Japanese-Korean Street Food
5092 is a new chain of Japanese-themed
The numbers 5092 in Korean sound like the words for “odaeng,” a sort of “seafood weiner” made from fish paste in a variety of shapes and boiled on skewers in a broth, and gu-ui (gooey), or barbequed meat. They are pleasant little shops offering imported Japanese beers and rice wines, and menus with Japanese pricing (i.e, very expensive).
Odaeng and chicken skewers are usually the fare of street vendors (포장마차) and usually range from 300-500won/stick for odaeng and 1,000-1,500 won/stick for chicken skewers. At 5092 you can buy 3 skimpy sticks of chicken for 8,000 won, or four sticks of Odaeng for 10,000 won. The atmosphere is cozy and peaceful, although the locations are far from classy.
SO far, the best skewered chicken (닭꼬치) to be had in Korea was from a man with a small truck about a block south of Ajou University in Suwon. He marinated the meat in a spicy –sweet sauce with soju, and roasted them on an open grill armed with a spray bottle to keep the flames under control, unlike most vendors who cook the skewers on aluminum foil- lined trays. He sold the full, meaty sticks for 1,000 won apiece,
Unfortunately, they built a big new shopping and sauna complex next to his spot, and told him to stop grilling because of the smoke. He and his wife now sell flower-bread and Chinese hoddok—very good, but we’ve yet to find anyone who can match his chicken.
The best odaeng, however, can be found at Changbawi Odaeng, a small street cart set up next to the 300 block of Buyong Apartments, kitty-corner from the famed People of Bread Village Bakery. They offer not only the normal odaeng, but also a spicy version. Their secret, however, is that they put real red crabs in the soup for flavour. They also offer take-away bowls so that you can enjoy it at home, but odaeng always tastes better when standing on a cold street in the winter.