4.288 Nanja Wans

-Cycle 4, Item 288-
20 (Sun) October 2013

Nanja Wans


at Dongboseong [동보성]

-Oksu, Seoul-

with Wife, Dominic, Ahn HY + Kim IT + JH, Cho JH + Kim KH, Choi SW, Han CY + Hwang SE, Lee HS + Yun YH, Yong I

The occasion was JH's birthday.  With the exception of MtG and SJ, the whole camping crew showed up to celebrate.

The venue was Dongboseong, a Chinese joint in Oksu (see most recently 3.241 Jaengban Jjajang Myeon).  As explained in the previous post, it's unusual for a large gathering to eat at a place like this, almost unthinkable for a birthday celebration.  But the birthday girl wasn't feeling very well, so she wanted to keep it local and casual, but her preferred options were closed on Sunday, and apparently she had good memories of our last visit, so there we were.  

Good for me, because I'm flying to Wuhan on Wednesday (sounds like the name of a song), so I was planning on eating jjajang myeon tomorrow evening as the penultimate dinner before the flight (see most recently 4.260 Shanghai-Style Jjajang Myeon), close enough.

KH, making the somaek (소맥)--boilermakers consisting of SO(ju) and MAEK(ju).

 HY, converting the somaek into "Asahi-ju" ("ju" = "alcohol/drink")--insert one chopstick into the liquid and strike it firmly with the other, creating an instant uprising of foam, supposedly reminiscent of Asahi draft beer, reputed to be extremely creamy; meanwhile, JH looks on, forever traumatized by the image.

As before, the food was pretty good.  With every dish, everyone at the table seemed amazed that the food could be so good, given the source.  Seriously, I'll say it again, even though Koreans eat more Chinese food--albeit Korean-Chinese food--than any other foreign cuisine, they just don't eat it at "the joint around the corner," regarded generally on the same level as fast food and thus don't engender much respect.  We stuffed ourselves silly.

yanjangpi (2.5)

pan-fried mandu (2.5) (on the house)

palbochae (2.0) (squid was a bit off)

 sweet and sour pork (2.0)

 sizzling rice soup with seafood (1.5)

Nanja wans is a Chinese meatball dish.  Typically, it consists of ground pork, along with extenders of various sorts, that's formed into fat/flattish palm-sized patties, pan-fried, then served in a brown or garlic sauce.  Though available at nearly all Chinese restaurants in Korea, its popularity is somewhat second tier; many people don't even seem to know what it is.  At present, I have no idea what the original dish is like in China, if any, or what the etymology* of the name is--sorry--but I'll do some research later when I have time and describe the details in a future post.  

I like it, if only because it's so different than everything else.

The offering here was okay, probably the best dish of the evening, but too much filler, and the sauce was spicier than I would've liked.

jaengban jjajang myeon (3.0)

* * * * 

8 August 2015

*The term "nanja wans" is the Koreanized pronunciation of "nanjianwanzi = southern (nan) pan-fried (jian) meatball (wanzi)."
More interestingly, "jian = 煎 = 전 = jeon," which I'd always assumed this to be a purely Korean word.

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