Best Dakkalbi Ever!

I’d been dreaming of one particular place in Daejeon since returning home, and I couldn’t wait to go there when I was on vacation in fall. That place is 맛존 (mat-jon or Mat [flavor/taste] Zone). I have never tasted better dakkalbi than there.

The first time I went there was a few years back when my friend was working there part-time in college. It became a favorite place among our group. I always get “mild” spice because even that makes my nose run. I had “hot” once with co-workers and I could barely handle it. So good though! It’s secret too. The owner makes the sauce off-site and brings it in to the restaurant. Wow!

You can get add-ons like cheese or have them make it into bokkeumbap (fried rice) with your leftovers. Plus, they have yummy pineapple makkeolli!

Mat-jon isn’t too hard to find. It’s in Gungdong (궁동) which is the area right by Chungnam University. Start from Sobija Mart, where all the taxis drop off/pick up. Walk straight for a minute or so. Turn right at the first large street by Paris Baguette. Then make a left at the next street. Mat-jon will be on the right side. Enjoy!

matjon map

Address: 대전광역시 유성구 궁동 408-14
(You’ll probably get more accurate results plugging that into Naver Maps as opposed to Google Maps)

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먹자! Let’s Eat – Dakgalbi (닭갈비)

Hiya!

Staying warm? It’s getting colder out these days. So why not cook a warm, spicy Korean dish to warm up? 🙂

I love dakgalbi. It’s a delicious and comforting dish. Of course, if you have dakgalbi, you gotta go to Chuncheon. It’s their specialty! But if you’re ever up in my city of Daejeon, I say head over to Gung-dong. In Gung-dong there’s a great place called Mat-jeon (막존 – which I think is supposed to be “Taste Zone”). They serve up the best dakgalbi in town. Not just that, but I have a friend who was a part-timer there, and she said they don’t even make the sauce on-site. It’s that secret! Plus they serve up pineapple makkeolli (막걸리) which is pretty darn good.

But being so far from me second home, I can’t just pop over when I want. So I looked around for a couple recipes and found some good ones from Beyond Kimchee and Maangchi. I pretty much did a mix of the two (so all credit goes to them for this!)

Ingredients:

– 1 lb of boneless chicken (thigh or breast), diced

– 1/2 lb of Korean rice cake sticks (떡볶이 – ddeokbokki)

– 1/2 small head of cabbed, diced

– 1/2 onion, sliced

– 1 sweet potato, chopped into bite sized pieces

– 1 carrot

– 1 tbsp of ginger, minced

– 2 tsp curry powder

– 2 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce

– 2-10 gloves of peeled garlic, minced (amount is to taste)

– 2 tbsp rice wine (mirin/mirim)

– 1 tbsp sugar

– tbsp sesame oil

– 3 tbsp Korean chili paste (고추장 – gochujang)

– 2 tbsp Korean chili flakes (고추가루 – gochugaru)

– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

– 2 tbsp canola oil

– 2-4 tbsp water

Directions:

– Set your rice cakes to soak in hot water (if they’re fresh you don’t need to do this step).

– Cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces. Put in a bowl with soy sauce (1 tbsp) and black pepper, mix, and set aside.

– Prepare the sauce by mixing: garlic, ginger, hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, soy sauce (2 tbssp) and mirin/mirim in a bowl.

– Place cabbage in a large, shallow pan. Put in onion, carrot, sweet potato, and rice cakes. (You can also add perilla leaves – I didn’t because I couldn’t find any anywhere!)

– Add chicken on top. Pour sauce over that.

– Cover and cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir.

– Lower heat a bit and cover. Let it cook for 20 minutes or until it’s done.

Enjoy!