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Jeonju Bean Sprouts and Rice Hot Pot Showdown. Sambaekjip vs Sambunjip

Jeonju kongnamul-gukbap (bean sprouts and rice hot pot: ‘kongnamul’ means ‘bean sprouts’ and ‘gukbap’ means ‘hot pot with rice’) is a must-try delicacy of Jeonju, along with Jeonju bibimbap. There are quite a number of venues specializing in Jeonju kongnamul-gukbap. I will introduce two restaurants among them: firstly, Sambaekjip, famous for its artisanship of selling only 300 bowls per day, and secondly, Sambunjip which became famous by appearing in the television road trip food show Samdaechunwang, hosted by a renowned food expert, Baek Jong-Won.

Let’s head off to try Jeonju kongnamul-gukbap!


300 bowls per day, the original venue of Jeonju Sambaekjip

Address: 22, Jeonjugaeksa 2-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeonbuk
Phone: 063-284-2227
Opening hours: open every day 24hours, closed only on Seolnal and Chuseok
Specializing in: traditional Korean gukbap


Why is the restaurant called ‘Sambaekjip?’ ‘Sambaek’ means ‘three-hundred’ and ‘jip’ means ‘house’ in Korean. In the old days, the restaurant sold only 300 bowls of kongnamul-gukbap per day, so the place got its name ‘Sambaekjip.’ More than half a century old, the refreshing umami of Sambaekjip’s kongnamul-gukbap comes from boiling fresh local ingredients, such as bean sprouts, kimchi, salted shrimps, and others. Of course, nowadays, this popular venue sells way more than 300 bowls per day

Three types of hot pots are on the menu: kongnamul-gukbap, hae-onban (spicy kongnamul-gukbap with extra red chili pepper powder and squid – recommended for hangover relief), and seonji-onban (ox blood curd, intestine, and rice hot pot). Also on the menu are moju (sweet brown rice wine) and gochu-goonmandu (fried hot chili pepper dumpling) and samkyeop-ganjang-jorim (pork belly boiled down in soy sauce).

I ordered the signature dish of Sambaekjip, kongnamul-gukbap!

The side dishes offered along with kongnamul-gukbap are green cheongyang pepper chops (very spicy), kakdugi (crunchy cubed radish kimchi), and Chinese cabbage kimchi. To salt the hot pot, salted shrimp and beef boiled in soy sauce are also offered.

‘How to properly enjoy kongnamul-gukbap.’
One, “sprinkle”: Crush and sprinkle the acid-free seaweed over the fried egg before eating. Pairing the fried egg with a bowl of Moju is highly recommended.
Two, “add”: Add seasonings to your liking (seaweed, beef boiled in soy sauce, salted shrimp, cheongyang chili, and/or kakdugi juice to salt your gukbap).
Three, “enjoy”: Enjoy your tasty and nutritious gukbap!
After a brief moment of studying how to enjoy gukbap, your kongnamul-gukbap is ready!

Voila! The famous kongnamul-gukbap of Sambaekjip!

Spicy and refreshing kongnamul-gukbap of Sambaekjip.

The crunchiness of bean sprouts and the umami of the broth are mouth-watering!

Ingredients of Sambaekjip kongnamul-gukbap
Bean sprouts from Jeonju: The bean sprouts from Jeonju is high in minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, and the like.
Acid-free seaweed: The seaweed used in Sambaekjip is acid-free, organi,c and eco-friendly.
Sambaekjip kimchi: Sambaekjip uses homemade kimchi whose ingredients include local red chili pepper powder, solar salt from the Sinan region, Chinese cabbages from the Haenam region, and pickled shrimps
Singdongjinmi: Sambaekjip uses rice called Sindongjinmi, excellent in texture and sweet flavor

Sambaekjip has been introduced by many television food shows!

I could understand why so many people enjoy the crunchiness of bean sprouts and the refreshing broth of Kongnamul-gukbap. For those visiting Jeonju, trying out this delicacy is a must!


Jeonju Nambu Market’s Sambunjip, a place recognized by the food expert Baek Jong-Won

Address: 303-186, Jeondong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeonbuk
Phone: 063-231-1586
Specializing in: traditional Korean gukbap

Do you watch Samedaechunwang, the food trip show on television hosted by the famous food expert Baek Jong-Won? I will introduce Sambunjip, which appeared on Samdaechunwang. Let’s begin then!

Sambunjip, located in the historic Jeonju Nambu Market, is 44 year old kongnamul-gukbap restaurant!

Baek Jong-Won’s Samdaechunwang, episode 11: Sambunjip
Exploring kongnamul-gukbap is underway, as planned!

If you plan to visit Sambunjip, don’t forget the opening hours since the place not open for the whole day. The restaurant opens at 6am and closes at 3pm. So, if you want to visit Sambunjip and try the delicious kongnamul-gukbap, be there before 3pm. Many people who arrived in the evening had to turn away,

This is inside Sambunjip. It’s not big, but I could see many signatures and photographs of famous singers, tv starts and movie stars!

Below is the menu of Sambunjip
Kongnamul-gukbap: 6,000 won
Ojinguh-moochim (squid and vegetable salad): 6,000 won
Ojinguh-sookhoe (lengthwise-cut parboiled squid): 4,000 won
Ojinguh-zzongzzongi (fine-diced parboild squid): 4,000 won
A bowl of moju: 2,000 won
A bottle of moju: 12,000 won

Sambunjip only offers kongnamul-gukbap for a meal. The place adds diced squid in kongnamul-gukbap.

Sambunjip kongnamul-gukbap goes well with squid! I ordered ojinguh-sookhoe and kongnamul-gukbap. The side dishes are kakdugi, kimchi, salted shrimp, preserved salty assortments, beef boiled in soy sauce!

This is the kongnamul-gukbap of Sambunjip, with chewy and savory squid inside!

Sambunjip also offers sooran (a poached egg) with kongnamul-gukbap!

How to properly enjoy Sambunjip sooran!
Firstly, pour a spoon of kongnamul-gukbap broth over the sooran.
Secondly, sprinkle crushed seaweed over the sooran.
Thirdly, enjoy!
This is how the locals eat sooran!
The flavor of sooran is excellent it almost tastes sweet.

Here comes Sambunjip kongnamul-gukbap with clear broth and squid!

Ojinguh-sookhoe went great with kongnamul-gukbap. The bean sprouts were crunch, the broth was filled with umami, and squid was savory. I could see why the famous food expert Baek Jong-Won chose to dine in this place!

This is the hot and flavoursome bowl of kongnamul-gukbap

I finished off to the bottom of the bowl (this is how to properly enjoy gukbap!)

Both Sambaekjip and Sambunjip had their own distinctive features. The locals frequent these places and the tourists will definitely make good memories about the Jeonju kongnamul-gukbap.

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