Sing a song of Seongbuk-dong: Dimibang

by Jordan Redmond
Groove Korea

Dimibang is the type of local where there always seems to be one table quite well-lubed with soju no matter what time of day you walk in. The preferred tipple here is Hallasan Soju, the charcoal-filtered Jeju rice wine which goes down a little more easily than some of its green-bottled competitors. You’ll need it to put out the fire of Dimibang jeyuk-bokkeum or spicy pork which comes still steaming in a beat-up aluminum pot, some of the pork having caramelized and stuck to the side. If you don’t feel like setting your tongue alight, this place makes a mean kongbiji which is made from the curd-like remains of the tofu-making process, usually boiled with lard to make a silky-yet-hearty stew.

Usually only the proprietor handles all the cooking and she might sometimes be concerned with doing some pro-bono acupuncture for a stricken regular. So come with a patient attitude and willing liver, zone out to the always awesome tunes emanating from the radio, and you will be rewarded.

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