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Unique Stew and Broth Dishes of Jeonju


With the world-wide popularity of the ‘fire noodles’, it seems like fiery dishes are in fashion. However, this week, I’ll introduce something less spicy and with more stew and broth. I visited two venues famous for Jeonju’s unique stew and broth dishes.


Mul-jajangmyeon (non-black bean sauce jajangmyeon with seafood)

Jajangmyeon (black bean sauce noodle) is usually black. However, the people of Jeonju enjoys eating the non-black bean sauce jajangmyeon dish, called mul-jajangmyeon (literally, ‘water’ jajangmyeon). Mul-jajangmyeon is what has drawn people from all over Korea to Nobel Banjeom, a small and old restaurant.

Since this place has appeared in many television gourmet shows, I had to wait a while before entering. The interior was pretty modern, unlike what it seemed from the outside.

Nobel Banjeom has an old-style menu on the wall. Given the history of this restaurant, the venue has more to offer than just mul-jajangmyeon. I also ordered other popular dish ‘maecom japchae bap’ (spicy glass noodle on rice).

In front of the kitchen is the self-service table. You may take other side dishes (kimchi, pickled radish, and the like) as you like.

My mul-jajangmyeon arrived. It looks like something like a cross-over of stir-fried udon and champon (seafood noodle with broth). The mul-jajangmyeon of Nobel Banjeom doesn’t use the usual jajangmyeon sauce. Instead, it uses soy sauce and starch water.

Unlike the ususal black jajangmyeon, which contains meat, the mul-jajangmyeon contains abundant seafood. It resembles other Chinese seafood hotchpotch dishes. For me, it was slightly similar to champon.

Next, I tried maecom japchaebap (spicy glass noodle on rice). I could ‘smell the fire’ even before my first spoon. The dish comes with the egg soup to alleviate the spiciness in your moth.

Fortunately, it wasn’t too spicy. I actually loved the chewy texture of the glass noodle and the spicy sauce together. It didn’t take too long for me to finish the whole dish.


Nobel Banjeom

Address: Pungnammun 2gil 100, Wansangu, Jeonju

Contact: 063-284-4318

Opening hours: 11:30 ~ 18:00

Closed on the first and the third Sundays & the second and the fourth Mondays


Mulgalbi Jeongol (Spicy Short Rib Stew)

My next destination was the restaurant named ‘Jamae Galbi Jeongol’. The restaurant is located in Jeonju Hanok Village, close to the public parking lot.

This restaurant has also been introduced many times in different television shows. I visited around three in the afternoon, but the venue was still crowded.

Apart from the famous mulgalbi jeongol (spicy short-rib stew), on the menu were also the local light alcoholic beverages such as moju and makgeolli. If you’re staying near Jeonu Hanok Village, I recommend trying the beverages.

Mulgalbi is a local dish, pork short rib stewed in a broth with bean sprouts, mushrooms, glass noodles, and other vegetables. Because the dish uses pork short rib and vegetables known to produce good broth, it’s low in fat but high in protein, and very ‘deep’ in taste.

For the last three decades, the restaurant has used only the top-quality pork short rib, certified by the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation. Hence, the number of mulgalbi that can be served per day is usually limited.

How to eat mulgalbi. Let the dish boil in strong heat for five minutes. Then lower to medium heat and cut the short rib with the scissor provided. Eat with the glass noodle or make a lettuce wrap, like the locals. I loved the less spicy broth and the texture of the short ribs.

When the broth is almost boiled away, I ordered the server for the fried rice. The fried rice here is made with the remaining broth and vegetables.


Jamae Galbi Jeongol

Address: Girindaero 121, Wansangu, Jeonju

Contact: 063-283-7953

Opening hours: 11:00~21:30

Closed on Tuesdays


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  • Jared Sandler

    Indeed, the mul-Jajangmyeon appears to be much closer to champon than normal Jajangmyeon. There seems to be a healthy, generous portion of seafood included in the mul-Jajangmyeon dish at Jeonju City’s Nobel Banjeom restaurant.

  • Ever Enrique Castillo Osorio

    Looks very delicious. And also very good for winter season.

  • Steve Joe

    Wow… It’s really delicious.