짬(Jjam)뽕(Ppong)…yes, that is a whole little octopus in the soup.
Is a South Korean dish that consists of udon/thick noodles, seafood (usually clams, octopus), vegetables, and a spicy broth. You can typically find this at many Chinese-Korean restaurants that offer other dishes such as Jjajjamyeon, TangSuYuk, Fried Rice, and Dumplings. One of the most popular Chinese-Korean franchise I have seen in the Seoul and its surrounding area and cities is called Paik’s Noodle (홍콩반점). Then, there are a bunch of restaurants scattered around South Korea that sells these dishes also.
OMG OMG, squeal. I just found out that NYC’s Koreatown has one!
Although many over in the West (United States) have eaten Chinese food, they have never encountered food like this. That’s because most of the Chinese food we (Americans) are offered comes from Southern China – mainly from a province called GuangZhou. GuangZhou is a province in Southern China that is a port, thus, many Chinese were able to immigrate to the West in hopes of a better future.
Where as 짬뽕 (JjamPpong) and the other Chinese-Korean dishes are more popular in Northern China. Geographically speaking, Northern China is closer to the Korean Peninsula. In addition, there are even ethnically Chinese-Koreans due to the closeness of the two countries.
짬뽕 (JjamPpong) is one of my favorite dishes to eat while in South Korea, and that’s mainly because I am a sucker for noodle soup dishes. It is perfect to eat in the winter because of the spicy and warm broth. However, I’d eat this all year round – whether the weather is hot, cold, humid, etc …
Some of my friends (mainly other Americans) even use this as a hangover soup, though Korea does have their own hangover soup such as Haejang-guk (해장국) – which will be mentioned in another post.