A Taste of Andong’s Food Specialties

Although we only spent half a day in Andong-si, but we still managed to tuck into 2 delish local specialties in the capital of Gyeongsangbuk-do – the Andong Jjimdak & glutinous rice cake!

1. Glutinous Rice Cake (찰떡)

Let me first introduce this well-loved-by-Koreans shop selling glutinous rice cake (찰떡) since the 1920s in Andong city – the Beongeori Glutinous Rice Cake Shop (벙어리찰떡). Technically speaking, this delicacy didn’t originate from Andong-si, but Beongeori is very popular amongst the locals, having been featured on various local television programs. We drove specially to the shop so that we could buy these rice cakes as snacks on the road.

The Beongeori shop currently run by its 3rd generation

The Beongeori shop currently run by the 3rd generation

Found the map of this shop on Naver

Found the map of this shop on Naver

This shop is conveniently located at 7-7 Hayima Road, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 안동시 하이마로 7-7), next to Andong Terminal so looking for the delectable snack shouldn’t be too hard. There are many different types of glutinous rice cake sold at this traditional shop, but my friend only bought these 3 types for us:

The rice cakes from bottom left in anti-clockwise direction: 기피팥고물찰떡 (original red bean rice cake), 청태콩고물찰떡 (powdered soy bean rice cake) & 붉은팥고물찰떡 (red bean rice cake)

The rice cakes from bottom left in anti-clockwise direction: 기피팥고물찰떡 (original red bean flvaour), 청태콩고물찰떡 (powdered soy bean flavour) & 붉은팥고물찰떡 (red bean flavour)

I think my favourite has to be the 붉은팥고물찰떡 red bean glutinous rice cake, because I love red bean & this one has generous fillings of the sweet stuff compared to the original flavour. Nonetheless all 3 flavours were yummy, & the texture is very different from the rice cake I have eaten before in Seoul, more sticky & chewy! Each piece of rice cake costs KRW 900 (S$1.10) but it’ll be about KRW 100-300 more expensive if you need to pack them into a box as souvenir. Try it if you ever visit Andong! 🙂

2. Andong Jjimdak (안동찜닭)

Andong Jjimdak (안동 찜닭), as the name suggests, originated from Andong-si’s Andong Gu Market chicken alley (안동 구시장 닭골목). It is a steamed chicken dish with starched noodles (Dangmyeon, 당면), various kinds of vegetables like cabbage, carrots, cucumber and potatoes marinated in a Korean spicy soy-based sauce. We went to the market to tuck into an authentic & scrumptious Andong Jjimdak lunch.

According to my Korean friends, the 2 highly recommended Jjimdak restaurants in the market are Andong Yujin Braised Spicy Chicken (안동 유진찜닭) & Hyundae Jjimdak (현대 찜닭) located side by side each other. As the queue for Yujin was slightly shorter, we joined the queue here instead of Hyundae.

Check out the authentic Andong Jjimdak at either Yujin Spicy Braised Chicken (left) or Hyundae Jjimdak (right)

Check out the authentic Andong Jjimdak at either Yujin Spicy Braised Chicken (left) or Hyundae Jjimdak (right)

It’s a small (or should I say tiny) restaurant with 2 levels, & customers would have to sit on the floor (the Korean traditional style) to enjoy the meal. Not the most ideal & comfortable situation for a meal, but well, just do what the locals do…. Glad that we didn’t have to climb up the steep stairs to dine on level 2 with a low ceiling!

Feeling lucky that there was a table for us on level 1!

Feeling lucky that there was a table for us on level 1!

The legendary Andong Jjimdak on a big plate!

The legendary Andong Jjimdak (KRW 25,000/ S$30) on a big plate!

I was in awe when the dish was served, as the portion was huge! It’s my virgin attempt at this famous dish & after the first bite, I fell in love with the spicy tender chicken. I loved the idea of having lots of vegetables to complement the huge chunks of meat that I was sinking my teeth into. At least it sort of lessened my guilt of eating too much haha. The dish got spicier as we tucked into the yummy dish, & the dongchimi (동치미, water-based kimchi with radishes) helped to neutralise the spicy sensation on my tongue. Although the serving was huge, 4 of us managed to finish delectable dish, feeling very satisfied thereafter hehe. Great that I managed to enjoy this in a group, else I don’t think I would have been able to try it out on my own…

I really enjoyed these tasty delights in Andong. Next time, if I return, I’ll try other local specialties such as the Andong soju (strong alcoholic liquor, around 50% alcohol content) & Heotjesabap, a variation of bibimbap served with soy sauce (간장) instead of the more commonly used hot pepper paste (고추장). 🙂

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