Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Gopchang Post

After a few drinks on Saturday night me and my English buddy were convinced by our Korean significant others to try gopchang (곱장) Saturday night. It's something I've been meaning to do for.. well, ever... since my neighborhood is famous for the stuff (when I ask the taxi drivers to go to hwanghak sagori they usual cock their heads for a minute thinking and then ask... 'you mean the place with all the gopchang?').

The uncooked gopchang

So, what is gopchang? Well, it's intestines of course. They can come from sheep, cow or pork. I'm not sure which one we ate, but I imagine the taste might be quite similar.

The ajumma making our gopchang outside on the grill

How was it? Well, the flavor was great! I think the thing that would turn off most people who aren't accustomed to eating it would be the texture, which is quite a bit chewy at times. Also, some restaurants can have a very strong smell as well, which I sometimes smell around my neighborhood since there are so many gopchang restaurants.

Our gopchang, ready to eat. You can see some ddeok and veggies fried in. It was slightly spicy, but not very much.

Anyway, I highly recommend trying some gopchang at your local restaurant, or making your way to Hwanghak-dong near Sindang Station where you can choose from many storefronts and street tents that make the stuff.


  1. Technically, what you ate was gopchang. However, that gunk with the ddok, gochujang and sesame seeds on it is to gopchang as a Mickey D's burger patty is to a sirloin steak.

    I'm far from an expert, but I want to suggest you try again, and stay away from pojangmacha for it. Really, if you liked that okay, you'll love the unadorned item, cooked on the table grill, with other organ meat like liver and kidney, and onion, garlic and potato slices as well. Delicious!

  2. Sorry, but intestines are one of the 4 Korean foods I cannot abide. The other three are chicken toes, grilled swine skin, and boiled silkworm cocoons. I’ve actually tried them all except the last one – the smell of the boendaeggi drives me off before I get a spoon close enough. I decided a while ago that I can like Korean food even if I don’t like EVERY Korean food.

    The main problem I have with gopchang isn’t the flavor or the texture, but just the purely psychological awareness of what they once contained. I won’t get more graphic than this, not here. A month or so after arrival, some buddies and I ordered some at bbq place. Afterward, we said, “Okay, we tried it. Now we are allowed to talk about it.”

    If I were consistent about this, I would feel the same about sundae, because of course the casing is usually made from intestines, just like old-style German sausage. I’m not consistent, though. I like sundae – it’s tasty, and I think, quite healthy – and I love old-style German sausage.

    I want to thank the author of this blog for avoiding a bad pun by saying that “I don’t care what people say, gopchang does NOT taste offal.”

    (Oh dear, looks like I just did it, though.)

  3. Great article!
    Your photo and its’ source have been featured on the World Food Guide website: