Friday, May 13, 2016

Seomun Market Good Eats

If there’s one place that epitomizes the color of Daegu, it’s surely the beloved Seomun Market, known for its massive array of shopping delights. But did you know that you could spend a delicious afternoon here just sampling the foods and beverages on offer, wandering from stall to stall, and still not try everything?

Traditional street food, steaming bowls of rice and noodles, meats, fish, freshly-squeezed juices, teas, coffees, fresh produce, dried goods, nuts, kimchi, and scrumptious take-home items are just the beginning of what’s available.

Hungry shoppers can score a quick meal for well under 5,000 KW at any of the stalls that line the market alleys. Signs above each stall describe what’s cooking.

Favorite choices include the classic dokbokki --  glutinous rice-pasta tubes drenched in a sweet and spicy red sauce -- as well as mandu, which are savory dumplings topped with a generous heap of sliced spring onions and salty soy dressing.  Also popular are huge bowls of hot udon noodles in a yummy seasoned broth.

More adventurous foodies might go for the earthy-flavored soondae, or blood sausage, usually found coiled near a mountainous plate of intestines.

Another customer favorite is the deep-fried, soft-shell crab -- crunchy on the outside, sweet and tender on the inside -- and seasoned to perfection with a secret mix. A bowl of these beauties will set you back 3,000 KW.

Need something to wash it all down? Daegu’s best little tea shop is right near the market’s main entrance. DaeseongSuib is a great place to get a free sample of the day’s brew, and pick up some take-home teas and charming souvenirs while you are there.  Coffee shops abound, too, and one of the best for people-watching is Okrumong cafe, which has second-floor seating, and is near the main parking entrance.

Freshly-squeezed juices and fruit-ades are also a great choice for thirsty shoppers and are available throughout the market.

Hopefully you saved room for dessert!  One of the best is the classic and simple hoedeok, a pillow-soft pancake that’s served piping hot with just the right amount of sweet syrup and chopped peanuts.  If you fancy a fritter, the market has these, too -- hot pastry with cinnamon, sugar, and sunflower seeds folded in. You might have to stand in line for one, but it’s worth the wait!

Don’t forget to bring some treasures home, too. You’ll find many quintessentially-Korean delectables, including a dried-fruits seller, whose centerpiece item is a zesty candied ginger.  It’s a healthy, tasty alternative to candy, and goes beautifully with tea.  Make sure to sample the dried sweet potato and beet, too; they are delicious. 

You also might find a pile of Philippine dried lemons, perhaps a good choice after a day of feasting. Soak them in water, and drink the resulting liquid, which is supposed to be a weight-loss aid.

Seomun Market has much more culinary goodness in store.  Friendly market sellers are waiting to share their bounty with you. What are your favorites? Send us a message and let us know what you discover!

Getting there:
•   By subway
Take the Green line (Line 2) to Sinnam station and get out at exit 1, turning right at the top of the stairs. Take a left at the large intersection. Just walk straight and the main entrance will be on the left.
Alternately, take the Line 3 monorail to the Seomun Market stop.
•   By taxi
Tell your driver “서문시장가주세요(Seomunshee-jahngkajuseyo).”
-Address: 115, Daesin-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu
-Phone: +82-053-256-6341

1 comment:

  1. We had lunch there on Sunday during the Colorful Festival. Good stuff!