South Hwanghae specialities relished in Pyongyang

December 9, 2023

The Okkye Restaurant is situated in Taedonggang District, Pyongyang. 

The restaurant serving specialities of South Hwanghae Province was named after the crystal-clear Okkye River flowing along the foot of Mt Suyang. 

The two-storey restaurant serves traditional special foods of the province and other dishes. 

The locals of the province have cooked savoury and appetizing foods since olden times. Their typical food is Haeju kyoban

It is a special food in the Haeju area made by cooking boiled rice with oil and putting bracken and parsley growing on Mt Suyang, Ongjin laver and other garnishings. 

The story about kyoban is told even today. Once upon a time, refugees who found shelter in Mt Suyang suffered a serious food shortage during a war against foreign invaders. So they dug bellflower roots and picked mushrooms and bracken growing there, mixed them with fermented hot pepper bean paste and ate them. Thus they could win the battle of Sokchon.

“Haeju kyoban is widely known to our country along with the Pyongyang boiled rice with assorted mixtures. The special feature of the dish is that among its ingredients like edible herbs and meat, the bracken growing in Mt Suyang and roasted and crumbled Ongjin laver are a must,” said Jang Pun Ok who has long worked as head chef of the restaurant. 

According to her, President Kim Il Sung tasted the dish prepared by a restaurant during his field guidance tour of Haeju City decades ago and appreciated it, describing it as a Haeju speciality that tastes good and looks good. 

“I tried Haeju kyoban for the first time at the Okkye Restaurant after moving into Taedonggang District a decade ago. Attracted by the unique mixed flavour of a variety of edible herbs, I became a regular customer of this restaurant,” said an old man called Kim Jong U.

The restaurant also serves Sinwon steamed rice cake, Yonan rice cake dumpling covered with bean paste, Jangyon twist and Pyoksong Chwiya noodles by preserving the characteristics of the Hwanghae provincial region which is known as a granary as it is blessed with vast plains.

In addition, there are other specialities prepared with fish and seafood from the West Sea of Korea including steamed blue crab, steamed large clam and steamed neck clam and crab flesh pickled in vinegar. 

According to Jang Pun Ok, the restaurant serves more than 40 kinds of special foods. Diners commented that it has become a favourite haunt of visitors for good taste.

Cooks of the restaurant flawlessly brought out such distinctive national foods as Haeju kyoban at different cooking festivals and contests, thereby winning the first place there.

The Okkye Restaurant was inaugurated in November 1975.  


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