Snapshots from South Korea: Foods You Must Eat in Jeju-do and the Mainland

Almost a decade ago, my parents retired to the Island of Jeju-do, a Korean province located just south of the peninsula. Since then, I've made a yearly trip to visit them and to discover more about my culture, including the food. Every visit yields additional culinary finds and exciting flavors. It's why I frequent Flushing in Queens, hunting for those authentic but off-the-beaten-path dishes.


I recently ate my way across Jeju island, visited some really cool wet markets, enjoyed an incredible bounty of fresh seafood, indulged on porky pleasures and yes, even sampled horse meat. From there, I paid a visit to my grandmother in the sleepy district of Gochang on the Western coast of Korea, home to some of the tastiest and fattiest grilled eel I've ever tasted.

Next, I went eastward to the industrial city of Ulsan, where I was met by my uncle and an unforgettable dinner of bulgogi and cold soju. My final destination was the capital city of Seoul, where I soaked in a baseball game or two, ate a whole lot of cheap street food, and drank more than my beleaguered liver deserves.

Here are some highlights of the best bites ยป