Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Bindaetteok, Mayak Kimbap and Boribap at Gwangjang Market (South Korea, Seoul)

Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancakes) 빈대떡 5,000 KRW (S$6.25)
Gwangjang Market 광장시장 established in 1905 is one of the oldest and largest traditional market in Korea. The market with two levels has over 5000 stores selling a wide variety of products ranging from silk, satin, bedding, fabric, hanbok, kitchenware, clothing and food is popular among the locals. In recent years, the number of tourists visiting the market has increased significantly. Despite that, Namdaemun Market and Dongdaemun Market are still more popular among tourists compared to Gwangjang Maret.
We visited the food section of Gwangjang Market which is located at the right hand side of exit 9 of Jongno-5(o)-ga Station.
The food section is located at the ground level of the market. This is one of the 3 food alleys where the street food is located at. The Boribap 보리밥 (which you will read about towards the end of the post) is located near the toilet signage in the background of the above photo. 
The first food we went for was the Bindaetteok 빈대떡, also known as Mung Bean Pancakes which the market is famous for. You will be able to find several stalls (located next to each other) selling this at the center of the food section in the market where the three alleys meet. Despite the presence of so many stalls, you would need to wait for a seat. Turnover was relatively fast as it was essentially a eat-and-leave concept. We ate ours from the stall shown in the above photo. 
At each stall, you would see stone pestles which are constantly revolving, grounding the mung beans into paste. 
We sat long enough and saw stall owners making the Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancakes). They first add the grounded mung beans paste into a large container. Then added beansprouts, green onions, and garlic along with condiments. Then after that give it a good mix using their hands with their gloves on of course.
The end result is this - a well mixed mixture. They did not add any water.
They would then scoop out the mixture and fry it in a shape of a thick round pancake.
Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancakes) 빈대떡 5,000 KRW (S$6.25)
The Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancakes) 빈대떡 which cost 5,000 KRW (S$6.25) is a must try!  It was served with soy and onion dipping sauce. The freshly fried Bindaetteok was so crisp and tasty. The addition of the beansprouts was a fantastic idea as it provided a crunch to the otherwise soft ingredients. Perfect snack. Despite the large portion, we finished it and in fact I was wishing that we had the (stomach) capacity to order another! Considering the ingredients, I was amazed by its taste - Simple + Fresh ingredients = Delicious! 
Next we went for the Mayak (Drug) Kimbap 마약김밥. We visited the stall with the bright red signboard as shown in the above photo. This stall is also located at the center of the food section in the market where the three alleys meet.
This is the stall which was featured on Running Man Episode 186 with CNBLUE as the guests.
Mayak (Drug) Kimbap 마약김밥 
The Mayak Kimbap 마약김밥 are similar to kimbap; dried seaweed rolls stuffed with carrot, pickled daikon radish and rice. The main difference was that they were in bite-size. These small Mayak Kimbap are also known as as "Drug Kimbap” because they are so addictive! With its dipping sauce (mustard or sesame ), I was told that you would never stop at one!
Eomuk 어묵
The stall also sells Eomuk 어묵 - fishcakes served on a skewer in broth.
We followed what the locals in front of us did. Order, pay and collect our food. The food are placed in small black plastic bag. Then walk to the side where you would enter the area where customers could sit. It was not very spacious and customers would normally eat and go. There was a water cooler inside, and toilet papers and fans placed at strategic locations.
Mayak (Drug) Kimbap 마약김밥 2,500 KRW (S$3.13)
This was the Mayak (Drug) Kimbap 마약김밥 2,500 KRW (S$3.13). True to its words, it was addictive. But personally, the Bindaetteok surprised me more.
Eomuk 어묵 500 KRW (S$0.63)
We also ordered a Eomuk (fishcake) 어묵 500 KRW (S$0.63). This is a popular street food which you will see everywhere in Korea. Their Eomuk are thin and rectangular in shape.
After that we went on a quest to hunt for the stall which Running Man visited for its Boribap 보리밥. The above picture shows the stall which Running Man visited.
Featured in Running Man Episode 186 with CNBLUE as their guests.
Boribap 보리밥 and Miyeok Guk 미역국 5,000 KRW (S$6.25)
The Boribap 보리밥 which cost 5,000 KRW (S$6.25) was served with a bowl of complimentary  Miyeok Guk (Seaweed Soup) 미역국.
Boribap 보리밥 5,000 KRW (S$6.25)
Boribap 보리밥 is similar to Bibimbap. The main difference is that instead of plain rice, it comes with a mixture of rice and barley! It was served with fresh vegetables such as lettuce, bean sprouts, zucchini and pickled greens, and topped with gochujang (red pepper) sauce and sesame oil,
Boribap 보리밥 5,000 KRW (S$6.25)
Boribap 보리밥 5,000 KRW (S$6.25)
Give the Boribap a good mix and its ready! The Boribap was refreshing and tasted surprisingly delicious. The addition of barley added a lot more crunch into this dish. Shiok and healthy!

The food at Gwangjang Market was yummy! I wished we had the time to make a second trip down to this market. Nevertheless, I will definitely visit this market again when I next visit Seoul! I highly recommend the Bindaetteok and Boribap! Must try

Bindaetteok 빈대떡, Mayak Kimbap 마약김밥 and Boribap 보리밥 at Gwangjang Market (South Korea, Seoul)
6-1 Yeji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울특별시 종로구 예지동 6-1
Directions: From Jongno-5(o)-ga Station (subway line 1) exit 9, turn right into the first alley.

View FoodieFC's South Korea Food Map in a larger map


  1. Korea is definitely a food haven. So many things to eat and enjoy life. Leaving for Hokkaido today, another suppose to be food haven too.

  2. How do you order the boribap? Can you choose the meat to go with it, or it is a standard boribap set with just veggies as in your photo? Thanks!

    1. You can order by pronouncing "Boribap". Or at the stall, you can look out for this character "보리밥" and point at it.

      Its standard set. I do not recall seeing any meat there. There are lots of meat stalls at the market, you will see them as you explore the place


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