I’ve tried lots of different soups in Korea. And I know sundae, Korea’s odd-textured noodle and blood sausage. I always passed by places that offered SundaeGuk 순대국, a stew using that ingredient. Yet I frequently found an excuse to eat something else. I had no idea what was in it — other than sundae.
Then one day, soon after our move, I ordered it. This was mainly because Eun Jeong and I were tired from moving, and we wanted delivery, and we hadn’t accumulated many magnetic restaurant menus on our door yet. Doors in Korea tend to get covered in restaurant delivery fliers after a while. Ours was still fresh and empty.
So one of the only places we had a number for was a HaeJangGuk place. I was not in the mood for Fred Flinstone Hangover Soup, so I opted to finally try a bowl of SundaeGuk.
A few minutes later, it arrived at the door in a heavy black bowl with a divided container full of side dishes and hot peppers and a stainless steel covered bowl of rice. I gingerly removed the plastic wrap from the hot bowl.
The steam smelled of heaven. It was the smell of bacon frying in the morning. I unwrapped the spoon and dug in. The broth itself contained a lot of pork fat, as was evident when I refrigerated the leftovers, and the entire soup hardened. Yet it was the little nasty treasures that made this soup special. There was, of course, the sundae. And this was the best way I have ever had this dark savory gelatinous sausage. Its little friends included slabs of fatty pork belly, some liver, crunchy yet tasty bits of cartilege, and the forbidden but irresistable gobchang, intestines.
It was a heavy stew, and I couldn’t finish it all in one sitting. Only once have I finished an entire bowl. It fills my grease quota for the week when I’m missing my good ole American greasy food. It’s not for the culinary wimps out there. It is another great example of Korean Man Food.