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Ep 10: "Boned In Pork Galbi and a Cluster of Side Dishes of Seoul, South Korea"

Episode Synopsis. It was Inogashira Goro's (Matsushige Yutaka) second day in Seoul, South Korea. On his way to his client's office, he spots and tries a food stall that sells tteok-bokki and Korean tempura. Afterwards, he attends a meeting with President Im (Sung Si Kyung), and his assistants, including Park Soo-Young (Park Jung-ah). Goro says his goodbye as his consultation ends, and is headed back home to Japan. However, he feels hungry, and looks around for a shop to eat. He decides to try a charcoal grill shop called "Jongjeom Sutbul Galbi". He was able to order by indicating that he'll be having what the other customers were eating. What he ordered was delicious pork galbi. What he didn't expect was it was accompanied by all sorts of banchan, or side dishes, as well as doenjang jjigae...

Featured Eatery 1:

(Endpoint Charcoal Galbi)

Address: 70-19 Bogwang-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel. No: +82 2-749-6887
How to get there:
10 min walk from Exit 1, Hannam Station on the Gyeongwon Line
9jung, ray’ story, 찰스아빠
Featured Eatery 2:

(Tteok-Bokki Truck)

172-90 Samseong-Dong, Gangnam-gu, South Korea
How to get there:
Usually parked at the site shown in this episode.
Near Seonjeongneung Tomb, right across Harmony Mart [하모니마트] (map)

Seoul [청주시]. The capital and largest city of South Korea. Many sites are worth visiting including World Heritage Sites that include palaces, shrines and royal tombs. A modern and vibrant atmosphere can be found in places like Gangnam (pic above) where parts of the episode was filmed. In Japan, Seoul is called "Seoul Tokubetsu-shi" [特別市] which means "Seoul Special City".
(info/pic: wiki)

Glossary of Korean food-related terms found in this episode:

Tteok-bokki [떡볶이]. Stir-fried rice cakes that are seasoned with spicy red sauce. It can also include fish cakes, boiled eggs, and scallions.
Twigim [튀김]. Batter-dipped items that include kinds of vegetables, meat, seafood, kimbap, and are fried. It means "deep-fried" but also can be called "Korean tempura".
Odeng Gugmul [오뎅국물]. The broth from the odeng that Goro drank.
Gejang [게장]. Salted fermented crabs (usually the Portunus trituberculatus), using ganjang (soy sauce) or a chili pepper powder-based sauce.
Japchae [잡채]. Stir-fried vermicelli noodles, cooked with meat and vegetables and seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil.
Dwaeji Galbi [돼지갈비]. "Dwaeji" means "pork" and "galbi" means "ribs".
Chadolbagi [차돌박기]. Thin cuts of beef located between the chest and belly.
Doenjang-Jjigae [된장찌개]. Rich jjigae (stew) made with doenjang (soybean paste) and other ingredients like vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, seafood and meat. Usually a bit of gochujang is added as well.
Makgeolli [막걸리]. Milky, off-white and lightly sparkling rice wine.
Samgyeopsal [삼겹살]. It means "three-layered meat", describing "striations of lean meat and fat in the pork belly that appear as three layers when cut". When you refer to this being grilled, you add "gui" (grilled) to it: "samgyeopsal-gui" [삼겹살구이].
Banchan [반찬]. The collective name for small side dishes served along with cooked rice. It can include kimchi [김치] and namul [나물] which are edible leaves or grass that are seasoned.
(pic: menupan)

This Episode's Cameo Guests.
The young salaryman who ate at the food stall was played by Kim Kyu-Jong, singer/actor and a member of boyband SS501. The tough looking ossan at the shop whom Goro thought was a food expert was played by Korean filmmaker Lee Myung-Se (whom I noticed was wearing an interesting "timely" shirt).

