Monday, 30 March 2015

Chicken Feed: Andong Jjimdak!

When I looked it up on the Internet, they said this dish originated in the city of Andong in the North Gyeongsang Province in Korea. What a coincidence! Andong is actually the sister city of Bacolod, my hometown and the birthplace of the Masskara Festival. And just like Bacolod, Andong also has its own mask festival!

And every time I get face-to-face with this dish, it always reminds me of a Filipino favorite, adobo!

Andong jjimdak is a dish made of slices of steamed chicken marinated and almost submerged in spicy soy sauce, swimming alongside potatoes, carrots and other sliced vegetables, and choking in lengthy cellophane noodles. 'Jjimdak' means steamed chicken.

The spiciness is actually brought by the small cuts of red pepper, which I totally avoid. Once the Korean ajumma brings over the big plate of Andong jjimdak to our table (you can't eat alone with this dish!), you will also need a clean table scissor to cut the noodles short so you can fish them out and carry them over to your plate. 

Each bite of the steamed chicken reveals its soft meat coated with a bit of saltiness from the soy sauce and a little spiciness from the pepper. I usually top my bowl of rice with the chicken and the noodles, which I then bathe with a few spoonfuls of the spicy soy sauce. 

Eating Andong jjimdak, unlike other Korean dishes, is like a ceremony because of the scissors. I always feel like I am opening an event with all this ribbon-cutting, except that these aren't ribbons. These are cooked cellophane noodles that are chewy and slippery.

A big plate of Andong jjimdak is actually pricier than most Korean dishes. A plate for two is about KRW24,000. That includes two bowls of rice and the use of the scissors. Ha-ha-ha!  These Andong jjimdak restaurants actually have aprons for costumers to use. And borrowing one is advisable if you don't want to splash some soy sauce on your white shirt or blouse.

So, if you want to be fed with spicy, steamed today, try some Andong jjimdak and cut some ribbons for me! 

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