This trip to Korea was one fabulous foodie trip as I did not stop eating. One of our most memorable meals was in Insadong for a taste of Korea’s soy marinated raw blue crab gaejang. Yes, raw crab. Please don’t be squeamish. This was probably the yummiest meal we had.
We had pinpointed a restaurant in Insadong to indulge in this delicacy but we didn’t anticipate how much there was to see there and so we lost track of time, and the restaurant we planned on going was close to closing for the afternoon, so we had to make other plans.
Luckily, we had been exploring a bit earlier in the day and had seen a few other interesting looking restaurants also offering this dish, so we decided to just pick one of them. Another lucky thing was that all the ones we saw were offering it for a bit cheaper too!! The restaurant we ended up choosing was Doodaemon.
From what we’ve researched, Insadong is more a traditional and cultural city, so a lot of the original buildings and structures were retained. It seems like Doodaemon is one of them. Or else the designer did a very good job of keeping the old world charm alive.
It’s very chic-ly decored…pairing both old style wood with large, chandelier embellishments. A thing we noticed though….it’s March and many, many of the shops and stores still have their Christmas decorations up…even at the Incheon International Airport =/
A single person serving of gegangjang was only $26, and it includes lots of banchan and a spicy seafood soup and rice. However we were not aware of that so we ended up ordering an extra seafood tofu hotpot… So we ended up with more food than we had wanted to order.
I made the mistake of trying to ask if the seafood tofu hotpot is spicy….because I think the server thought I asked for spicy. Because it indeed was. I couldn’t take it so Fannypack had to suck it up and eat that one.
I had the version that came with the crab. It was less spicy and the tofu pieces were firmer and less smooth too. I did find both versions pretty salty however.
Now the best part….
Look at all that rich roe goodness!!! I had read that the season for blue crabs to have to most roe is during the Winter. It did still get pretty cold while we were there so I’m assuming Winter is still in session. And I’m really not complaining with the amount of roe we got.
I will have to say that the texture of the raw crab is very soft, very comparable to lobster sashimi if you’ve ever had it, or sweet prawn sashimi too. Very malleable, and naturally sweet tasting. Fannypack and I could not stop commenting how delicious it was. We almost ordered a second one if not for knowing that there’s lots more for us to eat the rest of the day. So we exercised our self-control very well. But boy was it difficult.
In the end you’re supposed to put in some rice into the main “head” shell of the crab and mix it all up so that you get into all the crevices to extract all the residual roe. Best. Thing. Ever.
We highly recommend trying this dish. It was not “fishy” at all and well worth it. We don’t know how this compares to places that charge more but we were more than satisfied with the one at this restaurant.
I also know that they sell this locally at H-Mart. I’m ready to get some to try with Hitman when we visit H-Mart next time.