-Cycle 1, Item 264-
26 (Sun) September 2010
Gganpung Gi (깐풍기)
at Daraehyeon (다래현)
Gganpung is a Chinese cooking method. It consists of breading/deep-frying pieces of meat--most commonly chicken, as here--then stir-frying them in a sweet-spicy-sour chili-garlic sauce. It's one of the most popular preparations in the Korean-Chinese tradition. Given the Korean tendency to bastardize foreign foods beyond recognition, I don't know whether "gganpung" in this form even exists outside of Korea. The term derives from the Chinese "ggan (干 (or 乾?)) = "dry" + "pung" (烹) = "to boil," which doesn't help explain anything; "gi" = "chicken."
This was the second time I've eaten at this restaurant, both times on the way home from a camping trip. The first was by happenstance, the unbearable Sunday afternoon traffic leading me to pull over into the parking lot of a restaurant that boasted handmade noodles (see 1.117 Seafood Jjajang-Myeon). By sheer luck, I discovered the ultimate jjajang-myeon, my favorite food of all time. This time around, however, the jajang-myeon was completely different, good in its own right, but certainly not life-altering. As evidence of my disappointment, I showed the server the photo I'd taken on my previous visit. Change of ownership, it turns out.