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By Way of Korea

South Korea   |   New York

A Korean food blog and travelogue inspired by

an epicurious New Yorker's journey around South Korea


By Way of Korea: Jeonbok Kimbap (Seogwipo, Jeju Island)

Abalone kimbap and spicy squid from Kim Man Bok on Jeju Island

The ebb and flow of the waves and the saltiness in the breeze continued to remind us that the sea was close by. But night had fallen upon the island, limiting our sight to what was within the short reach of our headlights. Our outdoor adventure around Jeju-do had to come to an end for the day, but we hoped to make one more stop before setting our course back home.

As we approached the destination on our GPS, a growing white glow in the darkness gave us a most welcome assurance that Kim Man Bok was still open for business. We gleefully secured a bag of our midnight snack: three orders of the signature jeonbok (abalone) kimbap and the equally essential ojing-eo muchim (squid dressed in a gochujang-based sauce). A sign at the restaurant advised us to enjoy our food within the first two hours of purchase to avoid food poisoning, so we gladly made our way home as fast the darkness allowed.

Jeonbok kimbap from Kim Man Bok on Jeju Island
Jeonbok kimbap (Kim Man Bok, Seogwipo, Jeju Island)

After unpacking the kimbap, I was puzzled by its appearance – less so by its square shape and more so by the thick slab of egg where I had expected to find some form of jeonbok (abalone). It took a bite to confirm the presence of the namesake ingredient. A mixture of ground jeonbok viscera and white rice had been toasted in oil before being cooked for use as two-thirds of the kimbap. The egg, cooked in the oven, was smooth and soft, but firm enough to hold its form in between the two layers of rice. Each square packed subtle notes of the sea combined with fragrant sesame oil.


Address: 제주 서귀포시 월드컵로 193

Hours of Operation: Daily 9:00AM~8:00PM

제주 김만복

주소: 제주 서귀포시 월드컵로 193

영업시간: 매일 9:00~20:00



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"If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel - as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them - wherever you go."

Anthony Bourdain's unmatched relish for adventure and humble approach to food, cultures, and humanity left an indelible impression on my younger self. Imparting on me the courage to veer into the unknown, he inspired me to embrace my vulnerabilities and seek adventures and growth beyond the comforts of home.


In July of 2017, I boarded a one-way flight to Seoul, South Korea. Within the first week of arrival, I signed a lease for an apartment and by the end of August, I had accepted a job offer that relocated me to Pyeongchang and Gangneung, where the Winter Olympics were soon to be held. From there, I had the rare opportunity to explore much of the greater Gangwon Province's beautiful mountainous and coastal regions and their distinctive foods. Once or twice a month, I'd return to Seoul or travel to an unfamiliar region to poke around alleyways, markets, and mountains in search of more good eats and adventures.


By Way of Korea is a storytelling project inspired by the food, places, and faces I encountered throughout Korea. By sharing my fondest memories, notes, and images of Korea, I simply hope to play a small part in piquing greater curiosity about Korean food and culture in my readers.  My content will heavily spotlight, but not be limited to Korean food and culture. 

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