Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Travel | Seoul 28 Oct - 2 Nov 2014 | Dr. Bang Masan Monkfish 方박사아구찜 @ Sinsa-dong Ganjang Gejang Alley

Ganjang 간장 means soy sauce and ge means crab while jang means condiment.  Ganjang gejang simply means raw crabs marinated in soy sauce. Yup, that's right, raw crabs. Sounds like something that Andrew Zimmern would eat? Actually, this seasonal delicacy was rather yummy. It was on my "die die must eat" list we visited Seoul in late Oct last year.

Was at Sinsa-dong 신사동 Ganjang Gejang Alley to find a place to lunch at. Convenient as plenty of shops sells the same stuffs, so we didn't know which one to choose. For tourists, Pro Ganjang Gejang is often cited. Their service staff was uniformed and looked like valets.

We wanted to find out if their prices were similar, so we went around asking about the prices. Outcome was yes, most have priced their ganjang gejangs similarly; 2 small crabs for 55,000 with banchans. Usually, the minimum order is 2 small crabs.

Finally found a place that can do two small crabs for 50,000, inclusive of rice. On top of that, we requested for one crab in marinated soy style and the other one spicy yangnyeom gejang 양념게장 style.

Dr. Bang Masan Monkfish
dining area
Yes, this is another place where one needs to remove their shoes.

side dishes with the crabs

Not a whole lot of side-dishes, just 4 types. The konbu and blanched cabbage were eaten as wraps. The soup was bean paste soup with some vegetables that tasted like dried vege that's used to boil soups.

soy sauce marinated crab 간장게장
yangnyeom gejang 양념게장

Raw marinated crabs have very soft flesh. Very much like raw shrimps. To eat it, one simply squeezes it from bottom up and suck on the soft tasty flesh. Plastic gloves are provided so that your hands don't get too dirty.

We squeezed out some of the flesh onto the blanched cabbage (or konbu) and wrap it with some hot rice. The hot cold combo with soy or spicy, tasted awesome! For the soy crab, put some rice onto the shell, top it up with roe and mix well. The umami taste was just heavenly!

rice with millet

The spicy version was very shioks and its spice level was about a scale of 3 out of 5.

Enjoyable experience. Saw the locals indulging in a pot of red stew with noodles. That should be the agu jjim 아구찜, a braised spicy monkfish. Huge pot meant for 2 pax. Ganjang Gejang Alley was used to be known for its agujjim, but nowadays it is more popular for raw marinated crabs.


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