Grilled Intestine and Intestine Soup

Youn Seng Min

Back when I first started working in New York, I offhandedly mentioned that I missed eating ‘Gop-Chang (tripe)’ to some of my new American friends. Most of them, being chefs, were curious whilst some seemed to be disgusted by the idea of eating the organs of an animal. Back in Korea, I recieve a similar mixture of reactions from foreigners whenever I bring up eating tripe.

I know many of you come from cultures that have dishes which utilize the organs of animals, whilst the consumption of offals may rather be bizzare. Today, with the hopes of desmystifying, I will introduce to you the most popular cow offals in Korea as well as some dishes you ought to try!

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  1. Gopchang (Small intestines of cattle)

In the past, gopchang was a cheap alternative for the general public. Today, it has gained much popularity and is considered a delicacy. It is also a popular anju(food that is consumed along with alcohol) as it is known to help break down alcohol. Some fear that the intestines aren’t cleaned properly and will contain remnants of fecal matter. The intestines, however, are cleaned thoroughly. They are first rubbed with wheat flour and coarse salt, and rinsed numerous times. Gopchang has a rather unique taste. At first it is extremely buttery and savoury; the ‘umami’ will overwhelm your tastebuds. Towards the end it imparts a rather bitter taste which is quite addictive in itself. Although the most popular method of eating gopchang is by grilling it, gopchang jeongol(gopchang soup) is also worth trying!

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  1. Daechang

Prepared in a similar way to gopchang daechang is the big intestine of a cattle. It is much more oily compared to gopchang but has an extremely juicy bite. Although recently, many people are coming up with interesting daechang dishes, still the most conventional and popular way to conume it is by grilling.

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  1. Makchang

Makchang literally translates to ‘last tripe’. It has a very chewy texture and has a much more gamey flavour compared to the rest. Beware, however, if you overcook these they become way to rubbery! 윤성민 4.jpgPerhaps the next time your friends say they’d like to go for some gopchang, humor me and try it out! You might end up finding your new guilty pleasure.

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