Busan restaurant serves superb pufferfish soup

Busan restaurant serves superb pufferfish soup

by Yoona Kang
haps Korea Magazine

This great bokguk restaurant has been run for more than 50 years over two generations. If you are lucky, you might be sitting next to actors or actresses during the upcoming BIFF as it is known to attract a lot of celebrities.

Located around at the end of Haeundae Beach, Halmaejib Wonjo Bokguk has been loved for around 50 years. Halmae means ‘grandma’ in Busan dialect and the owner halmae is at the kitchen cooking your bokguk (pufferfish soup).


Eunbok bok-jiri (9,000 won) & bean sprout (kongnamul muchim, small 2,000 won / big 4,000 won) in a square dish, with side dishes

There are two kinds of bokguk; bokguk or bok-jiri, and bok-maeuntang. Maeuntang is usually red and pepper-based fish soup.

When it comes to bokguk, I prefer bok-jiri. For jiri, you put vinegar in the soup (do not put much at first). I love vinegar so I add a lot of it and there is a lot of garlic already in the soup — when you combine them the soup tastes absolutely fantastic.

It is especially perfect in the morning after a drinking night. If you change your mind while eating jiri, you can add the red pepper paste (the second one from the bottom on the right in the photo above).

All staff members are accommodating. Also, it seems they all have worked for a long time and work efficiently and attentively. I arrived at 10:30 on a Saturday morning and was lucky there was a table available. One worker told me that people are in line all day out of the restaurant on weekends and that day was an exception.

There are four kinds of pufferfish and bokguk prices are different depending on the kind. Eunbok bokguk in the photo is the cheapest. This restaurant is open 24 hours and parking is available with a parking attendant. Avoid lunchtime.

Restaurant Information

Halmaejib Wonjo Bokguk (박옥희 할매집 원조 복국)

Open: 24-hours daily

Address: Nabi Hotel 1F, 957-1, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan

Phone: 051 – 747 – 7625

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