Butcher Shops, Palisades Park

Jokbal (Pigs’ Feet) at Hankuk Jungyuk‎ – NJ

March 12, 2009 | 10 Comments

jokbal @ 133 broad ave

Yes, yes, y’all, it’s a post about jokbal (족발), pigs’ feet! If pigs’ feet make you squirm, get over it. It’s delicious. Fatty and gelatinous, it’s good eaten alone, wrapped up in a ssam, or eaten as a bar snack (anju, 안주) with some refreshing soju. Jokbal is made by boiling pigs’ feet in a stock of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and rice wine. It’s then sliced off the bone and served, along with the smaller joint pieces for the brave few to gnaw on. It’s quite a long and tedious process, and many people don’t make jokbal at home. In the US, it’s usually sold at Hmart or Korean butcher shops. When I was little, I remember Ellie‘s mom was one of the few who used to make jokbal. Not only would she make it, she would remove all the meat and roll it up and chill it, which we would then slice, dip in sehwoojut (tiny shrimp brine, 새우젓), and devour after school. No milk and cookies for us! It was good without the hassle of all the bones. Thanks Mrs. P for the tasty memories!

This weekend, I went to visit my parents in New Jersey, and I finally had some jokbal from Hankuk Jungyuk‎ (한국 정육). (Hankuk Jungyuk‎ is a butcher shop on Broad Avenue with lots of prepared foods. The space it’s in also houses Kyedong Chicken (계동치킨), which is similar, but according to my brother, inferior to Bon Chon Chicken. The front of the store actually has two signs in Korean, Kyedong Chicken on the left and Hankuk Jungyuk on the right. Since the same owner seems to own both, for all intents and purposes I’ll be referring to the place as Hankuk Jungyuk.) My mom has been talking about the jokbal there ever since they moved to Palisades Park four years ago, but I’d always been too full gorging on one thing or another to ever try it. This time though, I was ready. Bring on the feet!

jokbal @ 133 broad ave

We ordered the minimum which was pretty huge ($20). My mom was annoyed the shop no longer carries the smaller $17 portion, but considering my family didn’t have any leftovers, it’s a good thing we got the larger portion. The jokbal from Hankuk Jungyuk is slighter more intense in color than the ones sold at other places. According to the man behind the counter, they add hanyak (한약, Korean herbal medicine) to the stock the jokbal is cooked in. It’s supposed to make the jokbal healthier, but considering the disproportionate amount of fat, skin, muscle, and tendon to actual meat, jokbal is probably a lost cause. In addtion, my mom claims the gelatinous part of jokbal is good for women because of the collagen, but I would hardly call jokbal a beauty product. Quite simply, it’s moist sticky slices of pork with a wonderful mix of all the delicious parts of the animal, not just the lean meat. It’s nature’s head cheese, heavy on the meat. The jokbal from Hankuk Jungyuk was especially tender, fresh, and well-prepared (no little hairs to freak out Hannah, my sister-in-law).

jokbal sides @ 133 broad ave

The jokbal also came with ssamjang (쌈장, spicy bean paste), raw garlic slivers, sliced green peppers, moo cheh (무채, a thick spicy radish slaw similar to kimchi but barely fermented), sehwoojut, and some sweet and tangy radish kimchi that normally comes with your order of Korean fried chicken. Besides the lettuce, all the makings of a good ssam were included.

Everyone made ssams as they ate, adding whatever that wanted at that moment. I like my jokbal dipped in sehwoojut and wrapped in a perilla leaf with ssamjang and moo cheh. No rice for me, it gets in the way. Initially, my family had planned to eat the jokbal as a pre-dinner snack, but then we realized we couldn’t stop and just decided to segue into dinner. It was a gloriously good meal. Afterwards, I didn’t feel healthier, I didn’t look younger, but I was full and content.

Hankuk Jungyuk‎ (한국 정육)
133 Broad Ave (betw W Harwood Terrace & W Homestead Ave)
Palisades Park, NJ 07650

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10 Comments

  • Danny at 10:27 am on March 12, 2009

    That looks really delicious. Sometimes when you get pigs feet, there’s little whiskers on them and it’s kinda weird. I love pigs feet but for some reason, if there’s little hairs on it, it just bugs the hell out of me.

  • bionicgrrrl at 1:35 pm on March 12, 2009

    @Danny – It doesn’t bug me out too much. It just makes me wonder about the quality of the food when they don’t care to do the proper prep work. This place was good fortunately. Yum….

  • Zach at 4:23 pm on March 12, 2009

    That… looks… amazing. Can you get a good version of that in Koreatown?

  • uken at 8:07 pm on March 12, 2009

    what a big fan of pig feet.
    it’s interesting that pig feet is the korean food as well.
    I remember we only could have it on the birthday or something big happened when i was a kid.
    so each time when somebody gives me pig feet,
    i always think i must be pretty hot on that day.

  • bionicgrrrl at 8:35 pm on March 12, 2009

    @Zach – They have it at Hmart on 32nd St, but sometimes it’s a bit dry and those freaky little hairs are still there. I know they also have it at Baden Baden and a few other bars in K-Town, but I haven’t tried it at any of those places because I usually go for the fried chicken. I’ll let you know if I ever run across a good version.

    @uken – You crack me up! Pretty hot to get pigs’ feet! Haha. You and I are probably the only ones that might prefer pigs’ feet over chocolate on Valentine’s Day!

  • Hannah at 7:55 pm on March 16, 2009

    I purposely didn’t stare long enough just in case I might see something that might spoil my appetite. It was delicious! I loved it with sehwoojut and all of the stuff you put in plus garlic.. there’s gotta be garlic in every ssam!

  • bionicgrrrl at 12:19 am on March 17, 2009

    @Hannah – Let’s get bo ssam next time!

  • Joohyun at 10:21 pm on March 17, 2009

    looking good!!

  • dan at 3:29 pm on March 25, 2009

    wow, my main experience with pig’s feet has at Hakata Tonton and it wasnt my things, but that looks better!!!

  • bionicgrrrl at 4:55 pm on March 26, 2009

    @dan – I’ve heard about Hakata Tonton. According to the NY Times, they have a dish garnished with pig nails. Not sure if I like that idea, but who knows, it could be good.

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