One Korean food I really miss when I am away from Korea is Kanjang Gejang (간장게장) – wonderfully delicious Korean fresh crabs that are marinated in soy sauce. Last year, my sister and I drove almost 2 hours to a restaurant near Seosan (Western Sea of Korea) which was famous for good Kanjang Gejang only to find that it tasted a bit fishy. If you have not had this dish before, you are probably wondering..is this raw? Yes, it is raw fresh crabs that are just simply cleaned and marinated in soy sauce with usually garlic, ginger, green onions and green chilis.
I am not a huge fan of raw seafood or meats except for raw abalone which I LOVE. A rarity of Korean, I don’t like Sashimi or Yukhoe(steak tartar). But, this crab marinated in soy sauce takes away just enough of the pure raw taste that makes it exceptionally good. Kanjang Gejang is made with female crabs because the roe is the most delicious part of this dish. The flavor is somewhat similar to salmon roe or uni. And if you mix it rice – the creamy texture and the briny, ocean flavor of the crab roe coats the rice and creates an amazing flavor in your mouth.
We also ordered Maesaengi Jeon (Seaweed Pancake) which was also quite delicious. Maesaengi (Seaweed Fulvescens) are tiny seaweed (the green stuff) that are mixed into the batter along with shrimp, mussels and clams. Don’t you just love the green color? It’s my first time having it, another dish I must try making at home.
The Restaurant: Pro Soy Crab (프로 간장게장 Pro Kanjang Gejang) in Kangnam area of Seoul is where we went. The restaurant has been in business for 34 years. Many restaurants will serve Kanjang Gejang but very few will do it really well. Also many times, the crabs will taste very fishy which means either the crab was not fresh or they didn’t do a good job with the seasoning. My sisters and I all agreed how good everything was.
The restaurant we went to is the original location. It also has branches in Busan and Jeju and also some in Japan and China!
For dinner, I met a friend and had dinner at one of the best Thai restaurant in Seoul – Taste of Thailand in Itaewon. Some dishes are a bit on the sweet side but the food is quite good overall. There are now 2 locations in the same area so if you need a Thai food fix, try it.
Well, that was Day 2 of best restaurants in Seoul – stay tuned for more!