A Seaside Restaurant Overlooking Seongsan Sunrise Peak
As you cycle around the coast of Jeju Island, you would notice small seaside shacks called Haenyeo’s House. Haenyeo, or sea women, had become iconic image of Jeju Island. The diver women fight the rough waves of ocean to sustain lives of their family. The shellfish they collect from the bottom of the sea are brought back to Haenyeo’s House to be cooked and served.
Siheung Haenyeo’s House is near Seongsan Ilchulbong, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Right next to it is a seashell museum. The walls and windows of a two-story building is covered with seashells used for pearl farming.
The side dishes are quite interesting. They have fried mini crabs, or gaengi, that you crunch the whole thing in your mouth. Hijiki seaweed in cold kimchi broth is also served.
The rice porridge was warm and savoury. The soft grains of white rice mingle with ivory-coloured clam meats. At Siheung, they cook with only local clams that they have collected on their own. Sheer freshness in simplicity. Like other classic Jeju recipes, minimum amount of seasoning was used in cooking. The congee is light and a little bland. Kimchi acts as a great sidekick for this one.
There are other kinds of rice porridge as well. Abalone juk and obunjagi juk. Like most other places in Jeju, obunjagi is no longer available. Due to indiscriminate collecting of obunjagi, they are now near-extinct in the sea of Jeju.
The island is quickly changing with increased population and number of tourists. What suffers the most is the exotic natural resources that had been around for thousands of years.
Siheung Haenyeo’s House 시흥해녀의 집
114 Siheunghadong-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo, Jeju-do