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Hearty and Satisfying Jeonju Bean Sprouts Stew at Samilgwan & Jeonju Kongnaru

When the temperature begins to drop, the residents of Jeonju head to the kongnamul gukbap (bean sprouts stew with rice) place in their neighborhoods. One nice thing about kongnamul gukbap is that although the dish is usually on the cheaper side, it’s hearty and satisfying. The city of Jeonju has been designated the local restaurants that are more than two decades old as the “local food restaurants”. Recently, I’ve visited two kongnamul gukbap venues designated by the city as “local food restaurants”.

Samilgwan

Jeonju has several nationally renowned kongnamul gukbap venues. But Samilgwan is more popular among locals. The old signboard testifies that this is an old, homey local gourmet venue.

Samilgwan opened in 1978. Two most popular dishes are kongnamul gukbap and seonji gukbap (ox blood curd stew with rice). The venue offers extra rice upon request. The side dishes are offered family style so that I could help myself with my favorite side dishes.

The kongnamul gukbap of Samilgwan is home style with all the ingredients boiling together inside the traditional Korean clay pot. The egg, chilli pepper powder, whole sesame, and chopped spring onion produce spicy but clean aftertaste. I sweated a bit due to the warmth, but finishing a bowl of the stew was almost refreshing.

The reason why I love kongnamul gukbap is it’s great for the morning after. Even better, Samilgwan is open 24 hours, all year round. The meal is complete with moju, a very light alcohol drink made from the rice wine boiled with medicinal herbs, as a digestif.


Samilgwan
Address: Jeonjugaeksa 2gil 30, Wansangu, Jeonju
Contact: 063-284-8964
Opening hours: 24hrs throughout the year

Jeonju Kongnaru

Jeonju Kongnaru (main store) is located in Gyeongwondong district. The inside is wide enough for social distancing.

Apart from kongnamul gukbap made with homegrown bean sprouts, two different bibimbap dishes are on the menu. I ordered one kongnamul gukbap and one jeontong (traditional) bibimbap.

The side dishes are jangjorim (beef boiled down in soy sauce), spicy octopus pickle, kimchi, kakdugi (turnip kimchi), and seaweed paper.

Here, a poached egg is offered separately for kongnamul gukbap. I recommend eating it with the broth, which is quite spicy with lots of kimchi in the stew.

This is the traditional bibimbap. It’s not only colorful but delicious. The bibimbap is served with the broth of kongnamul gukbap. If you want to try both bibimbap and kongnamul gukbap, Jeonju Kongnaru seems like an excellent choice.

Jeonju Kongnaru
Address: Jeondongseongdang gil 14, Wansangu, Jeonju
Contact: 063-288-4853
Opening hours: 06:00~22:00 throughout the year
Menu: kongnamul bukbap 7,000 won; bibimbap 8,000 won

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  • Jared Sandler

    The traditional jeontong bibimbap pictured at Jeonju Kongnaru looks scrumptious! I wonder why Jeonju Kongnaru offers customers a poached egg separately, whereas Samilgwan includes the egg together with the rest of the stew (for the same dish: kongnamul gukbap)?

  • Ever Enrique Castillo Osorio

    Now is time to try warm food, and the Korean soup is really delicious, I like the combinations and balance between the ingredients.

  • Woo Woo

    Hot soup with rice are the best in this weather!

  • Cristina Pérez

    Visited Jeonju two months ago… cant wait to go back sometime and try this!!!

  • Chocolixer

    Love a hot soupy dish in this weather!

  • Sonia

    For vegans and vegetarians, I also recommend Veteran Noodles, in the middle of the Hanok Village. They understand vegan and vegetarian, and you can enjoy delicious spicy noodles!