Soondae! Soondae! Soondae! No, it isn’t just a reference to the monster truck rally commercials of my youth. It’s also what was racing through my head at Yu Hyang, a Los Angeles restaurant owned by North Korean immigrants Charles Kim and Jung Hee Kim, which Victoria Kim wrote about for the LA Times. The restaurant specializes in pork blood sausage. During my recent meal with Beer Belly co-owner Jimmy Han, a blue basket full of steaming soondae links emerged from the kitchen as soon as I sat down. Given that indelible image, there was little doubt we’d place an order. We received three plump sausage links, stained dark with pork blood, fortified with rice and vegetables, sliced and stacked. Better yet, the platter came with firm slabs of pork liver, strips of belly, and tender slices of tongue. Yes, the liver and tongue meat appeared rather wan and grey, but the taste was restrained and satisfying, especially when dipped in salt or tiny, pungent fermented shrimp sauce.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.