Rolling out spice that’s so niceA La Carte
August 18, 2019
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
Tomorrow, Aug.19, is National Hot & Spicy Food Day. For those of us who love the sweet agony of a well-spiced meal, it’s a sacred holiday — and a perfect time for a visit to Seoul Jung.
With Master Chef Wookjin “James” Lee at the helm, this very special eatery, located on the second floor of the Waikiki Resort Hotel, is spotlighting a quartet of its most piquant dishes this week.
Chef invites you to try the Grilled Spicy Pork with Kimchi (Kimchi Jaeyuk Bokkum; $24 at dinner only), a traditional dish that features Seoul Jung’s fantastic house-made kimchi, as well as onion, green onion, gochujjang (hot pepper paste) and sesame oil.
“This dish will make you reach for your glass of water!” Lee promises. “It’s spicy, with a tantalizing sweetness.” Served on a sizzling platter, the pork is available as an entree or side dish — and at lunch, too, but without the kimchi.
The restaurant’s bestseller, Korean Style Braised Butterfish (Eundaegu Jjorim; $35, lunch; $37, dinner), starts with fresh butterfish braised with daikon, tofu, jalapenos and rice cakes in Korean citron and the chef’s secret sauce. It’s topped with sprouts and accompanied by rice and Seoul Jung’s wonderful banchan.
For something zesty and different, try the Spicy BBQ Chicken (Chuncheon Dak Galbi; $18, lunch; $24, dinner). “It’s our newest addition: chicken fermented in gochujjang with a salty marinade, broiled and served on a sizzling plate with onions, cabbage sweet potatoes, and bell peppers,” says Lee. The chicken’s heat is eased a bit by a topping of mozzarella and green onion.
“A bubbling soup similar to a witch’s’ cauldron,” is how the chef describes Soft Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae; $18, dinner only). The deep bowl of beef broth is stuffed with morsels of healthy protein — local tofu, egg, shrimp, calamari, clam, and mussels — and fiery with jalapenos and fermented red pepper. (It can also be served mild… if you must.)