Twenty seven hours after my day started in New York, I found myself at this old Korean house converted into a restaurant that specializes in soy sauce cured crab. The gobs of brilliant orange row are creamy and sweet, almost like uni (sea urchin), but with a more subtle flavor and delicate texture. The meat is sweet and salty, and can be sucked out of the shell like marrow from a bone. It’s one of my favorite things to get in Seoul and why I didn’t just order room service that first night.

Pine mushrooms (aka matsutake mushrooms) are also coming into season and we ordered a soup that must have had 3 or 4 of the very expensive mushrooms in it. They were accompanied by some tteok (ricecake) that was so tender, they had a texture closer to gnocchi than mashed glutinous rice. The soup was clear and calmed our travel-frayed nerves with the distinct woody aroma of the pine mushrooms permeating the air as the soup bubbled away in the hot stone dolsot.

Keun Giwa Jip (큰 기와집)

Phone: 02-722-9024.

122-3Sogyeok-dongJongno-guSeoul (서울특별시 종로구 소격동 122-3)

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