Dakgalbi? Tell me more!
Dakgalbi (닭갈비) is hands down our favourite Korean meal and we miss it terribly! Basically, it is spicy stir-fried chicken and veggies in a spicy sauce, often with a layer of cheese on top and a number of ways to finish off the meal.
Above are some snaps from our epic trip to Busan for the Children’s day long weekend with an EPIK group of friends- read more here.
Dakgalbi street in Chuncheon
Dakgalbi is said to have been created in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do and started out to be popular with students and soldiers due to how cheap and big the meal is. We have been to Chuncheon twice, the first time solely to go to dakgalbi street, and the second time was on our way from Sokcho.
The hardest part was picking which restaurant to go to- there are so many to choose from. One trick we learnt was to find a restaurant with photos in the window of being on TV. The food culture in Korea is huge and there are a gazillion places to eat, so to get a TV show to come to eat at your restaurant is a big deal. When this happens, the restaurant then puts photos and screenshots up in the window to get people in the door.
The first time we went with Erin, we ended up choosing one of the larger and busier ones, Umi dakgalbi (우미닭갈비) (with a heap of TV photos of course!) and since we were all starving we ordered three serves. We would normally order one less for the number of people there as they are pretty big serves. We also opted for extra cheese and cheese tteok (yes, cheese obsessed) and finished the leftovers with rice.
The second time was just the two of us on the way back from Sokcho and we found a dakgalbi restaurant near our train station. This one also had great reviews and is called Myeong-mul dakgalbi (명물닭갈비).
One thing to note is this restaurant is one of those you sit on the floor – a lot of Korean restaurants have a mix of tables with chairs and some floor seating, however, some of the older places only have the floor option. Normally this wouldn’t worry me but post ankle reconstruction it is a struggle to cross my legs for any period of time. Although, it’s not unusual for our friends to get pins and needles in their feet too!
Our dakgalbi tips:
- Yoogane (유가네) is one of the chain dakgalbi restaurants in Korea, you can find them everywhere! They have a self-serve salad bar and many options to add ALL the CHEESE.
- When you’re close to finishing, you can add rice to soak up the remainder of the sauce – the rice gets super crispy and there is the option to add MORE CHEESE.
- When there is the option to add more cheese, do it.
How to get there from Seoul
The quickest way to access Chuncheon from Seoul is via the ITX rapid train. Journey time is 60 minutes from Yongsan Station. Trains leave hourly. Try and book a seat on the upper level for some great views.
You will need to purchase a ticket for this journey from one of the Korail ticket kiosks. There is a hard to see ‘button’ to change the language to English at the top of the touchscreen.
Dakgalbi street is a short bus ride or a 10/15 minute walk from Chuncheon Station. Grab a map from the tourist info centre next to the station.
Written by: Sarah