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 – Ddeokguk (떡국)

Happy New Year ~ 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Last week was the Lunar New Year or 설날 (Seollal) in Korea. It’s another big holiday like Chuseok where people travel to be with their families and celebrate. Of course there’s different kinds of foods to eat during that time as well. One of the must-eats during Seollal is 떡국 (ddeokguk).

The soup is made with a protein broth (I used beef, but you can use seafood, chicken, etc.) and rice cakes. Other ingredients like green onions, egg, and seaweed are also added. Once again I found a great recipe at Maangchi. I only did some very slight variations to save prep time and it turned out great.

[*Gonna reiterate that this recipe is all Maangchi’s and she gets all the credit. I’m just posting how I used it. 🙂 ]

Ingredients:

– 1 pound of sliced rice cakes (ddeokguk/떡국)

– 7 cups of water

– 1/2 pound of beef, chopped

– 3-4 minced garlic cloves

– 3 green onions, sliced

– 2 eggs

– 1 tbsp fish sauce

– 1 tsp sesame oil

– 1/2 tsp black pepper

– 1 sheet of kim (seaweed)

– salt

Directions:

– soak the rice cakes in cold water for about 30 minutes

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– Boil the water in a large pot on high heat for 12-15 minutes

– Chop up your beef (I bought stew meat from Trader Joe’s). Add the beef and garlic to the pot, lower the heat to medium. Cover and boil for 20-25 minutes.

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* I used frozen garlic cubes (again from Trader Joe’s) instead of fresh. It’s a quicker alternative to chopping fresh garlic, and will keep in your freezer for some time.

– I also bought Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack, rather than buying a bunch of seaweed that I probably wouldn’t use. Maangchi suggests roasting the seaweed in her recipe, but this is much quicker. Plus it’s a nice snack and only 99 cents.

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– Separate the egg yolks and whites, putting them in separate bowls. Add a pinch of salt to each and mix.IMG_0537

– Add oil (canola or vegetable) to a small heated pan. Turn off the heat and put the egg yolks in the pan. Let it cook for about 1 minute. Flip the egg and cook for another minute. Take it out and slice into thin strips.

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– Add rice cakes to the boiling soup with fish sauce, salt, and onion. Stir and cover for 7-8 minutes. Add egg whites and cook for 1 minute.

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– Add sesame oil and black pepper. Stir and remove from heat.

– Serve into bowls. Garnish with egg strips, crushed seaweed, and any other garnish you want.

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Enjoy!

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!