3 years ago, when I went to South Korea again, but that time, for a language program, I was more than ecstatic to taste authentic Korean food again. One weekend, wanting to spend some time alone, I wandered around the streets of Eunhaeng-dong in the city of Daejeon. Feeling hungry, I started looking for a kimchi stew restaurant when a small stall handled by a couple of old ladies caught my attention. 3 huge stir-fry pans and huge jugs of their secret sauces kept on attracting a huge crowd in front of the store. It was just chicken, I said to myself. What could be so special about it?
The next weekend, I went back and their store was still full of chicken-loving people, mostly teens spending their free time with their friends. I decided to go and try the infamous chicken. A small cup of their chicken pops, around 200g, with the hot and spicy sauce for 3$ made me a regular. I started frequenting that chicken stall and buy my weekly dose of chicken. It was cheap, really filling, and easy to eat, and if it wasn’t obvious enough, it was really, really delicious. It was just chicken alright.
When I came back to Manila for summer break, I brought one box of the said chicken with me and my family loved it. So a few hours before my flight back to Manila, for good, I went back to the store to buy 3 boxes of the chicken goodness to bring back home. The cheerful ladies, who recognized me as one of their regular foreigner customers, gave me another box to take home as a send off gift. And when I told them that my family and I really love their sauce, they surprisingly gave me the recipe. Well it’s not the same exact recipe though, but they told me that I can change it to my liking or until I think I copied their recipe. I failed the latter.
But after some experimentations, though still not the exact same recipe as theirs, I was able to change the recipe according to my preference. And everyone who tasted it so far almost forgot their names. Kidding. It was just chicken, huh?