Yes, it's my last hot stone pot of boiling soondae-kukbap of the year. Lunar year, that is!
Before the start of the five-day holiday in Korea to celebrate the new lunar year, I have to satisfy my craving for this Korean dish one last time before this restaurant, that's next the Korea Post building by the Exit 1 of Sinyongsan Station, closes for the holidays.
Soon-dae is up there as one of my favorite Korean dishes, right next to buddae-jiggae, al-tang, mandu, and patpingsu. Yes, a list of my favorite things is not complete without dessert. Ha-ha-ha!
But it's not just the ordinary soon-dae that's served at any pojang-macha, sliced, salted and served. It's the soon-dae slices that are in a hot stone pot and swimming in a unique tasting broth of spices, herbs, black pepper, and cut innards. This is soondae-kukbap, or soondae in a hot broth and served with rice. As soon-dae is actually in a form of a sausage, it has many varieties. Fillings range from cut innards of cows or pigs mixed with pig's blood, and cooked by putting all these inside an intestine that would now look like a long sausage, and then steamed.
And a few slices of it are submerged at the bottom of this hot stone pot, drowning in the broth whose smell alone makes a hungry customer salivate just by looking at the menu. Ha-ha-ha!
But these slices don't remain submerged in the pot for long. I fish them out, put them on my rice sitting on this small tin bowl, brush them with some doenjang (fermented soy bean paste), scoop them up and ferry them into the entrance of my digestive system. Ha-ha-ha! After a few enjoyable munches, they will be submerged somewhere else.
So, there. Spoonful after spoonful, my last soon-dae kuk-bap for the lunar year. This customer leaves the restaurant happy, thankful, and just so full.