Seoul Eats Redux: Eel (Jang-o)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When it gets hot, I like to eat Korean Jang-o. My favorite place is up by Hongdae at a place called Jang-o-rang. I went there like 1 year ago and I think I'll have to go back there soon.

Here is a recap of the review:

Eel in the City
By Daniel Gray

Freshwater eel is a summertime specialty. Slowly grilled, the flesh has a marbled quality like a fine rib eye steak, a silky texture that resembles lobster. It melts in your mouth seasoned only with salt, but when lathered with a soy glaze the smell simply wafts up to your hypothalamus and makes itself a permanent fixture.

While I was making my excursion to “Jangeorang” in Hongdae, trying to convince my expatriate friends to come join me for grilled eel and soy marinated crab was like trying to pick all the red pepper flakes out of kimchi. When I approached my Korean friends, it was the complete opposite reaction. One of my friends even canceled a date in order to have a meal of eel. This differing reaction made me wonder. Why do some people have a prejudice against eel?

I guess some people associate it with evil because it looks like a snake or maybe it’s the name: eel. It sounds like a murmur of disgust rather than the name of an epicurean enchantment. I prefer the Korean name for it: Jangeo (장어) which is pronounced jang-oh. It sounds like the chime of a dinner bell to me.

Click here for the rest

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