Sanchae – Healthy and Yummy Mountain Food!
I’ve talked about mountain food before in my post on Biji-Jigae (okara stew). Korean mountain food is known to be very healthy and earthy. All the environmentalist and macrobiotic cooks in Korea seem to really get inspired by the Korean mountain style living. Eating locally, only the amount that you need, taking only what you need from nature, following the principles of four seasons, letting go of greed and possessive thoughts, and loving and respecting earth are some of these principles. Lots of younger Koreans these days dream of and actually take action in moving from the city and suburbs to the mountains to live a life that is more aligned with their beliefs and philosophy.
This summer we visited a Korean mountain food restaurant in Seoul, called Sanchae – which means “Mountain Vegetables”! I had wanted to go ever since I saw Dancing Beny (Korean blogger) post about the restaurant on her blog. They had an amazing menu. Not everything was vegan, but it was very vegan friendly. They had duduk root roasts, bibimbap, tofu kimchi, acorn mook (jelly), potato pancakes, and all sorts of namuls for their set menus and side dishes. Of course we could only try a couple of things, but they were very good. We sneaked peeks at others’ tables that had other dishes, and everything looked delicious. Their beat-up wooden chopsticks and spoons, and dishware were so much fun as well.
The first dish we got was the pyogobusut-tangsoo (sweet and sour mushroom). Wow, it was so good. Very earthy flavor, a little less sweet than others we’ve had but super yummy.
We also got deulkkae gooksoo -kkaennip (perrilla) seed soup noodles. You can’t really see the noodles here, but there are noodles in the soup! Yumm… so rich and flavorful. Both dishes were so earthy and so nice.
Of course a Korean mountain restaurant would serve kutjuri (kimchi salad) and yulmoo mool kimhi (young radish top water kimchi) as side dishes. So yummy!
Everything was excellent. The next time we’re in Seoul, we will be visiting again for other dishes!
Location & Directions: Sanchae is located near the Seoul National University station, line 2. Take exit 3 and head towards the Gwanak-Gu office (big glass office building), take the second right. Walk one block and it’s across the intersection from you on your left! I hope you will be able to visit someday.