Bizarre Foods in Seoul

I recently received an e-mail from Mama Seoul and they are looking to do a piece on Bizarre Foods in Korea. I want to help them out, so I am asking for your help. Does anyone know any famous
dog soup restaurants,
sang nakchi,
poison blowfish,
sulfur baked duck,
budae chiggae (Other than Nolbu)
Soy marinated crab,
Snake Soju,

and any other bizarre Korean foods you can think of.



Here’s the e-mail^^

Seoul Eats Folks,

I have been contacted by researchers from the Travel Channel Show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. they are coming to Korea in a few weeks and are trying to come up with story ideas, locations and local guides. I am fairly new to Seoul, so I have helped out with general ideas, but they need specific restaurant locations and I am having a terrible time pinning down the Koreans that I know to specific places. They always seem to say,”It’s everywhere”.

Anyway, I came across Seoul Eats and thought that some of you might have either specific restaurant suggestions or might like to be guides. Please read the forwarded e-mail and if you can help, please e-mail Carrie. One change from this e-mail is that they are not doing Korean Royal Court Cuisine, instead they are doing a segment on soups. Where is a good place for dog soup, bone, soup, ox tail soup, etc.?

Mama Seoul

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  • Mandy

    I know very famous Dog soup restaurants…actually there are two very famous..
    Dog soup isn’t my cup of tea but I work with ajussi so I know the places.

    Poison blow fish…also I know few very famous one.

    what about loach soup?
    I also know the places..hmmm…
    I am not craving for bizarre food, don’t get me wrong :p

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t you take him the skate restaurant Joe McPherson did on his blog? Just remember to tell him don’t breathe!

  • Richard

    Well if its for stews and soups besides the typical Dog soup fair. Id recommend my favorite soup: gamjatang.

    While its not exotic, it definitely is imposing with the pig spinal cord. I know its always a shocker the first time you get it and your told gamjatang traslates to potato soup. Then here comes a soup with huge spine sticking out!

    I dont knnow the name of the restaurant. I could find out if you really want, but there is a famous chain in Seoul. They only serve gamjatang and they have a bright orange awning. I know there is one over by Jamsil, right near the Olympic park.

  • Richard

    You might want to check out the blog here:

    There is some interesting food Ive never seen before.

  • Dan

    For soy-sauce marinated crab, there’s a bunch of decent places, but I know that a Japanese tourist favorite is the street in Shin-Sa-Dong behind the Wedding Hall. I’d definitely add to the list, 곱창구이, or cow intestine bbq. There’s a neighborhood in Wang-Ship-Ni dedicated to this stuff. Finally, you can’t leave off “food” from Japan like whale and horse sashimi.

    There’s also fresh-water eel shabu shabu, wild duck (mallard) soup, and a bunch of other things that I don’t know their english names.

    As far as dog meat, I recommend dog 수육 (boiled meat) rather than dog soup so they can really show the identifiable dog carcass on film. If you buy enough, a lot of these places will give you the whole underside of the dog (i.e., with penis and testicles attached).

    I’m a recent MIT grad who’s moved back and forth all my life (just recently got back) who’s always sought out “bizarre foods.” I’d like to help out, particularly since I always enjoyed watching Andrew Zimmern back in the states.

  • Dan

    Oh and I forgot, my favorite, silk worm soup, shouldn’t be forgotten. Goes great with booze (as any Korean will attest).

    Ox Tail soup isn’t so odd, except that the more authentic places such as the one in Nam-Dae-Mun market (been around since my grandparents were young) boils the entire tail in a huge pot, and chops it into its smaller pieces only upon receiving the order. It’s pretty cool to see them fish a whole ox tail out and WHACK WHACK WHACK it’s now segments.
    Plus (I might be crossing wires here), the documentary I once saw about the place stated that the owner sleeps in front of his pot (rather than going home) to perfectly monitor the soup at all times.

    Loach soup, like Mandy said, should be on the list, although I’d also like to add that the loach should be alive (both for flavor and shock value). It’s somewhat hard to find places like that, although I’m sure any restaurant owner will cooperate for the free publicity.

    Another candidate might be seaweed soup, which is totally normal to Koreans (eaten during pregnancies and birthdays) but has a slimy texture that Americans might find somewhat disturbing.

    Not so bizarre, but definitely challenging is soft tofu stew at a famous restaurant behind Samsung HQ (can’t recall the name, but most people know of it). The place serves it so spicy that I’ve seen serious chunks of chili powder caked on the side of the bowl fall into the ulcer-inducing broth.

    Finally, not so odd, but at least humorous, is hae-jang-guk (or, hangover soup). What more can a boozer ask for?

  • Anonymous

    I am trying to have a party for my friends and family with all kinds of foods. I would love to know how I can buy some of these foods online and have them sent to me. I live in delaware and I cant find anything here like he eats on the show.

  • Daniel Gray

    I know that you can get quite a bit of exotic foods from the Filipino Market and in Ansan. Hmmm…Oh, you’re from Delaware. Go to Chinatown in Philly!

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