Seoul: Jinmi Sikdang

 

Gejang, also known as soy marinated crabs
Gejang, also known as soy marinated crabs

One of the things I really look forward to trying in Seoul this time is gejang, also known as soy marinated raw crabs. This delicacy is famously described as ‘rice thief’ as its flavors encouraged people to devour copious amount of rice when eating it. While there are lots of places in Hong Kong offering gejang, I wanted to try this in Seoul first. In addition, I heard a lot of horror stories that the crabs in some restaurants were not fresh and rather foul smelling. Yucks!

Some of the banchan offered here.
Some of the banchan offered here.

After doing some research, we decided to try Jinmi Sikdang, which was located in a secluded part of Mapo-gu area. The cab driver wasn’t too sure where it was and dropped us on the main road. Thanks to Google Maps, we found our place after walking abit. From the exterior, the restaurant looks like a residential home, except for the huge crab picture. However, there was no visible signboard, so we were not too sure whether we got to the right place until the owner beckoned us in. I hesitated a little as I wanted to be sure that it was the real deal. We walked into a small space filled with diners and loud conversations. There is only a fixed menu here, which consists of a variety of banchan (i.e. Korean appetizers), steamed egg, soup and of course, the soy marinated crabs.

Steamed egg
Steamed egg

Fat Man was a little skeptical about eating raw crabs, which was pretty understandable.  Nevertheless, he dug in when it came. I liked it. Very much. The delicate flavor of raw crab was infused with soy sauce (and other ingredients I am sure) and they were delicious!  The crabs served were bursting with roe, which tastes like uni. The best way to enjoy it was mix rice with roe and drizzle a bit of soy. The rest of the dishes were alright but not spectacular. While a lot of people mentioned how awesome the green laver served here is, I didn’t find it very special. On the other hand, I quite liked the marinated raw baby squid though. Although Fat Man didn’t mind eating raw crab, he couldn’t manage more than half of his share. As a result, I ate everything and ended up a feeling a little sick after that. The moral of the story is never to be too greedy.  I highly recommend this place to everybody visiting Seoul to come here and try their signature dish.

This is how you should savor it!
This is how you should savor it!
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