Crab stew on Memorial Day
Last Friday, June 6, was a national holiday for remembering those who fought in the Korean War — Memorial Day. Our family (together with my husband’s parents, second brother and his family, sister and her family) went to Ganghwa-do, an island on the fareastern side of South Korea, for lunch! We left Seoul at 11:30 AM expecting to be at the island by 1PM. Traffic was heavy. We arrived at our destination not 1 1/2 hours later but 5 hours!
Ganghwa-do has a lot to offer but we really just went there for the food. The restaurant we visited has a big parking lot and it was full. We had to wait a half hour more when we got there to be seated. They specialize in crab stew called 꽃게탕 (kkot-ge-tang) in Korean and 벤뎅이, a kind of fish that is only available in late spring. An order of the fish (prepared like a spicy salad) is 20,000 won. We also had two large orders (good for 4) of the crab stew worth 60,000 won each. There were eight adults and four kids in our party. Most Korean restaurants, and this one included, serve the stew in a pan uncooked. There are portable stoves on the table where the pan is placed to cook the food. The stew was really good. Different from what I had before and I think it was because they added 단호박 (dan hobak – sweet pumpkin) and 감자 (kamja – potatoes) in it. The raw fish salad was even better. It was almost 7PM when we finished eating.
The trip on the way back to Seoul was no different from our trip to the island. Traffic was heavy and it took us four hours! Nine hours on the road for a crab stew!