An Old Joint Specialized in Authentic Korean Chicken Dishes
I am a fan of samgyetang, the Korean chicken and ginseng soup. Most samgyetang restaurants serve whole young chicken in a pot and sometimes it is too much for me. There are places that offer bangyetang with half of a chicken. Nevertheless, when I heard about dakgomtang, something that I am not quite familiar with, I had to give it a try.
Dakgomtang literally means “boiled chicken broth”. Chickens are boiled in a pot for hours until they become so tender that they the flesh fall off the bones. The meat is separated by hand and added to a bowl of thick chicken broth. A handful of chopped leek tops the simple soup and it is ready to be served.
Hwangpyeongjib has been dedicated in cooking chicken for more than four decades. The humble joint is located in the middle of busy printing and press streets of Eulji-ro in Central Seoul. At lunch hours, the place is packed with nearby workers craving hearty chicken soup for quick and affordable meal.
I visited the place after the lunch rush at around 3pm. Two ladies were sitting at a table by the kitchen, separating chicken meat from the bones. A mound of chicken meat and skin was between them. One of them greeted me and simply asked, “soup with skin?”
I agreed and grabbed a seat. Apparently, you can ask to leave the skin out. For me, skin is best part of chicken and I will have them in my soup.
A Quick, Convenient Chicken Soup for the Soul
The soup is served almost immediately. The fresh scent of chopped leek was the first thing I noticed. You can also ask to leave pa out if you wish. But I believe the leek plays important role in what could be a greasy meal.
The amount of meat is not too disappointing for a very cheap, 6000-won soup that includes a bowl of rice. The side kimchi and spicy garlic stems were great companion to savoury chicken broth. Minced garlic and chili paste were served as condiments although I did not find them quite necessary. The soup was flavourful as is.
The meat and skin just needed a pinch of salt. The chicken meat was incredibly soft and tender that it almost melt in your mouth.
Adding a spoonful of rice makes classic gukbap that Koreans love. The shredded chicken soup seemed like less-formal version of samgyetang, which is often much more pricey.
35-13 Inhyeondong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
9:30-10pm, closed on Sundays