What Was Actually Said:

The Liver Sashimi Thing. When Goro was eating the chadolbagi, dipped in sesame oil and salt, it reminded him of "liver sashimi", that you cannot find anymore in yakiniku and yakiton shops because it had already been banned since 2012 due to issues of food poisoning. Back when liver sashimi was available, the Japanese would eat it, dipped in sesame oil and salt. Other ways to eat it would be with salt and lemon juice, and wasabi-soy sauce.

Wanko Soba. When Goro emptied one of the plates of side dishes, the proprietor immediately replaced it with a new one. He says it's like eating "bottomless" wanko soba of Iwate Prefecture, wherein you slurp down udon served in small bowls, continuously being refilled by a server until you've had your fill.

Black Panther. Goro likened himself as a black panther while eating the galbi. This isn't actually a "What Was Actually Said" thing. I just wanted to point out for those who didn't notice, "Black Panther" the movie was also filmed in South Korea.

Qusumi Interview (Part 1 of 3):
Qusumi Masayuki was interviewed by a Korean reporter here. I found it interesting since he gave some trivia about the show and the manga. I will try to choose only some interesting parts from the interview to feature here and in the last upcoming two drama notes. Disclaimer: since I do not know the language, there might be some mistakes. I used Google translation, with modifications from me. I also skipped some lines that I didn't really get.

Did you go to the two restaurants in South Korea where you filmed the show?
"I went to a charcoal-grilled shop in Seoul. It was delicious. The most delicious thing in the restaurant was the kimchi. It was the most delicious kimchi I've ever eaten. It was incredible. The owner of the store said it was two year old aged kimchi. There was little acidity, and the crisp texture was completely different from Japanese cabbage. Thank you very much to Korea for developing delicious kimchi (laughs)."

Do you have any special reasons for choosing the two restaurants?
"The production staff of "Kodoku no Gurume" puts a lot of effort into the restaurant selection. They would walk through the streets and look for them. It was the same in Korea. This is the standard for our crew. It should not be in a downtown area, it should be as old as Asakusa in Japan, it should be in a secluded place. Of course, it should be a restaurant. This mood is conveyed in my original manga. It may not be a gorgeous place but it has a likeable atmosphere. The crew said that they read the original more than a hundred times to find a restaurant that fits my purpose. Then they constantly find, and eat and eat at the restaurant that matches the original image. They find restaurants that are close to the original, that's why I myself am surprised. The crew have been eating too much at the restaurants, and some of them have become overweight, putting on around 15kg during one season."

What do you think is the standard of choosing a restaurant?
"I don't have any standards for restaurants in particular. Some food manga aim to find the most delicious food. I don't want to taste. A restaurant that has a small story is good. The charcoal-grill shop we shot in Korea was run by a mother and son, and the son was very mature and pure. There was a drama in the restaurant... A restaurant with good and interesting people, I like that place. Food is not a taste, but a vessel for stories. It's good to have a restaurant that I want to go back to after I go."

Isn't the taste just feeling with the tongue?
"For me the taste is second. The restaurant should have a small story."

Was there a restaurant that you recently encountered that made a memorable subject?
"Everywhere I went so far has been a good memory. It's hard to find one because the memories are all blended together. The charcoal grill shop in Korea was originally introduced by a Korean film director [most probably the above mentioned cameo guest] (...) There were always a lot of people there, so it was difficult to book in advance.

Was there anything that impressed you during the Korea shoot?
"When the crew first came, their impressions of the mother and son were so good, and the food was delicious, so filming there was decided immediately. After that, we did the prefilming-survey at the charcoal-grill shop in Seoul, the mother there was wearing jewelry and makeup. She said she was embarrassed because she was dressed too gorgeously (laughs). So we asked that we will film her dressed or as her usual self. Then, the one in Jeonju, the shopowners cleaned and decorated the inside of the shop. The crew cannot have them change it back so they (had no choice but) to film it as is. We prefer (shops) as the way they are, and the older the look, the better."


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