Though I usually review restaurants where one can sit and enjoy a meal, I thought it would be interesting to show a local food truck I frequent a bit of love. If you’re not a fan of blood, I suggest you stop reading now.
For anyone that may be unfamiliar, 순대 (soondae) is a fairly popular Korean version of blood sausage. While there are many different variations of this classic, the most common form is made of pig’s intestines stuffed with cellophane noodles, barely, and pork blood. While that may not sound all that appetizing, I personally love the stuff. Though many people often eat it as a form of junk food combined with stuff like 떡볶이 (tteokbokki), a few neighborhoods are lucky enough to be visited by the fairly popular 푸그 순대전문점 (Pugeu Soondae Jeonmunjeom) truck.
While I can’t speak for other parts of Gwangju, the Pungam area near the Dongbu Apartments has been fortunate enough to have a steady supply of this classic form of Korean cuisine every Thursday evening for the past few years.
For the longest time, my usual go-to has been the original 찰순대 (chal soondae). Though I had always been curious about the other flavors, such as the 고기순대 (gogi soondae) and the 김치순대 (kimchi soondae), it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I decided to give these variants a try. After I had taken a few pictures (while being stared at funny by my fellow customers), I placed a small order for 모듬순대 (modeum soondae), which was basically a sampler platter of all the different styles the truck had to offer.
As I waited for my very shy truck chef to prepare my order (he requested that I keep his face off the internet), I was given a sample of the classic original soondae as he pulled multiple, different colored links out of what appeared to be a large steamer. After he sliced up bits of each flavor for my order, he topped the whole thing off with some slices of other steamed offal before packing it all in with a small bag of seasoned salt.
Once I received my order, I quickly walked home in hopes of enjoying my food while it was still warm. From personal experience, I’ve learned that cold soondae can make for a very depressing meal. When I tore open the packaging, I was able to conclude that my order came with samples of 찰순대 (chal soondae), 고기순대 (gogi soondae), also known as meat soondae, 김치순대 (kimchi soondae), 야채순대 (yachae soondae), also known as vegetable soondae, 왕순대 (wang soondae), which is pretty much an extra large version of the original, and 카레순대 (curry soondae).
As expected, the original flavor was quite standard. Soft and moist with a nice savory flavor, it alone would have been enough to satisfy my craving for this classic food. The large version of the same thing was also nice, but I think it was a little easier to eat it in bite sized form. Though the meat soondae and the vegetable soondae seemed to be lacking in flavor (while sometimes leaving an odd aftertaste), I found myself really enjoying the kimchi and curry variations. I assume that these two stood out, as kimchi and curry are both known for having strong, dominating flavors, but they seemed to work very well with the texture and overall flavor of soondae. Though my favorite will always be the original, I can see myself coming back for its tasty brothers on special occasions.
Overall, 푸그 순대전문점 has turned out to be a consistent food truck that I believe is a few notches above standard street food. While it doesn’t have any super fancy offerings (like the better known seafood variations), I find that the soondae here is good enough to stand on its own. If you’re curious about the other flavors, I highly recommend that you give the assorted dish a try first, as I think these unique flavors are worth trying at least once. Be warned that even the smallest order comes with a lot of food (as it’s intended to serve at least two people), so find someone to share your meal with if you can!
Address: Located @ Pungam Dongbu Centreville Apartments on Thursdays (next to Pruzen and Tous Les Jours)
Average Price Range: 4,000-6,000 per order