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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: Steamed Bread With Chestsnuts (Ikseon-dong, Seoul)

Updated: May 15, 2019

This really could have been a meal in itself, but we were here to have it as dessert after eating kalguksu at Gwangjang Market. The term 'dan-jjan-dan-jjan' (단짠단짠) combines the first characters of the Korean words for 'sweet' (단맛) and 'salty' (짠맛) and perfectly captures the continuous need to eat alternating between something sweet and savory.

Our hunt for something sweet led us to the narrow and bustling alleyways of traditional Korean architecture, shops, and quaint eateries and cafes known as Ikseon-dong. Down one of its alleys, a yellow and white storefront marked only by an image of bread sparked curiosity.

Mil Toast House serves steamed sikbbang - loaves of toast bread wrapped in cheesecloth steamed in bamboo steamers. You can choose from four different varieties of bread: plain, red bean, chestnut, and corn. We ambitiously ordered the chestnut and red bean breads. Chewy, moist, and still warm, the bread paired wonderfully with the side of fluffy, sweet butter provided on the side. Get this bread, ya'll!



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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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