Central Seoul, Korean Eats

Foodie Redux: Soy Marinated Crabs at Pro-soy Crabs

Here is a oldie, but goodie. Sorry for the lack of posts. The company is growing and I am working on some new exciting projects. If you are interested in contributing to Seoul Eats, shoot me an email.


Pro-soy Crab in Sinsadong

One of the better meals that I have had this year has been at Pro-kanjang Gyejang. This place specializes in soy-sauce marinated crab. This dish is a delicacy in Korean culture and some might (I heard that Chef Pierre Gagnaire didn’t care for this dish). This is a dish that most people can only have at certain times of the year and winter is the best time for the crabs gorge themselves on food to get ready for mating season. What sets Pro-kanjang gyejang apart from other places that the crab is delicate in texture yet not overpowering in flavor.

Some of the places that make this dish make the dish too salty and it requires several bowls of rice in order to eat it. Here the crabs are full of flavor and yet subtle enough that you can eat a whole plate of them without any rice at all. They are simply addictive.

I was lucky enough to follow Chef Andreas of the JW Marriot Hotel to Prosoycrab. He was doing a shoot for a German Television Show and I was asked to tag along. What that meant was that I got to talk a lot about food and then eat it. Not a bad gig I must say.

In the kitchen we watched the cooks expertly chop the crabs so it could be easily picked up and eaten. The crab is so delicious that you’ll want to pick clean every little bit of meat. The prize of this dish are the golden eggs which is like foie gras and uni. Absolutely delicious.

Afterwards we had some of their famous crab soup. For the soup they use the male crabs and the for the soy-marinated crabs they use the females. I guess it is an equal opportunity restaurant.

Great food and good service. I must tell you that it is not the cheapest restaurant. A small order of the soy marinated crabs (enough for 2) costs 55,000 won and a large costs (enough for 4) costs 80,000 won. You can see the menu below.

Pro-Soy Crab (프로간장게장)
Seocho-gu, Jamwon-dong 27-1 Pro Building


Pro-soy Crab Menu Seoul
Pro-soy Crab Seou Menu
Pro-soy Crab Menu

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Central Seoul, Korean Eats

Minjin Buckwheat Noodles


In Korea, the most popular style of buckwheat noodles is naengmyeon: chewy buckwheat noodles in a clear pickled turnip soup. It is good but I sometimes miss having Japanese soba which is softer and more delicate.

I am always a fan of skillfully made noodles- especially when they are made from buckwheat.

Buckwheat noodles are very difficult to make because the shatter easily when rolled and cut. Korean noodles use some extra starch to bind them which makes them chewier.

Mijin buckwheat noodle center (미진메밀국수전문점) makes fine noodles that are between Japanese and Korean noodles. They have an al dente bite but a silky slurp. The buckwheat flavor is not overpowering and it works well with the sauce mixed with daikon and onions.

7,000 won will get you two trays so four rounds of buckwheat noodles. You won’t go hungry.

Seoul Jongno-gu Jongno 1-ga 24 bonji 02-732-1954

Central Seoul, Korean Eats, Restaurant Reviews

Silky Noodles in a Crisp, Ice Broth

Silky Noodles in a Crisp, Ice Broth

One thing you should not get into an argument about with Koreans is who has the best chilled buckwheat noodle soup (naengmyeon). It can turn into a heated debate since many people have strong opinions about the elasticity of the noodles, the crispness of the chilled turnip and beef broth, and of the toppings. One place that has a consensus of respect is Pyeong Yang Myeon-ok in Dongdaemun. They make their noodles, the broth, and their kimchi in house and have not changed much in the last 50 years. It is so famous that they built a parking-garage elevator to combat traffic congestion. The noodles are lively and they swim in the light, chilled, clear broth. This Seoul landmark also has North Korean style meat platters like obokjaengban and jaeok, and their fist-sized dumplings can’t be missed.

Pyeongyang Myeonok
Seoul Junggu Jangchungdong 1ga 26-14 Zip 100-391
Phone: 02-2267-7784
Directions: Go out Donguk University Station (Subway Line 3) Exit 6 and walk straight. It is a grey factory looking building on the left.


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Central Seoul, Korean Eats, Restaurant Reviews

Korean Broiled Eel at Gohyang

A food that is rich in protein and oil is perfect after a long work day (jang-oh). The eel is often killed fresh and then grilled over high heat, covered in sauce and then brought to the table. This fresh approach to preparing eel gives it a delightful crunch and a rich aroma. Over at Nakwon-dong, a famous eel place is called Gohyang and they serve the eel three ways: plain with salt or basted with chili paste or soy sauce. This is one of my favorite places to go after work. However, I try not to go too often because it is a bit high in calories. When you order, bring out a variety of different sauces, kimchis, leaves, and slivered fresh ginger. It’ll take a bit of time before your food will come out though for broiling eel takes time so while you wait they have raspberry wine (which is also believed to increase your health and stamina) or soju or beer. Making a fresh lettuce wrap filled with broiled eel, ginger, sauce and vegetables is one of Korea’s most delicious treats.

Jongno-gu, Nakwon-dong 94
Directions: Go out Jongno 3-ga exit 5 and make a right and go down the alley between SC Bank and the guitar shop with a yellow guitar on the sign. It’s the first eel place to the right.

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Central Seoul, Restaurant Reviews

Breakfast Buffet at Shilla Hotel



The Shilla hotel has the reputation of being one of the top hotels in Seoul. While I was there yesterday, I saw a number of police escorts. I was told that members of Korea’s Royal Family were staying at the Shilla. I didn’t know there was any Korean royalty left.

This morning our company was running a taekwondo session at the Shilla Hotel and afterwards I had a chance to enjoy breakfast.

It was quite good. It was a nice buffet spread with bagels, smoked salmon, eggs, fried rice, fruit and more. The quality of the food was good- especially the smoked salmon and the cheese. I have to say it was nice to have a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon in the morning. Their figs, pineapple and grapes were very refreshing in the morning.

The breads were nice as well and they had a good selection of jams for people to try. Their coffee was quite good as well: dark, medium bodied.

There were some things on the buffet I was not willing to try. The scrambled eggs looked like hell and so did the corned beef. I am glad it was a buffet so I could choose what to indulge in.