Samcheongdong Sujebi

South Korea

Samcheongdong Sujebi

  A vat of soup and a plate of potato pancakes that is why you go to  Samcheongdong Sujebi. That’s why everyone else goes there, too. Those are the two things you’ll see on almost every single table And they are the things I keep going back to in my mind, even after some rather exemplary Korean barbecue and elevated bites elsewhere in Seoul. The soup in question is sujebi, wheat dumplings floating in a broth of anchovies, ginger, kelp, and clams. The soft dumplings retain their structure but aren’t even a tiny bit chewy. The broth is so comforting in its umami rich austerity it feels elemental Douse it with soy sauce or leave it be either way you’ll find solace in its homey depths.
  The gamjajeon, or potato pancake, comes in a few variations, one of which has only one ingredient potato. It’s the texture that makes it so special, the perfect balance of crisp and soft. A container of fragrant, piquant kimchi on the table adds spice and intrigue. Samcheongdong Sujebi has been open for almost four decades, serving hundreds of customers per day. It doesn’t play particularly well on Instagram. It isn’t dining engineered to inspire jealousy in others. It is simply a place that does one wonderful thing (or, more accurately, two wonderful things) better than anywhere else.

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