The sudden arrival of moisture and cold humid air has overcast a relaxing weekend, and intervened my planned date with the ingredients for macaron making....my interrupted mind began to ache for the comforting aroma that drifts from a steaming pot of Sundubu Jjigae, the very one I had a few days ago at this NYC restaurant that I would always return for this specialty dish....Kunjip Restaurant in Korea Way.
It almost create the same sensation as another famed Chinese dish, "the" fried Rice with cured fish and chicken; the scent of the Sundubu Jjigae from Kunjip is impossible to resist, even before you have a moment to lay your eyes upon the succulent looking cast iron pot, filled with porcelain white tofu immersed within the sea with an orange red glow that reminds you of the setting sun.
For those who have not had the pleasure to take a sip, Sundubu Jjigae is a hot and spicy jjigae (Korean stew) made with uncurdled dubu (tofu), seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, onion, green onion, and gochujang or gochu garu (chili powder) in Korean cuisine. A raw egg is put in the jjigae while it is still boiling, creating the effect of an egg drop soup, an essential component to complete this bowl of heaven. This dish is eaten with a bowl of cooked white rice and several banchan (side dishes).
Why am I so obsessed with Kunjip's? With the very limited versions I have tasted, as I have yet to pay my visit to Korea, Kunjip's broth brings forth the near perfect harmony of all sensory taste to accentuate the delicate flavour and texture of fresh tofu. More importantly, it is the "Umami" of the sea that captures my taste buds with every spoonful. Please do share your thoughts and your favourite place for this mesmerising dish!
I have yet to find the definition to describe the sensory taste "Umami" outside of the Chinese language....it is something I am currently exploring, but hope to write about it soon!