When my friend told me last week that she never tasted Korean food before I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She was basically telling me she’d never had a glimpse of heaven. I threatened to end our friendship if we didn’t make our way to a Korean restaurant immediately.
There’s plenty of places you can go to get your Korean food fix. The Boston area alone sports 282 Korean restaurants, according to Yelp. Living just 30 minutes from Boston, we had all 282 restaurants ready to cater to our every gluttonous idea. After some serious taste-testing and restaurant staff recommendations, we selected the top dishes that literally anybody, Korean food newbie or not, will drool over.
If you’re introducing Korean cuisine to a confused and unsure loved one, or happen to be confused and unsure yourself, here are three gateway dishes to properly begin your journey to heaven.
Seolleongtang (설롱탕) at Seoul Soulongtang
Holy moly. Seolleongtang is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Korean dish and it’s become a popular dish within my friend group as well. It doesn’t have a strong flavor, making it easy (and blissful) on the tastebuds. The milky-looking broth has a slightly nutty taste that is well balanced by the crispness of the green scallions. These properties also make the dish a popular hangover cure. If you’re in Massachusetts and want to get your hands on it, check out Seoul Soulongtang.
Soondubu jjigae (순두부찌개) at Kaju Tofu House
Whether or not you’re into spicy, you’ll still fall in love with soondubu jjigae. Don’t worry, Kaju Tofu House (and many other restaurants) give you the option to adjust how many red pepper symbols you want. If you’re new to tofu, the taste of soondubu and this ultimate guide to tofu will get you hooked. I recommend the seafood version, but Kaju offers up to 12 different soondubu options that all taste delicious.
Bibimbap (비빔밥) at Grass Roots Cafe
I don’t know how beef, an egg, veggies, rice, and some asian hot sauce thrown together can make something so yummy. It’s also so easy to make at home. Just by tweaking the recipe, Bibimbap can be catered to be vegetarian, gluten-free, and even paleo. Take out the beef, use white rice, or use cauliflower rice. If you’re a debt stricken college student too lazy to cook (like my friends and me), Grass Roots offers bibimbap for an awesomely low price.
After all three dishes, trust me, you’re bound to pull an Oliver Twist.