Taesungjeong 태성정 (Sinseol-dong, Seoul)

I’ve had plenty of soondubu jjigae during my time in Korea, but none have really stood out – until now. Located near Sinseol Station (Green Line #2) is a traditional restaurant spanning 40 years of business, catering to hungry locals and fans of spicy silken tofu soup. The restaurant also specializes in spicy fish soup and other popular dishes, but word has it that soondubu jjigae is the real winner. Not only was it the best one I’ve had during my time in Korea, I had the special honor of chatting up with the owner herself to give me a little bit of insight into how the soup is prepared.

Here is a short excerpt of our conversation:

Me: “I’ve eaten quite a few soondubu jjigae – some considered the ‘best’ in Seoul – but none have come close to comparing to yours. How did you make it so savory and full of depth?”

Owner: “Back in the 80s, I saw some restaurant owners in Namdaemun using a special ingredient in their dadaegi (spicy seasoning paste), which is a key component for any proper spicy soup. This single ingredient, when matured for a week or so with base ingredients like chili flakes, minced onion and garlic, salted shrimp, soy sauce, etc. would add unbelievable depth and savoriness to the broth. That’s why all of our spicy soups – especially haemul soondubu jjigae (spicy silken tofu stew with seafood) and saengtae jjigae (spicy pollack stew) – are so popular among our customers, many who have been coming for decades. If you’re really interested in the recipe, come back at off-hours with your dog and I’ll show you how it’s made.”

Me: “If you’re serious, we’ll see you tomorrow!”

Food: ★★★★ ½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Taesungjeong 태성정

Address: Sinseol-dong 104-10 Dongdaemun-gu (동대문구 신설동 104-10)

Phone:  02-2237-3325

Hours: Open every day from 9:30 am ~ 9:30 pm except Sundays

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


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