In the Republic of Korea, the general consensus about bean sprouts is this: they are delicious, let’s put them on everything.
I have bean sprouts coming out of my ears by this point, but i’m not complaining — they are, in fact, delicious.
The logical conclusion of this bean sprout addiction is 쪼리375 (Jjori 375)
We were lured in by the advertisements showing that the restaurant had been on about every major Korean food show there was (and there are a lot).
We ordered the Dak-bokkeum-tang (닭볶음탕) or braised spicy chicken. As you can see from the deep-red broth, the stir-fry had heavy doses of gochujang and gochugaru. For two people our main was 22,000 Won.
The meal came to our table cold and we had to preside over its preparation. Jessye and I quickly realized we had a bit of a learning curve to deal with here. The waitress was kind and made sure to keep tabs on us, making sure we did not touch the chicken before it was cooked and that we ate other parts of the stir-fry before they became overcooked.
Also, we tried grapefruit soju this time and it went down a lot easier than the regular stuff.
Since the staff do not speak English, here is a guide for your Jjori 375 experience:
- Relax and marvel as the tower of bean sprouts shrivels up and then assimilate into the spicy stew.
- While you watch, feel free to eat the rice cakes. They will be done first.
- After a few minutes you can eat the glass noodles and the vegetables (including the bean sprouts).
- After about ten minutes, the chicken is ready to go! Now it’s time to earn your stripes and attempt to eat chicken wings that are drenched in red sauce with chopsticks and not stain your shirt!
If you are finished and still have some room for more, then order some fried rice, or bokkeumbap(볶음밥), which is mixed in the same pan your main course came in. The pan’s leftover sauces will mix with the fried rice.
It seems that the best meals in Seoul are interactive, spicy, and surprising. 쪼리375 fits the bill perfectly!
Address: 종로구 대학로11길 16 (near Hyehwa station)