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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


Owol-ae Chodang, A Family-Run Farm Restaurant in Gangneung's Chodang Tofu Village (Gangwon Province)

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

Within Chodang Tofu Village ㅡ a town renowned for its unique tofu made with water from the East Sea ㅡ lies Owol-ae Chodang, a family-run farm restaurant most notable not for its tofu, but for its noodles and bossam.

In between the end of March and October, the family gathers and ferments sprouts, stems, roots, leaves, and fruits from the fields and mountains nearby to produce the natural cooking enzymes used to season their food. Likewise, they make their own sauces (“jang”), which can be seen aging in large earthenware beneath a persimmon tree by the field outside, where all of the fruits and vegetables they serve are planted and grown. The restaurant's wide window frames the beauty of this scenery into a beautiful pastoral painting to be appreciated as you savor the food prepared with the fruits of the land before you.

Noodles in anchovy broth with beef (쇠고고 멸치 국수)

Anchovies and big-eyed herring boiled in a large gamasot (iron pot) infuse the noodle broth with the refreshing flavors of the East Sea. Removing the fish oil that floats to the top results in a light and clean broth to which a special sauce made with house-made jang, natural enzymes, onions, and garlic is added to deepen its taste. The noodles are quickly boiled on high heat before being rinsed in ice water to remove the excess starch. They are served in a large bowl of the hot broth with beef, green onion, carrots, and thinly sliced egg and fried tofu.

Garlic bossam (마늘 보쌈)

Pork belly boiled to tenderness arrives in thick, juicy slices glazed with a sweet, garlic-mustard sauce accompanied by spicy dried radish and salad.

Squid bossam (오징어 보쌈)

Pork belly, squid fished from the East Sea, and fried tofu form this bossam trinity. The pork, like the squid (and pretty much everything else), is sourced locally.

The pork, like the squid (and pretty much everything else), is sourced locally. Soondubu (soft tofu), pickled radish and cucumbers, lettuce, perilla leaves, and various sauces complete the spread. Chodang Tofu Village is one of the most noteworthy culinary attractions of Gangneung, where the flavors and nutrients of the East Sea water are harnessed to make its widely-renowned tofu.

A variety of fruit packed into glass jars rests fermenting into wine on a shelf in a corner of the dining area.

Dried persimmons and radish leaves - the quintessential signs of winter in Korea -

sway in the cold breeze against the barren landscape. Only two months ago in October, the persimmons were likely plump with juice hanging heavily from verdant trees. What a feeling being able to return here seasonally to witness the transformations the land and its fruits.



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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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