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If you haven’t had kimchi in a meal before — a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables — the Soon Do-Bu Ji-Gae is where to begin. Here, the kimchi is boiled in a rich, silky soft tofu stew.
Besides being delicious, the kimchi is loaded with multi-vitamins and probiotics — healthy bacteria that aids digestion.
Dae Jang Geum’s rendition of the dish was excellent. The mix of various indigents in the soup — especially the chewy seafood combination and smooth tofu — tones down the sourness and spiciness of kimchi and adds a delightful mouth feel. And for $10.49, I got the tofu stew in an earthenware pot, steamed white rice and four small side dishes (more freshly made kimchi, pickled bean sprouts, spicy fish cakes, and potato salad).
The great thing about this dish is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving. The tofu becomes fluffy as the remaining heat in the pot keeps the soup warm and continues to cook the egg inside of the bowl. I’m hungry just thinking about it.
It’s decided: I will consider this part of my essential winter diet from now on. Whenever I start to feel homesick, I know I can visit Dae Jang Geum for some kimchi.
Dae Jang Geum Korean Restaurant Thurs., and Fri., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.,-Wed., 11 a.m.- 9:30 p.m. Sat., Noon-10 p.m. 1017 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing.