Anjirang Gopchang Alley
(안지랑 곱창 골목)
(안지랑 곱창 골목)
Anjirang Market, Daegu
|The Good||+ Tasty intestines|
+ Lively, outdoor dining
|The Bad||- but not for everyone|
Best for: Groups, drinking, new experience
In an area of Daegu known as Anjirang (안지랑), there's a bustling market-street of vendors all selling Gopchang (곱창). Gopchang means small intestine and in this case is from 돼지, or pig (not to be confused with 양곱창, which is the 1st stomach of a cow). For those interested in some pig entrails but want to stay a little farther away from the poo-hole than the more common Makchang (rectum), Gopchang is a fun and tasty alternative.
You only have one option when ordering Gopchang: 500 grams of guts, a metal bowl full of bowels. Each of these servings feeds 2-3 faces for only \10,000!
Prior to purchase, gopchang is boiled for 1 hour, marinated in spices and then most likely frozen. (If the menu doesn't say 생 ("fresh") before the name, like the 생막창 here, it's usually frozen. Being cold and stiff is also a clue.) If at first it doesn't appear appetizing, things may slightly improve with blessings from the Lord of Light.
Gopchang is like Makchang's adopted brother, you can still love him as a member of the pork-meat family... just not as much as the other family members. What Gopchang lacks in relative quality, it makes up for in abundance and low cost, like Chinese people. [Who else can I offend in an article about food? Small pet-owners, you're next.] Makchang tends to be thick and chewy, yet if cut into thinner slices it can be cooked crispy. Gopchang's structure, on the other hand, has thinner intestinal walls that maintain their rubbery texture unless nearly blackened by flame. Some of the tastiest pieces I found were the complete tube shape filled with juicy Gop (곱), or layers of fat tissue.
If things get too hot, lift the grill with the two bricks on your table. Gopchang's fatty drip may ignite occasional flare-ups. Also, the fire is fed with a steady stream of jet-fuel (that's not an active charcoal), so your food cooks fast. It's best to constantly stir and flip to avoid burning.
If the Gopchang alone doesn't carry enough flavor, add some lettuce wrap sauce (쌈장). Every restaurant has their own secret recipe, but it's usually a combination of salty fermented bean paste (된장) and spicy pepper paste (고추장). Here there's a much greater portion of the former, a salty complement to the fattiness of pork.
I recommend heeding the wisdom Will Smith and "gettin' 찌개 (jjigae) with it." This 된장찌개 (fermented bean-paste soup) is regularly found on tables with pork and Soju. However, here at 안지랑 they offset the super cheap main course by charging \1,000 for it, and also \1,000 per 공기밥 (rice). So order both, "된장찌개 하고 공기밥 주세요" ("dwenjang jjigae hago gong-gi bap jew-say-yo"), for \2,000. [See page on ordering in Korean]
The menu offers other BBQ options of mostly pork, but also some chicken. They are, in order on the menu pictured below, 매운닭발 (spicy chicken feet), 돼지곱창 (pork small intestines), 생돼지막창 (fresh pork rectum), 삼겹살 (pork belly or "three-layer flesh"), 목살 (pork shoulder or "neck meat") and 닭염통구이 (fried chicken hearts). [for more info, see page on meat types]
Now, my understanding of supply and demand may be a little rusty. So let's inhale some paint thinner with a look at the Korean business model. Based on observation, it seems that the best market for a particular good or service is within closest proximity to as many competitors as possible. The strategy is to flood the area with a single product, whether it be power tools, puppies, or a single type of meat, thereby drowning out all alternative products, such as kittens. The theory holds that a passerby is more likely to desire the omnipresent product, from one competitor and...uhh wait. Perhaps an analogy: it's like a group a wannabe vigilantes bum-rushing a bank robber who's wielding a musket, one person is likely to.. wait, now I'm confused.
Anyway, this kitten-drowning business strategy seems to be flourishing with 안지랑 곱창. Even on a Tuesday the entire street of almost 50 vendors was nearly packed with patrons, all enjoying the same exact food for the same exact price.
안지랑 곱창 골목 stretches for over 1 lively kilometer. It seems to be divided into halves, with a shared history and ethnic identity, but vastly different ideals. The first half is a flat, narrow alley lined with pink-signed restaurants with some outdoor seating, but mostly indoor. Go around the bend, and suddenly you are facing uphill into a wider road. It's lined with about 25 orange tents, all sporting names in identical style and flanked by spacious outdoor seating.
LocationIt is located near 안지랑시장 (Anjirang Market) in Nam Gu, the "south district" of Daegu.
By Subway: take the red line (line #1) to 안지랑역 (Anjirang Station). It's on the 대곡 (Daegok) side, five stops south of 반월당역 (Banwoldang Station). Walk out of exit #3, take a quick right turn and you'll see the entrance forking off to your right.
By cab, just tell or show the driver : 안지랑 곱창 골목 (ahn-jee-rahng gope-chang gole-moke)
The Address is: 안지랑 곱창 골목. 대구광역시 남구 대명동