[eat] Sundae Gukbab & Suyuk Gukbab at The 진국 @ Sinchon, Seoul

I always had a (big) reservation about the Korean delicacy Sundae (순대)–nope, not THE Sundae you want to associate with. Sundae is

a Korean dish made generally by boiling or steaming cow or pig’s intestines that are stuffed with various ingredients. It is a kind of blood sausage and believed to have been eaten for a long time–Wikipedia 

Being a Vietnamese–and Vietnamese people are hardcore eaters–I have no reservation when it comes to intestines and/or blood (rawr!); my only concern about Sundae is that it is really bad. I mean bad. The viscera are often either rubbery as a tyre or as infirm as an 80-year-old guy’s skin. The stuffing is pretty much nondescript with bland vermicelli noodles and uhm more vermicelli noodles -.-‘ What’s up with the “various ingredients” requirement? Therefore, I generally had tried to avoid sundae at all cost until yesterday. As I was looking for a place for lunch in Sinchon, I came across a Sundae restaurant called The 진국 (The Jinguk) with some rave reviews on Naver blogs. Something in me was screaming: “Come on big gal take the risk.”


I must say that the screaming voice inside me was right in urging me to give sundae one more try. My friends, what I had there were really good–beyond my expectations.

The table before our orders came:

Looking fresh xD

And after our soups arrived:

I ordered Suyuk Gukbab (steamed pork slices soup served with rice). For 6000 KRW, I had a hell of a lot of super tender and sweet pork slices. The soup was a bit light on salt, but the owner also gave us some shrimp paste to taste so no complaint there.

My friend’s Sundae Gukbab (Sundae soup served with rice) had a hefty lot of sundae + steamed pork slices as well. For 6000 KRW, again, it was such a good deal.

I love the sundae here. The casings had a crunchy texture, the filling was a combination of blood and just the right amount of vermicelli noodle, plus some kind of sliced vegetable. Usually the sundae that I know of ONLY has vermicelli noodle inside–which makes it a bland and dry rubber ball.

Notice that the broth has changed into that reddish/orange color. Yup, make sure to mix the dollop of guchuchang inside your soup for a mildly spicy flavor–it boosts the taste slightly.

I also went for their Potato mandu. After all, a plate of 10 pieces of mandu was only 3000 KRW! Too bad they were only okay. I don’t recommend it, but if you are still hungry after the soup, a plate of mandu can be a filling factor.

Wish it had tasted as good as it looked:

Overall, I enjoyed our meal: reasonably priced, good and filling food. There is no feast there, but the진국 can certainly offer you a satisfying cheap quick lunch if you happen to be around Sinchon neighborhood.

Menu (there is an English menu on the wall btw):

The 진국, Sinchon station exit 2.

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