[Kim Mi Suk’s favorite restaurants] Do you know what it is? Doesn’t it sound inviting? Julienned radish seasoned with a spicy sauce and plump squid hidden between the red pieces of radish will definitely make your mouth water. This is squid bossam, or boild squid eaten with a salty sauce and wrapped in greens. It’s sure to stimulate your appetite even when you have no appetite.
Originally a dish from Gangwon-do, squid bossam has developed its own history for almost 25 years here in Seoul. The long-loved food, which always tastes the same, is the result of know-how accumulated over several decades of devotion; it’s not something acquired in a day.
You may already know of the squid sundae of Gangwon-do, but squid bossam might sound unfamiliar even to Koreans. It is a new dish even to me, and I hail from Gangwon-do. I bothered to go more than an hour out of Seoul to visit a restaurant in Anyang that was strongly recommended to me by a friend in order to taste the squid bossam served there.
I’m a stranger to Anyang, where I first experienced this tempting dish. The restaurant has only two items on the menu: squid bulgogi, or seasoned barbequed squid, and squid bossam. Following my friend’s strong recommendation, I ordered the squid bossam.
The combination of julienned radish, slightly stir-fried in oil, and plump squid was something that at first I thought sounded very odd, but the just one taste of it changed everything. The inviting spicy sauce made me keep blowing on it, and sweat beaded up on my forehead and the bridge of my nose. My mouth was burning, but I couldn’t stop putting the food into my mouth.