New Korean Dishes Planned For Area Restaurants
Korean food may be a common sight in the city nowadays but there are some less well known dishes that may surprise and tickle your taste buds. NY1's Michelle Park filed the following report.
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It used to be a little-known ethnic food but now, from barbecue to kimchi to tofu, Korean food has now become a force to be reckoned with in the New York City food scene.
Korean seaweed, known as Gim, comes in a number of variations but is usually dried, roasted and salted. Its culinary possibilities go far beyond wrapping around rice.
"You will start to see it come into second or third-generation Korean Americans use it halfway, mix it in with their cole slaw, mix it in with their kebabs," said Phillip Crispo, an assistant professor with the Culinary Institute of America.
Students at the Culinary Institute of America learn about the Gim, which diners may soon be seeing more often.
"I love how versatile it is," said Stephan DeSouza, a student at the Culinary Institute of America. "You can use it for anything and how both health-wise and flavor-wise it can be used in such a variety of stuff. I'd be very excited to learn more about what we can use it for, what kind of dishes we can use it for."
Some Korean cultural associations are hoping to introduce other types of Korean cuisine to American diners, including Korean Buddhist Temple cuisine.
"In terms of Korean history, the temple is so important to explain Korean culture to foreign people," said Woo Sung Lee, the director of Korean Cultural Services of New York.
"We collect all eating materials from the mountain slope," said Pop Chin, a Korean Buddhist monk. "We cook it. We don't take just food, we take the minimum amount of food."
The vegetarian, portion-controlled monk food seems the epitome of healthiness.
But on the other end of the spectrum, others are trying to introduce Korean alcohol to the U.S., hoping to convince restaurant-goers that the spirits, too, have a health advantage.
"We're really glad and very excited to introduce our alcohol to everyone, which tastes amazing," says J.Y. Park, the owner of Kristalbelli Resturant. "But at the same time, it's very healthy."
Korean spirits span the gamut from variations on rice-based alcohol, including makgeolli, which is made of wheat and rice, giving it a milky, off-white color. There are also wines made from fruits other than grapes, including one made of wild raspberries from Korean mountains.
Whether seaweed, temple food or liquor, this once-obsolete ethnic food has added some new kids on the block to keep New York's Korean food scene sizzling.