I know I am going to get quite the criticism for this blog, but yes, I ate dog in Korea. It is a Korean staple and I love dogs, but at the end of the day, it is a taboo food and I decided to give it a go. Being that there are so many dog meat places in Seoul, finding a good one to try this at was very much needed. 보신탕 (Bosingtang which is dog meat soup, 補身湯 in Chinese) is also known as Gaejangguk 개장국 where dog meat is the primary ingredient. This Korean traditional eat is known to increase virility among men and women, but more favorable for men of the older generation.
The meat is cooked up for quite a while, boiled with vegetables that varies from restaurant to restaurant. The main ingredients include green onions, perilla leaves, dandelions, and spices of Doenjang (된장), Gochujang (고추장), and more perilla seed powder. There are a handful of Bosingtang restaurants in Seoul, a lot of which are filled with men drinking soju which is believed to compliment the soup.
In Korea, dog meat is cooked up as a soup which is cooked up with other vegetables. For those who are looking to immerse themselves in the real taste of dog meat, getting the dog meat as chunks will help you truly taste the true flavor of dog meat. From a personal taste, it is a contrast between lamb and pork. Honestly, I would probably not have it again, only because of the concept behind the delicacy in regards to how it is cooked before serving and such. Nonetheless, it's a bucket list check off.
If you are brave enough, I definitely suggest going with a Korean friend who actually enjoys it. It is difficult to find a good restaurant in Korea and the Koreans know the real deal. They know where to go because their parents go. Do not expect every Korean to eat dog meat though because there are a handful who are against it. In fact, most Koreans do not enjoy dog meat. They only go for the sake of their parents who enjoy it. It may be ironic to say that criticism comes from Koreans as well and they're the ones who consume it a lot!
Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes. With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer.