Today we went out and had my all-time favourite Korean dish 낙지볶음 nakchi bokkum – spicy stir-fried octopus – for lunch. There are restaurants all over Seoul that specialise in this dish and we’ve tried MANY of them. Jongno district is particularly famous for nakchi bokkum. But after many years living in Seoul, the Banpo branch of 유정 낙지 is STILL my favourite nakchi bokkum restaurant.
They serve 8 dishes here and six of them contain octopus. (So this is not the place to go if you don’t like octopus!)
The restaurant serves 산 낙지 san nakchi (raw octopus) (below), 낙지 볶음 nakchi bokkum (spicy sir-fried octopus (below below), 어린이용 낙지 o-rin-i-nakchi (non-spicy version of stir-fried octopus), 낙지전골 nakchi jeongol (spicy octopus stew – I should point out that the octopus is still alive when it’s put in the stew and cooked at the table), 낙지파전 nakchi pajeon (octopus pancake) 감자탕 kamja tang (potato and pork rib soup) 조개탕 cho-ge tang (clam soup) and 낙지손만두 nakchi son mandu (octopus and pork dumplings – the menu just says octopus dumplings but dumplings in Korea ALWAYS contain pork too!)
For a starter we had 산 낙지 san nakchi – raw octopus with sesame and salt dip and raw veg with soy bean paste dip. The octopus is so fresh it’s still moving on the plate.
낙지 볶음 nakchi bokkum has lots of spicy garlic and chilli. The dish comes with a pair of scissors to cut up the nakchi into edible pieces as it’s cooked still almost whole! Just looking at this picture makes my mouth water
The dish is served with rice and bean sprouts. So you can mix the nakchi bokkum with the rice or simply eat it separately.
A bottle of soju is optional ….
Lunchtimes on Sunday are quiet but weekday evenings are pretty busy.
This is the place I like to go to when I’m having a bad day and need cheering up. Nakchi bokkum here just makes me feel better about everything!
Over the last seven years many of the restaurants that we like have closed down. But happily this place still seems to be going strong. Touch wood. 😉