Dongdaemun Pochangmacha

Korean pojangmachas (street food stalls) are a common sight all over Seoul. I find them usually run by women who serve up cheap, filling and overly savory foods in a no-nonsense fashion. They park their carts on the street and you can find kids, college students and businessmen chowing down on the unsanitary delights at all times of the day (but usually at night).


This cart is in Dongdaemun, an area named after one of the four entrance gates in old Seoul. This is where you can find fake Gucci socks as well as fabric and trims. Note the toilet paper roll that replaces napkins.


The fried food is all cold and hard by the time you get there, but don’t worry they will REFRY it to get it nice and greasy. You can get squid legs, glass noodles wrapped in seaweed/kim, dumplings/mandoo and sweet potatoes all coated in thick batter.


So this is one of the options you can get. My mother thinks this is disgusting but I find it fabulous. They stick all the cold fried items of your choosing in the ddeokbokki sauce (rice cakes, fishcake and chili sauce simmered together) and slap it all on a plastic bag covered dish and sprinkle with perilla leaves. It’s spicy and warm and you can barely tell what you are eating, meat or vegetable. Delish! They also give you a paper cup of the soup that the fishcakes/odeng have been simmering in which has a dashi base. This costs 4,000KRW or $4.60 and is way more than anyone can handle.

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8 Responses to “Dongdaemun Pochangmacha”

  1. kayoko Says:

    loving the food on plastic bags and the toilet paper! all the food sounds awesome.

  2. kayoko Says:

    loving the food on plastic bags and the toilet paper! all the food sounds awesome.

  3. tmonkey Says:

    What’s Perilla?

  4. tmonkey Says:

    What’s Perilla?

  5. Sonja Says:

    I love food sans frills…it lets the stale seafood really shine on it’s own.

    Perilla is sesame leaves? I think it’s really close to shiso but the taste is slightly different.

  6. Sonja Says:

    I love food sans frills…it lets the stale seafood really shine on it’s own.

    Perilla is sesame leaves? I think it’s really close to shiso but the taste is slightly different.

  7. kayoko Says:

    this reminds me, we should totally go to Perilla in the west village when we have some $$. it’s that new restaurant by the guy Harold who won the first season’s Top Chef.

  8. kayoko Says:

    this reminds me, we should totally go to Perilla in the west village when we have some $$. it’s that new restaurant by the guy Harold who won the first season’s Top Chef.

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