Greasy but Addictive Twist on Everyday Snack

Food in Jeju Island is just different. They are not quite like ordinary Korean food. People of the island seem to come up with unique ways to take traditional recipe and kick it up a notch. There is no exception when it comes to Koreans’ favourite snack gimbap.

For Koreans, the rolled sushi brings memories from childhood. On field trip day, moms would get up early in the morning to prepare homemade gimbap. At lunchtime, everyone’s gimbap would be different. No cucumber for my friend who hated veggie. More ham for meat-lover friend. Variety made gimbap lunch hour more fun and exciting.

Cheese gimbap at Oneunjeong

The sky is the limit when it comes to gimbap recipe. So when I was recommended by a local that I should try a gimbap joint in Seogwipo, I was skeptical. After all, gimbap is just gimbap: rice with mixed fillings rolled in dried seaweed. With so many unique regional foods to try, why would anyone recommend something so common?

Oneun Jeong Gimbap has national reputation. Like so many popular restaurants made on TV, the place is filled with pictures and autographs of celebrities. Tourists from the mainland come all the way down to southern Jeju for their famous rolled sushi. The secret? They fry the fillings before placing them on the bed of rice.

A Roll of Gimbap That Requires Reservation

There are six different kinds of gimbap. The place strongly recommends to call ahead to pre-order your rolls. Most times, if you just walk in you would likely leave empty handed. Although I did witness a walk-in scoring two rolls of regular gimbap today I know it is a rare occasion. I called to order one of each oneunjeon gimbap and cheese gimbap. They gave me about two hours of wait time to kill. Thankfully, the place is near major attractions such as Seogwipo Olle Market and Lee Jung-seob Gallery.

As expected, the rolls are quite greasy. The aluminum foil had not even come off but the plate was already greased up. The fatty gimbap paired alright with Jeju makgeolli. But due to excessive amount of carbs and fat, it is difficult to finish the entire roll in one sitting. The hype is about right; the gimbap is tasty, but it cannot serve as everyday snack.

Oneun Jeong Gimbap 오는정김밥
2 Dongmundong-ro, Seogwi-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju-do