Kkaetnip Dakgangjung 깻잎닭강정 (Jongro-3ga, Seoul)

I still remember this terrific dakgangjung (sweet n sticky boneless fried chicken) vendor near Jongro-3ga Station from this past summer. I rode around in circles looking for a specific hole-in-the-wall place only to stumble upon this friendly ajjeoshi selling a unique style that I had never seen before. Let’s just say I didn’t mind getting lost on this particular day.

In order to stand out, you need to think outside the box and create something different. Well, the creative ajjeoshi here packs in new ingredients to a dish that’s pretty one-dimensional (i.e. sweet and salty) and brings new life into these bite-size chicken nuggets. One version is minty kkaetnip (perilla leaves) and the other is chili peppers, both being incorporated into the batter and deep-fried. The perilla leaf version gives off a fragrant scent and isn’t overly sweet and salty like most dakgangjung. The spicy version wasn’t as spicy as expected but enough to offset the sweetness. Another big plus is the ratio of actual chicken meat to breading — meaning you’ll get more meat than breading in each bite. If this was a brick-and-mortar store, I could definitely see people standing in line for this “street food.”

If I hadn’t been biking on this day, I would have easily scarfed down a half order for 7,000 won, but I was able to try out the single serving for a very reasonable 3,000 won. It was the perfect snack to fuel my ride back home and vowed that I would return sans bike next time. Highly recommended if you’re in the Jongro area – specifically exit 15 and across the corner from YBM English Academy.

Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars

Kkaetnip Dakgangjung 깻잎닭강정

Jongro-3ga Station, Exit 15, walk straight about 3 minutes until you reach Misha cosmetics, the vendor will be on the left side

Hours: Open 3:00 ~ 11:00 pm weekdays / 1:00 ~ 11:00 Saturdays

Click here for an interactive map:  http://naver.me/GMExmW8L


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