[Hallyupedia] Gopchang (곱창)

연합뉴스 / 2021-12-05 08:00:56
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by Ra Hwak Jin / Cha Min Kyung / Lee Hyo Yoon


[ENG] beef or pork intestines, grilled intestines



▲ This photo, provided by our subscriber, shows pork gopchang. (Yonhap) 


Gopchang refers to small intestines of a cow or a pig and is also used to call grilled or stew dishes with gopchang inside.

The name "Gopchang" was made to reflect the winding shape of the intestine, according to Korea Creative Content Agency's Culture Content Dotcom. However, Cho Hang-bum, professor of Korean Language and Literature of Chungbuk National University, explained in his book that "Gop" means animal fat, and that Gopchang was made to mean fat intestines.

Grilled gopchang and gopchang stew are typical Korean dishes that can be made using gopchang. It can also be used to cook "naejang-tang" or intestine soup in English, and for making sausage or "soon-dae." According to the Doosan Encyclopedia, gopchang is also used in foreign countries for soup, stew, and barbecue.

Shaped like a tube, Gopchang has a lot of elastic fibers and is said to rich in iron and vitamins. The texture of the gopchang is also chewy.

Gopchang was said to "boost energy, strengthen the spleen and stomach" while "protecting the five organs and help control dizziness (blood pressure)," according to the "Dongui Bogam," a Korean book written by a royal physician and published during the Joseon Dynasty.

Today, gopchang is more popular for its unique texture and savory taste rather than the health benefits that comes with it. In particular, gopchang is one of the representative side dishes that goes well with Korea's alcoholic beverage called 'soju.'



▲ This photo shows the table setting of a restaurant in Anjirang Gopchang Street, Daegu. There are seasoned canola herbs, egg drop soup, pickled sesame leaves, lettuce and deonjang around main dish. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 

◇ K-pop idols, including BTS and Mamamoo's Hwasa, help popularize gopchang

K-pop girl group Mamamoo's Hwasa, who appeared on MBC TV's reality program "I Live Alone" in June 2018, visited a restaurant by herself during lunch and ordered two servings of grilled gopchang and one gopchang stew. The 26-year-old singer showed off her unique eating skills, such as soaking a hot piece of gopchang in the sauce in advance so that she doesn't have to wait until the gopchang cools down. Hwasa was also seen spreading and pressing fried rice onto a hot plate with a spoon to make a thin crust of scorched rice or "nurungji" in Korean.

After that particular episode aired, a long line of people were seen standing outside different gopchang restaurants in the country. Hwasa even received a certificate of appreciation from the Association of Cattle Organ Meats.

In the following year, Lotte Home Shopping Inc. collaborated with Hwasa to launch a simple gopchang product that could be cooked and eaten at home under the name of "Hwazakaya Gopchang."


▲ These photos, provided by MBC, show Hwasa eating gopchang in "I Live Alone." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 

BTS brought gopchang storm in LA America.

When BTS visited U.S. in 2017, a reporter asked what food he wanted to eat while staying in LA. “Do you know 000 Gopchang? LA No.1 restaurant,” answered Jin.
The band recently visited the restaurant while staying in LA for the recent concert. The news instantly spread through social media and ARMYs who came to LA for the concert visited the restaurant to try gopchang and posted phots and videos of it on Twitter.
A video of the whole restaurant full of ARMYs singing BTS’ hit song “Butter” together especially became an issue.

▲ This photo, taken by Lee Young-seop, shows gopchang. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 

◇ Anjirang Gopchang Street in Daegu, Korea’s iconic gopchang street

Gopchang is widely loved in Korea so there are a number of gopchang-famous places. Among these, ‘Anjirang Gopchang Street’ in Daegu is one of the most well-known places with the most gopchang restaurants.

Since “Chungbuk Sikdang” that stood in the corner of Anjirang market in 1979, restaurants selling grilled gopchang or makchang entered the market. Now about 50 gopchang restaurants are open along the street.

Unlike ordinary grilled-gopchang restaurants that use gas stove, there are a lot of stores using briquet or charcoal fire. Also, some sell the food by bowls instead of servings.

The dish became the best outdoors food in 2020 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. It was also selected for “Star Korean Tour” (translated) food category in 2018 and became Top 5 food-theme street in Korea in 2012.

Sapdari Gopchang of Yesan, South Chungcheong Province and Deokyang Gopchang of Yeosu, South Jeolla Province are also known as a local taste.


▲ This photo shows Anjirang Gopchang Street in Daegu. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


▲ This photo shows nakji gopchang jeon-gol. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


◇ ‘Gopchang Band’ that looks like gopchang Japanese rock band “Gopchang Jeon-gol”

Women’s hairband made of thin cloth surrounding a rubber band is called ‘gopchang band’ as it resembles the food. It became a boom in the 1990s when actress Kim Hee-seon wore it in a show and later settled as a steady-seller.

A Japanese rock band “Gopchang Jeon-gol” made in Tokyo in 1995 was named after the food by member Sato Ukieh who was into Korean rock music. He was looking for a food not in Japan and sounds very Korean-ish.

“Like (gopchang jeon-gol’s) various ingredients exerting good taste mixed in a pot, we want to make music that mixes Korea and Japan harmoniously,” said Sato during an interview with Yonhap News. 



▲ This photo shows rock band "Gopchang Jeon-gol." (Yonhap) 



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