Jeonggangwon Korea Traditional Food Culture Experience - a Cooking Food Tour and Hanokstay near Seoul in Gangwon-do!

Looking for a cooking class near Seoul? This one comes with a hanokstay ;) As the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Korea quickly approaches, I believe culinary tourism will be a big hit coz some want to take home the experience and make delicious Korean food at home! Right?! Because one of the PyeongChang Olympics' goals is to integrate tourism with the sporting event, venues like this Jeonggangwon experience in Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon are being prepared to welcome foreigners and other visitors who want to taste and have a hands-on Korean traditional food culinary lesson! Pyeongchang is just two hours away from Seoul and located in the province of Gangwon - known for both mountain and sea and ideal climate for growing vegetables. Bigger groups can make traditional food like kimchi, ssamjang, tofu, injeolmi, tteokbokki, memiljeon, potato pancake gamjajeon etc. Or you can just eat a traditional Korean "table d'hote" set menu and stay there for a night or two =)

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It took us around 2 hours to get here by car. It is also accessible via Seoul to Jangpyeong Terminal then bus to Eupongpo Stop (see directions below this post).

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It's free admission if you're having a meal there then if entrance with the museum and animal farm only then 3K won for adults, 2K won for children.

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I started to like this place at first sight because of its natural setting and fresh air. The owner Master Chef Joh Jeonggang, specializing in Korean cuisine, specifically chose Pyeongchang in Gangwon to preserve, study and promote traditional Korean food at the same time. 

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This is the cooking room then they have an actual food garden in front.

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This part I love - the onggi! Beautiful breathing jars filled with everything fermented from soy sauce to kimchi and probably lots more I don't know about yet. Hehe. They also sell organic ingredients and fermented food in limited quantities like salt, sun-dried red pepper, soybean lumps and soy sauce. 

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The site is decorated with more traditional items like the dolhareubang and old items used to make food.

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It's not yet harvest season when we went last April apparently but going to a place that grows their own veggies already makes me excited to come back =)

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Now, this below is the food museum and the traditional Korean hanokstay, you get to stay in a heated floor room with modern conveniences already installed. 

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I would love to stay here with a small luggage or backpack

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then just stroll the grounds more. Here's where I went to for the 30 free minutes ahaha.

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M said that the earthenware jars need to face the northern sun and moms are in charge of these in the Korean household since ancient times!

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The soy sauce here is "naturally fermented by clean air, sunlight and wind of Pyeongchang."

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Alas, it was time to cook! We were able to fill one hall - our big event group of around 150 people from all over the world!

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We made tteokbokki but not the spicy kind! This is the sweet and royal court version (no kidding!), friendly to kids, adults and seniors =) As you can see, the ingredients are pretty simple - fresh veggies and in the little white bowls some pork, sesame oil, like sweet soy sauce, egg for topping, bean sprouts and salt.

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For now, it's best to get an English guide to translate and tour around with you because the staff here only speak Korean! This aspect of Korean tourism I hope they can still improve on. The website is in English but when you get there, you need someone like a driver guide or Korean friend who can speak English for you, especially if outside of Seoul and in the provinces for now... Let me know if you need one via the contact form =)

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K and A chopping away hehe. 

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You cut all of them like so - don't mix. That's carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, onions and bell pepper.

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I volunteered to cook and it was too late when I learned that you saute everything one by one in sesame oil haha. After cooking each one, you put each aside.

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It all goes together anyway in the end LOL. They brought in the rice cakes last so that it remains soft.

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Tada! Haha. I believe getting the right soy sauce was the key haha.

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We went out and waited for lunch to be prepared. 

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I was thinking of bringing my mom and J here next time (stay here for more than a daytrip) hehe. Of course, PyeongChang is the site for the snow games so there are a lot of ski resorts in the area! Gangwon gets around 6 months of wintertime according to our guide Monica. Upon further research, there are several spots in Pyeongchang I would like to visit too! 

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We found this river by Jeonggangwon and maybe this is where they do the Geumdang Valley River Rafting then we can visit the Lee Hyo-seok Culture Village with the Buckwheat Food Street, the 5-day Bongpyeong Market (2nd to 7th of every month) and maybe some farms like Herbnara in the area with a car and guide =)

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For lunch, we had buckwheat pancake (memiljeon), seaweed soup and that yummy and addicting veggie sidedish marinated in beancurd (lower left)!  

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The tteokbokki was also a hit then we each had healthy bibimbap stirred in a bowl that can feed so many people =)

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I'm getting hungry writing this LOL. So here you go folks, a halfway house of sorts if you want to head east of Seoul that comes in a traditional Korean house plus a food experience to boot! Will post about more discoveries around the Gangwon area next! Many thanks to the Korea Tourism Organization Manila Office and the PyeongChang2018 Olympics Committee for introducing me to this place!! 

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Details:
2010-13, Geumdanggyegok-ro, Yongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

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