Marinated raw crab, or more well know as 간장게장 (ganjang gejang) can be said as one of the most favorite food for the locals. It even got the nickname of 밥도독 (read : bap do dok) which literally means “rice stealer” to express that this dish is so delicious that you won’t realize how many rice bowl you’ve eaten with this one dish. And I’m so agree with the nickname, as I’m not a rice fan girl (I basically eat a very little rice with lots of vegetables and meats), but with this one served in front of me, I can eat up to two bowls of rice. WOW! Normally I can’t even finish 1 bowl of rice.
As a big fan of the marinated raw crab in South Korea, I’ve been going here and there around Seoul and somewhere around Seoul just to find the most delicious raw crab which really fits my appetite, and I manage to find one! I’ll be introducing two places in my post, reason is one is the restaurant which gets 1 michelin star in 2018 and has so many foreign customer (mostly China and Japan), and the other is personally my favorite (I have to visit this restaurant on each of my visit to South Korea), which did not earn any michelin star, but taste a lot more better than the one who earn the star, with lots of local customers.
Kengiwajib (which literally means house with a big roof)
Aside from marinated raw crab, this restaurant serves some other traditional Korean food, but since the dish which earns them the michelin star is their marinated raw crab and their marinated raw crab bibimbap, so I decided on to try the menu which earned the star. The marinated raw crab taste just so-so. I mean it tastes okay, but it’s not really hard to find the same dish with better quality and better price. But rather than anticipating the marinated raw crab, which I’ve ate a lot around the country, I can’t wait to taste the marinated raw crab bibimbap (I’ve only ate once in Jeonju area, and can’t find any around Seoul, until I saw this restaurant), so yeah, I really can’t wait to try it. And after a not too long wait (Korean people works very fast), the long awaited bibimbap is finally served in front of me with many other banchan (side dishes).
So this is basically how the set looks like, if you asked ‘where’s the marinated raw crab?’, the answer is it’s the one being contained inside the white bowl with brown color sauce. So, I mixed everything up, and uh, they don’t give you the gochujang (the red chili sauce which normally comes with bibimbap), because the soy sauce from the marinated raw crab itself will give the rice the taste. After mixing everything, I lifted up my spoon and put the first one in my mouth, and argh! again, it disappointed me. The one I had back in Jeonju is far richer in taste and far more delicious than this one. It’s even cost you cheaper! The only thing is that the restaurant in Jeonju didn’t look so nice and not really hygiene if you know what I meant, compare to this Kengiwajib’s. Maybe that’s the reason this restaurant earned the michelin star.
If you come by, you’ll find a line up of foreigners outside the restaurant, but it’s fine, the line won’t take you up more than 30 minutes even if it’s lunch time. If you want to try out this restaurant here’s the address:
Seoul-si, Jongno-gu,Sogyeok-dong 122-3
Price : Marinated Raw Crab (55,000 KRW), Marinated Raw Crab Bibimbap (38,000 KRW)
This second place is personally my favorite restaurant. Since marinated raw crab for soy sauce placed number one in my heart among all other food, so you can say this restaurant place number one in my heart as well. LOLZ! It’s located slightly outside of Seoul, around Bucheon area, but it’s still easily access since with Seoul Metro Line, you can get off at 까치울역 (Kachiul Station) and it’s just walking distance from the exit. This place specialized only in raw marinated soy sauce dishes so don’t expect anything else. They basically have three types of dishes you can choose marinated raw crab in soy sauce, marinated raw crab in spicy sauce (this one will be a better choice if you don’t dare to take up the challenge for the soy sauce since, the color is red so you won’t even notice that the crab is raw), and marinated raw shrimp in soy sauce (this one taste really bad I won’t even recommend you to choose on this menu).
Unlike the michelin star restaurant which you can make it inside the restaurant before 30 minutes, this restaurant is really something. You’ve to be really patient. Even with the eating speed of Korean people, you still have to wait more than 2 hours during lunch time or less if you’re lucky, and you will have to wait for around 30-40 minutes during a not peak hour. And there’s nothing you can see around the restaurant, since everything is just grass, but they do provide you chairs and tables in the waiting area with playing area for kids, so the wait is quite endurable. I normally will take a walk around, and wait for them to call you. Yes, they’ll call you once your number is up. So you won’t even have to worry that you’ll miss the line when you’re not there. And, uhm, they don’t do international number, so provide a local number if you want to be called when your turn is up.
I tried the all of the menus, but my favorite one is the one and only marinated raw crab soy sauce, so I always ordered this every time I visited this restaurant. The portion is quite big, the taste was so good, it taste just that tiny bit spicy and it mixed really well with the soy sauce they’ve served so I got nothing to complain on this one. Until I find other restaurant which taste better, this restaurant is basically the best in serving marinated raw crab.
If you don’t mind traveling and not scare to wait for a long queue to try on this dish, then you can keep this address below:
Gyeonggi-do, Bucheon-si, Jakdong-dong 204-2
Price : Every set menu has the same price they cost you 17,000KRW per person. Yes, you see it right, the price is even three times cheaper than the other restaurant.
Happy adventuring~! ^^
I love to travel and eat!! I'm a freelance Korean English Chinese Bahasa Indonesia interpreter, who love to blog and write. I worked in a plastic surgery hospital in Korea for 5 years before pursuing my interpreting and writing jobs. My previous blog on plastic surgery (which has been permanently closed down T-T) has been published in a book.