Eating in Korea has been a struggle at times. Most things contain meat, even if the waitress claims that they don’t. Little bits of this and that find their way into everything, so I haven’t been eating out very much. However, a Korean friend took us out to an amazing restaurant (Seon Bi Muk Jib) in Jeju-si the other day, and I had a mind-blowingly fantastic Korean culinary experience.
Muk is a typical Korean ingredient made from nut starch (typically acorns-yes, acorns!), causing it have a jelly-like consistency. Here, it was served as a dumpling salad with finely chopped cucumbers and carrots with a bit of mayonnaise, and also on its own with sesame seeds. Korean-style eating never goes light on the side dishes, so you definitely have to consciously stop yourself from binging on appetizers.
After the array of small dishes, the waitress brought out two massive muk jeon- a Korean-style a pancake made from muk and a few vegetables. It’s fairly light and airy, and is meant to act as a wrapping for the bibim guksu filling.
We were served an enormous plate of bibim guksu- a dish consisting of cold noodles atop a bed of vegetables mixed with the traditional fermented red pepper paste (gochujang).
For me, it was just the right amount of heat, and we all found ourselves overstuffing our bellies. This was after several empty plates had already been removed.
I’ve been here a year and a half and never heard of muk before, will have to give it a try. Those pictures have my mouth watering. Thanks for sharing
I’ve tried the muk jelly version before. They sometimes serve it in little cubes as an appetizer. But this was SO much better! Definitely give it a try.
I wish I liked acorn jelly. I might like it if it was in pancake form though… that looked good! I love it when my Korean friends take me to little hidden gems like this.
I like the acorn jelly, but not too much of it! I’d be interested to try muk in other forms!! All of it looks amazing. I assume this is usually just at specialty muk restaurants. I’ll be on the look out now! Thanks for sharing!
Nice article and the pictures are amazing. When I saw the last one with the empty plates, that feeling of eating a nice big Korean meal and hanging out with friends came over me. As far as the cold noodles, however, I have never gotten used to them. I guess noodles should be hot, dang it! But the muk is good. There’s a nice restaurant at the foot of the hiking trail at Pukansan we go to that has a nice muk dish. It’s pretty awesome after a long hike.
Thanks for the post!