Gwangju's Famous Yeongmi Duck Stew (광주 영미오리탕)

Gwangju's Famous Yeongmi Duck Stew (광주 영미오리탕)

Gwangju is a food haven. One of them on the list of food-must-haves is 오리탕 (duck stew). 

If you want to try it, of course, head to the best: Yeongmi Oritang (영미오리탕), a duck stew restaurant which have been serving up duck stew (oritang) to the throngs of customers for over 80 years. 

Many TV stations and media have interviewed and featured this restaurant as it is one of the most famous duck stew restaurants there. 

For the 3 of us, we ordered an entire duck (45,000krw). If you don't eat much or if there are only 2 of you, you can try ordering half a duck instead.

They brought the boiling golden yellow soup out and placed it over a portable fire stove used in most Korean restaurants, only difference was it was linked up to what looks like a gas supply so I really didn't dare move too much during the meal. 

Their duck stew is a golden yellowish stew, made with ground perilla seeds, soybean paste, chili powder, garlic, and other ingredients which make it overall very flavourful. The duck is boiled and served in an earthen pot with the stew after seasoning it with ginseng, jujube and water parley (dropwort, 미나리).

We got a basket full of parsley and some rice. You can add the parsley to the boiling soup anytime you feel like your vegetables are almost depleted. 

I finished so much rice with this stew! It was so good and creamy, while the duck was really tender. The dish is served with kimchi side dishes, which are supposed to enhance the flavor of the duck meat. 

As the stew was made with perilla seeds, which provides a nuttier, milky thickness to the stew, hence the seen texture. 

They also gave some perilla seeds powder (들깨가루) on the side, which you can add to your soup for enhanced flavour - what the ajumma there taught me. Alternatively, you can tear out a piece of your duck meat and just dip into the powder for an extra kick.

I also noticed some Koreans add chilli paste to the perilla seeds and mix it to make their own dipping sauce. You can try that, but because I love to eat it 'pure' hence I didn't do so. 

들깨가루 (Perilla seeds powder)

This place is a must-go, and if Gwangju is not in your Korea trip plans but you still want to try this, you'll be happy to know that they also opened up a branch in Seoul. It could be your best bet to trying this delightful dish, although I'm not sure if the standard is similar to Yeongmi's in Gwangju.

I've also provided the Seoul branch's details at the end of this post. So if you manage to go to the Seoul branch, let me know if it's any good. 

Because the Gwangju one is really... good. 

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광주 영미오리탕 Yeongmi Duck Stew (Gwangju)
Location: 102-31 Jungang-dong, Buk-gu, Kwangju, South Korea
Korean address: 광주광역시 북구 유동 102-31
Operating hours: 11am to 10pm (Closed every first monday of the month)

서울 영미오리탕 Yeongmi Duck Stew (Seoul)
Location: 53 Dongil-ro 60-gil, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korean address: 서울특별시 광진구 동일로60길 53
Operating hours: 10am to 10pm (open all year round)

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