One of the things we did on our first full day yesterday was have lunch at Tongin Market. Here, you have the option of putting together a lunch box-style meal using a roll of traditional coins. Most of the vendors in the market participate in this activity–their stalls are clearly marked–and most items cost 2 coins so one roll could get you 5 different things.
First though, I had to take a picture of Henry’s bias Cha Eunwoo from Astro, which he knew I was going to do and rolled his eyes in advance.
The stomach in my head thought for sure I could eat two coin rolls’ worth of food but thank god my real stomach overruled and only bought one roll because that meal had me set for nearly the rest of the day.
I couldn’t even finish the roasted sweet potatoes in that cup up there and I love roasted sweet potatoes so that says a lot.
This was perfect for Chooch because he’s so picky but he knows exactly what he likes when it comes to Korean market food so he filled his tray with confidence. He said the thing that he thought was potato salad was actually apples in “potato salad sauce” and that they were really refreshing and maybe his favorite thing. It was good to see him actually eating Korean food though because he is not all that adventurous but he really does try when it comes to Korean food, so props to Chooch.
I was happy to get my fill of lotus root – I love lotus root so much and am always begging Henry to make it because it’s obviously not something that’s readily available in dumb Pittsburgh but Henry doesn’t care about my wants and needs and has only made it twice in three years.
I also got japchae, some kind of Korean wrap which I have never had or seen at any of the markets there before, and my beloved teokbokki. Henry gave me one of his kimbap and we both ate the too-spicy-for-Chooch rice cakes that Chooch got from the kind elderly Korean woman who kept teasing him that it was too spicy but he swore it was fine–stubborn Chooch! He also got some sort of egg wrap thing which he said was satisfying.
Henry got meat.
This was a really fun way to eat lunch and I would highly recommend it for the experience but obviously, if you’re looking for more options and more “famous” food items, I would suggest going to Gwangjang Market which is HUGE and has all the crazy stuff you see on street food and travel TV shows.
Don’t forget to wash down your food with some BTS cold brew, though.
Ok that’s all for now. I have to get ready for another day of bossing around Henry and making my kid walk three marathons around Seoul.