Friday, January 3, 2020

[Food] Gopchang & Makchang (곱창 & 막창, Pork & Beef Intestines)


[Food] Gopchang & Makchang (곱창 & 막창, Pork & Beef Intestines)

Koreans have been eating meat since ancient times - no one knows exactly when, but it's certain that they loved it. Unlike Japan, the Korean peninsula was influenced by China and Mongolia so Koreans knew of a variety of meat recipes. Royal families - the noble and rich - enjoyed the flesh of beef and pork. Meanwhile, poor people who couldn't afford to buy the flesh of beef or pork found other ways of enjoying gourmet like roasting or braising the intestines. Koreans eventually learned not to waste a single part of the cow or pig. They ate almost everything including ears, nose, tail and bones.

Among them, pork and beef intestines were, surprisingly, delicious and its simple roasting/braising recipe has been passed down to Koreans today. Hallelujah!

The efficacy of pork and beef intestines was also recorded in a famous medical book by Dr.Jun Heo during the Chosun dynasty. It was written: "It energized the whole body, and strengthens the stomach and spleen. It protects one's intestines and minimises dizziness."

Pork and beef intestines are very chewy and savory because they are full of fat, iron and vitamins, and are high in protein and low in cholesterol. In Korean, pork intestines are called 'Gopchang(곱창)' and beef intestines are called 'Makchang(막창)'.

Gopchang and makchang are usually roasted/braised with many vegetables  as garlic, spring onions, onion and perilla leaves. It is usually stir-fried on an iron plate in a spicy sauce. So some cities like Busan are famous for gopchang and makchang recipes.

Today, it is no longer a cheap dish like it was. It's very popular to many people because of its taste, but its ingredients are limited and require import of intestines from overseas.

Koreans love to eat stir-fried rice after any meal.
If you are a meat-lover (sausage included), how about tasting gopchang and makchang? You won't regret it :) 'Chewy and savory' doesn't do justice to explaining their full taste :)

Bon Appétit!

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