Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dak Han Mari, Shinchon 닭한마리

I like to go for this once in awhile, but I have to be pretty hungry. It can be a ton of food.

Essentially, the concept is this; you get a whole chicken in a bath of chicken stock, some snipped negi leeks and sliced eringi mushrooms, some dduk rice cakes, and a couple slices of potatoes. They come and cut the chicken up into manageable nuggets and you eat all the stuff out of this boiling hotpot in a dip of soy sauce, crushed chili, garlic, and sometimes a dollop of mustard.

You can have them add extra of the other stuff, such as potatoes, dduk, mushrooms, for a buck or two, and then after the chicken is done and cleared from the pan, they reconstitute the broth one more time, and you order up a plate of kalguksoo noodles, and eat those. The broth plus a bit of crushed chili paste and garlic, plus black pepper, mixed up in your bowl, is a great soup, in my opinion.

After the noodles are done, you order up juk, and they come around, dump a bowl or two of rice into the leftover broth, and stir it over heat until the rice congeals. Then, optionally, they stir in an egg quickly and add some seaweed bits, and you're on your last course.

The one chicken costs 16,000W, and it's good for 2-3 people. You can also get a chicken and a half for 24, or two chickens for 32. The add-ons cost 1-2,000W, and beer and soju are commonly drank with this, so it's a huge meal for two or three for under thirty bones. You'll leave feeling pretty garlic-y and heavy, but satisfied.

By the by, this dish is pretty similar to the Japanese dish 'mizutaki' and I am not going into who started what first, but want to merely point out at this juncture that the Japanese eat the chicken pieces from it with grated carrot and ponzu sauce, which is also good. It's not a difficult concept to get your head around, so I think this dish has the potential for creativity as well.

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