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The83k, in the ROK: Mandoo and Crullers.

April 18, 2010

The world loves dumplings, and in Korea, they are called mandoo. In the Myeongdong district – one of the many shopping drags in Seoul, the high-end shops and entertaining Konglish names of shops stand among seemingly hundreds of places to nibble.

Kohl Guhk Soo has been around, in one form or another, for many decades. My mother went to the university nearby, and lived with my grandparents just around the corner – she spent many an afternoon after class supping from the bowls of noodles here.

Nowadays, it’s all about the mandoo.

They are little steamed pockets of deliciousness.

We ducked in and found the two-story restaurant filling up quickly – it was getting close to noon, and it was clear that, though the place had probably changed hands several times since my Mom had been a nursing student, they hadn’t lost a step. We ordered our food and waited for two minutes, tops – and then these arrived.

Mandoo are hand-formed balls of seasoned pork (or beef or shrimp or what have you) wrapped in wontons and steamed. The resulting pouches present multiple textures and that marriage of salty and savory that makes so much of Korean cuisine so appealing.

Those little fellows were not long for this world.

Also on this part of the trip: The fanciest Dunkin’ Donuts I have ever seen:

Crullers AND place settings, 2nd floor.

The place was three floors tall and looked like a Crate and Barrel. I wish I could confirm for you that they had table service, but I had more shopping to do and failed to step inside.

I’ll try to remedy that before i leave, and let you know if crullers taste different in Asia.


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