Sinchon Hwangso Gopchang (신촌황소곱창) | Grilled Beef Intestines in Seoul

Sinchon Hwangso Gopchang (신촌황소곱창) is a Gopchang (곱창) specialty restaurant boasting 60 years of history. Gopchang specifically refers to the small intestine of the cow, and is served here “gui” (구이), grilled on your table in a hot pan over fire. Alongside Gopchang, my other favourites include Daechang (대창, large intestine), and Makchang (막창, the abomasum aka 4th stomach).

I hope that didn’t scare you off!! Now now, before you retreat and press the “back” button, I’d like to say that I previously brought a group of friends to Sinchon Hwangso Gopchang and right up till the last minute, they were unconvinced by the idea. Yet after just one bite, they were converts and remember gopchang as their most memorable (in a good way, yes) meal in Seoul. Matjib, (맛집 which directly translates to “tasty house”) is a Korean word referring to restaurants serving delicious food and Sinchon Hwangso Gopchang is an absolute matjib.

Located close to Yonsei, Ewha, and Sogang University, Sinchon Hwangso Gopchang attracts a huge crowd every night. Gopchang is rich in nutrients and is remarked to be especially popular amongst ladies for its immense amounts of collagen and the associated anti-aging properties. I arrived slightly after 6pm on a Thursday night, and the ground floor seats were fully filled. This was the first time I was led to the basement dining area, and I was amazed to see how large (and really, how immensely popular) the place truly is.

sinchon hwangso gopchang crowded
appetiser of Saeng-gan 생간, raw liver Cheon-yeop 천엽 omasum aka the 3rd stomach at Sinchon Hwangso Gopchang

Upon being seated, we were served an appetiser of Saeng-gan (생간, raw liver) and Cheon-yeop (천엽, omasum aka the 3rd stomach). I eat this every time I visit, and I can still never get used to it. For sure I will say that it is worth eating once to try the taste and texture – after that, you can decide if you want to try it twice.

gopchang daechang and eomtong at sinchon hwangso gopchang
gopchang cooking by the ahjumma at sinchon hwangso gopchang

We started with an order of gopchang (곱창, small intestines) & daechang (대창, large intestines) and were given a side of eom-tong (염통, cow heart). Look at how especially plump the daechang is! Cooking is expertly done by the ahjummas, who will season and slice the items into bite-sized pieces. We anxiously waited for them to crisp on the pan as we stared at the glistening chunks.

gopchang daechang eomtong at sinchon hwangso gopchang

I wish I waited a bit longer to take a perfect picture! This was taken before the beautiful crisp fully developed. Ahhh, what a pity – but I really couldn’t resist getting started!

Gopchang and Daechang both have a characteristically rich and complex flavour, however they vary distinctly in texture. Biting into gopchang, the inner lining contains a grainy texture (somewhat like fried beancurd puffs) and gives a delightful nutty taste. On the other hand, a beautifully seared piece of daechang is crispy on the outside and luscious within.

Dip these delicious bite-sized bits in the sauces provided and top them up with a small serving of chives. That is harmony in a bite.

hwangso makchang

Our next order was makchang (막창, the abomasum aka 4th stomach). Unlike gopchang and daechang, makchang does not bring the “melt in your mouth” sensation but is instead firm. Its texture is enjoyably springy.

ready to cook fried rice at sinchon hwangso gopchang
gopchang fried rice with kimchi and seaweed at sinchon hwangso gopchang

Finally, we asked for their delicious fried rice to end off the meal. Here, the fried rice is not just simply a staple to “fill your stomach”. Alongside other simple ingredients, the rice gets tossed in gopchang oils and every bite is a delight. Leave the heat high and scorched rice will form, giving that extra crunch!

gopchang fried rice is delicious at sinchon hwangso gopchang
sinchon hwangso gopchang shopfront

In the past, gopchang was a cheap nutritional supplement for the poor. Today, gopchang is no longer cheap, but I believe the cost for good gopchang stems from its elaborate preparation. To make delicious gopchang involves a tedious process of thorough cleaning, trimming, and marinating. I assume many will have concerns about unpleasant odours or aftertastes, and I am happy to report that there is none of those at Sinchon Hwangso Gopchang.

신촌황소곱창 Sinchon Hwangso Gopchang

서울 서대문구 연세로9길 31 (창천동 52-148)
52-148, Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
Tel: 02-337-2640