Gopchang (곱창) is the Korean term for grilled small and large intestines of a cow or pig. It is a popular culinary item in Korea. Gopchang restaurants typically specialize and offer only this dish because preparing it right requires a remarkable technique and most importantly, access to the freshest intestines available.
Last week, my Korean friend and I went to Wangsimni Gopchang Gui Alley to have lunch after watching Terminator Genisys at CGV. This alley is a very popular drinking spot among Koreans. Crowds of people come flocking to the famous alley in the evening to enjoy gopchang with soju or maekju. It is also the area in Seoul that has the most gopchang restaurants.
We visited 맛나 곱창 (Matna Gopchang) and ordered beef gopchang with raw tripe and liver. We actually wanted to order one serving of beef gopchang and one pork gopchang but the minimum order was for two guests. So we just settled with two servings of beef gopchang.
The intestines are pre-fried with onions and chives by the chefs and are then placed in front of customers on a portable or built-in gas stove. Then, the intestines are cut into bite-sized pieces, which makes it easy for dipping into a sesame oil and salt sauce.
Gopchang may be intimidating for the uninitiated, but it is a surprisingly delicious dish which is a perfect ‘anju’ (food eaten with alcohol). The experience of eating animal intestines is directly correlated to the quality served. Sometimes, it tastes great but then other times, it is unenjoyable because of its distinctive smell. If the intestines and tripe are not fresh or not properly cleaned, this dramatically impacts the whole experience.
I loved eating animal liver and intestines (especially chicken & pork) back home in the Philippines, but it was my first time to try eating raw beef liver after many years of living in Korea. It wasn’t bad at all. Raw liver tastes a bit sweet and has jelly texture. When dipped into the sesame and salt sauce, it actually tastes good. 🙂
How to get there:
- Address: 서울특별시 성동구 고산자로 281-1
- Phone number: 02-2282-3349
Subway: Wangsimni Station (Line 2) Exit 2, 5 minute walk