Korean cuisine is very diverse, and even after living here for quite a long time, I can still find something that I have never tried before. Even though South Korea is quite a small country, you can find a lot of special regional cuisine. Therefore, as you are traveling around Korea, you should always be sure to try out the local food. In this article, I will let you know all about the special food in Tongyeong.
Sea Pineapple Bibimbap
Tongyeong is a port city, so many people’s jobs are related to the sea. There are lots of local fishermen who bring fresh seafood into the city daily, making it one of the best places for seafood dishes.
At one of the traditional markets, I recommend going to hoesigdang (회식당), which means fish restaurant. If you are ready to try a really new and unusual dish, then you should order meonggae(sea pineapple) bibimbap (멍게비빔밥). Despite the fact that the word “pineapple” is present in the name, this dish has nothing to do with fruits. It’s one type of seafood, that has a strong oceany flavor while eating it raw.
Monggae is a bit of an acquired taste. Even among Koreans, there are many who do not like this food. It was a rubbery outside. Then, when you chew it, it bursts open, and out pops a salty liquid. It very much tastes like a saltwater gusher.
Personally, I was not ready to try such a dish, so I just ordered raw fish bibimbap. I have never tried this type of bibimbap before, but I liked the taste. Rice was served separately, so I could add it at my preference.
Abalone is a delicacy and an expensive dish in some countries. Because of Tongyeong’s location, you can find places where abalone, which is also called sea ears, are prepared. I went to 동피랑전복마을 where I ordered a set that included abalone with rice and pumpkin, fish, batter-fried oysters (굴전), and many types of side dishes. When you chew abalone, it feels a bit like squid, but the taste is completely different.
After eating the abalone, leave some rice in the bowl, pour boiled water over it, and close the lid for a few minutes. This is how you make sungnyung which is a traditional Korean infusion made from boiled scorched rice. For Koreans, this dish is a dessert.
Tongyeong offers not only a variety of seafood but also local sweets. One of these is honey bread (꿀빵). In Korean, 꿀 (kkul) means honey, and 빵 (ppang) means bread. All this accurately describes this type of baked good. Walking along the promenade, you will see several spots selling honey bread, usually 10 in a set, the average cost in most places is 10,000 Won.
The specialty of this honey bread is that there are several toppings: red bean, citron, sweet potato, and many others. You can choose a set that will have several flavors, or just one. In my opinion, it is better to buy several flavors at once to try as many as possible and choose the one you like the most.
This was some specialty food in Tongyeong. If you travel to another city and do not know what to eat, then go to the traditional markets, so you will definitely not go wrong with the choice. Or check out the travel brochures and websites in advance, because they also indicate recommendations on what food to try. Tongyeong has a lot of seafood dishes, including abalone, sea pineapple bibimbap, and honey bread. If you go to this city, then I highly recommend ordering the local dishes and desserts indicated in the article.
Looking for more things to do in Tongyeong? Click Here to read about historic turtle ships in the city!