Southeast Asian snacks at Jangheung's Jeongnamjin Saturday Market 정남진토요시장
I enjoy going to open markets because you get a taste of local life and they offer cheap, fresh produce, and delicious snacks. Jeongnamjin Saturday Market (정남진토요시장/toyo si-jang) in Jangheung (장흥) is compact and can easily be seen in 10-15 minutes, but of course it took me longer. I like to peruse around and see what everyone is eating—I mean doing.
The most interesting part of this market, is the Asian street food area operated by residents of other Asian nations living in Korea. They have snacks from Philippines, Japan, China, Myanmar, Mongolia, Vietnam and Thailand. These snacks are mostly Koreanized versions. The most popular snack was a crispy cookie made by the Thai ladies. They gave out samples, and it taste a bit similar to Korean thin crispy cookies.
We bought a refreshing and crunchy Vietnamese Spring roll filled with veggies and shrimp . The bell pepper gives the roll a nice crisp texture, and adds natural sweetness to it. The flavoring comes mostly from the fish sauce mixture added by the seller. The only thing I missed, were fresh herbs. This roll isn’t authentic, but it did taste better than the ones I had before at a Korean Vietnamese restaurant chain.
We also tried the Mongolian dumplings (2,000Krw), which are wrapped beautifully like roses. It is filled with meat and is lightly seasoned. It’s similar to what you can get at Korean dumpling places.
Filipino barbeque pork stick
Almost every fresh produce vendor at the market sells shiitake mushrooms. It is grown nearby and it is possible to go to one of the farms and pick it yourself. We, however, decided to buy it in a small box for 10,000 Krw. All the vendors we checked out were selling organically grown shiitake.
Besides being known for shiitake, Jangheung is also known for having many Hanwoo (한우) cow farms. Meat from the Hanwoo breed are considered superior both in taste and texture, hence people pay a premium price for it. Most tourists come here to sample this meat as Jangheung samhap 장흥삼합 which combines it with the other two specialties—shiitake mushrooms and pen shell scallops. They broil it, and then wrap the three together to eat at once. There are many Jangheung samhap restaurants to choose from, but we decided to pass on this local delicacy. Instead we opted to try their other specialty which is namdo jeongshik; a feast of local specialties presented in numerous side dishes.
Jeongnamjin Saturday Market 정남진 토요시장 Yeyang-ri, Jangheung-eup, Jangheung-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea