Mandu Joint in Namdaemun

While elbowing my way through Namdaemun Shijang (market) this afternoon in Seoul, I saw a long line of people clutching won in their hands waiting. Since I can’t just walk by a group of people waiting for food. I joined the end of the line to get my share of the freshly steamed mandu (dumplings) they were cranking out of their cramped kitchen. Filled with pork, vegetables and other tasty things. They had two versions–regular and spicy. Of course I had to try both.


The filling was delicious, with a generous amount of white pepper. The spicy version had chile oil (you can see some of it seeping out of the mandu). It wasn’t actually THAT spicy, but had a nice kick to it.

(I was especially happy to have gotten this shot because of the look of immediacy on the woman’s face!)

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4 thoughts on “Mandu Joint in Namdaemun

  1. Hi Cecilia! I came across your book from the NYT article about fried chicken. Just wanted to say hello and congratulations on your cookbook! 🙂

    That mandu looks so good!! Everytime I read about street food in Korea – it makes me want to go to there just to eat! I hope to make it out there soon.

  2. Thanks, Esther!

    I have to admit that I’ve spent some days in Seoul, just eating from street vendors, not sitting down once to have a “proper” meal!

    I’ll be posting more photos of some of the fantastic meals I had in Korea. Hopefully, they’ll really make you want to go. And you should, soon! Go eat some of the freshest, most delicious food — sample the regional flavors, get seafood so fresh, it moves! It really is a wonderful country for a culinary trip. Not to short-change the gorgeous landscape, the historic temples and such, either.

    I’m just coming home after a filling dinner of samgyeopssal (three-layered pork belly), so life is good.

    Do let me know if you make it to Korea!


  3. Yes! Those mandu are delicious. I was in Korea in September and had almost the same experience while walking around the market. (see line of hungry people, join line, eat mandu, mmm).

    Also I loved your photo of the meat-fish sandwich. Luckily I was never hungry enough to try it. Did you catch the TV commercials for the two-sided sandwich? hilarious.

    I’ve just found your blog and I’m looking forward to reading through the archives. – Heather

  4. Haha! That’s great, Heather. I can’t walk by lines of people waiting for food without trying it myself.

    I actually didn’t see the TV commercials (too busy traveling and eating), but I’m sure they were hilarious!

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