Deep-fried ddong

Tuesday, August 19, 2008



May be it’s inherent in the deepest instinct of every Korean to be naturally attracted to food that either sounds or looks repulsive. Think of all the food that fills the carts and tables on the streets of Seoul: silkworm larvae, barbecued pig skin and chicken gizzards.

I am proud to have inherited the adventurous appetite of my ancestors. They have made our lives far more entertaining.

On a recent weekday night, after hours of shopping in Dongdaemun in the midst of the deadly heat, I was faced with a moment of truth. Should I try ddong tuiguim, or fried excrement?

To my disappointment, however, the dish had nothing to do with the substance I expected. Instead, the food is a kind of a croquet made of minced seafood and vegetables, deep fried in a mix of breadcrumbs and mashed potatoes. It looks golden brown, a hint at the name’s history.

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