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.

Korea House
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday
978 Trowbridge Road, East Lansing
(517) 332-0608, koreahouse.us.

What’s your favorite dish/drink?

Do you have a go-to dish or drink at your favorite local restaurant? We want to know about it. Email your favorite dish/drink and a short explanation about why you love it to food@lansingcitypulse.com, and it may be featured in a future issue. If possible, please send a photo along with your description — a nice smartphone photo is fine. Cheers!