Markets nourish with down home comforts:Dongdaemun Market
Now featured on such TV shows as “Project Runway Korea,” the market is a crucial part of Korea’s fast evolving fashion industry. Keen retailers and savvy shoppers alike sift through new fabrics and accessories that are brought in every morning. And according to the Council for Special Tourism District in Dongdaemun Fashion Town, over 2.5 million international tourists visit the market annually.
The market is also famous for its food stalls, which developed 30 years ago because of a nearby bus terminal, according to Ji Gyeong-ja, the owner of Myungdong Dak Hanmari.
“People who used the bus terminal needed to find food that was cheap and made them feel full,” Ji said, adding that was the reason people started selling dak hanmari, or whole chicken soup, which consists of a whole chicken stuffed with rice and herbs.
There are seven restaurants that sell dak hanmari in the market. The oldest are Myungdong Dak Hanmari and Jinokhwa Halmae.
Myungdong Dak Hanmari
The main dish here is dak hanmari (right). After the chicken is consumed, the restaurant will fry the rice with the remaining broth and other seasonings. The restaurant also serves a porridge made with chicken and glutinous rice.
Price: 33,000 won per bowl
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Jinokwha Halmae also sells dak hanmari. For the chicken meat, a dipping sauce made with hot peppers, soy sauce, vinegar and mustard is provided.
Price: 18,000 won per person
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.