • Seasoned Leek-Chives (this vegetable goes well with pork, not so well with beef);
  • Seasoned Kimchi specially to eat with Bossam (quiet spicy and heavily seasoned!);
  • Seasoned Fermented Skate Fish (홍어회무침), which usually has a very distinct taste;
  • Lettuce and Perilla (Sesame) Leaves to wrap the meat and bossam kimchi with;
  • and other side dishes that come with every Korean restaurant…

Make sure to wrap the pork meat and kimchi and/or other ingredients above into the lettuce leaf or perilla leaf to eat together, in one big bite! 🙂

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Bossam (boiled pork) is actually a very healthy way to eat Pork if you’re on a diet, in comparison with frying it like bacon or grilling it which is a lot more fattening. The pork is boiled in water for a period of time with onions and garlic and other vegetables to get rid of its excess oil and smell. You’ll know it’s good bossam when the meat is very tender and soft, and does not give off a lot of Pork smell. Also, Kimchi which is Koreans’ staple side dish also has an extensive variety in the seasonings used, fermented period, and kinds of radishes and cabbages used. The Bossam Kimchi is quite different from regular kimchi, and has a lot more depth in its spices and more of a kick than regular kimchi. It matches the boiled pork perfectly! Please do give the different kimchies a try when you’re in Korea!

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This place was surprisingly a lot better than the famous chain Bossam restaurant, Won-Halmuni-Bossam (원할머니보쌈) (which is easier to find as there are so many chains throughout Seoul but has been giving less meat and quality’s been sadly decreasing). Maybe I should visit their main restaurant soon, instead of its extensive chain restaurants to taste how it’s supposed to taste! And compare it with this bossam place.

If you want to experience a more authentic experience in the middle of an old market to eat some bossam, here is a place you can go! The inside was very clean, although in a old-run down market area. Also, you have to sit on the floor to eat (like many Korean restaurants). Yaksu is not that far from the Itaewon area. Many ajussis (old Korean men) enjoy soju or matgeolli (rice wine) with Bossam, so make sure you try those drinks with the bossam if you’re in the mood! Enjoy!

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