When you’re trying out a new type of international food, it’s best to have a guide. I’ve tried Korean food a few times in the past, but I’ve had little success navigating the menu. So finally I wised up and asked my friend Young, a Korean-born Lansingite, to give me a Korean food tour. It’s one of the smartest things I’ve done, food-wise.
We sampled several things, but for days afterward I couldn’t stop thinking about a soup we ordered, kimchi chigae. I had to go back on a solo mission later in the week to satisfy my kimchi craving.
Kimchi is a catchall term for a variety of spiced, pickled vegetables. If you’ve eaten at a authentic Korean restaurant before, you’ve probably encountered kimchi in small bowls brought out before the meal. The most common form of kimchi — and the kind used in kimchi chigae — is spicy pickled cabbage.
This soup arrives at your table bubbling hot, and it takes all of my willpower to spare my tongue and not dive in immediately. Pork, tofu and a healthy portion of kimchi soak in a spicy red broth. This is the kind of food I look to when I need relief from gray Michigan skies. It’s just spicy enough to warm your soul and clear out your congested nasal cavities.
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday
978 Trowbridge Road, East Lansing
(517) 332-0608, koreahouse.us.
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