Soondae, Korean pork blood sausage, is a popular street food in North Korea that’s proliferated to the Republic of Korea. Inevitably, soondae made the leap to L.A., home to by far the largest Korean-American population in the U.S. I’ve had many versions over this rice sausage over the years, some loaded with herbs, others milder or richer. The soondae at Sinuiju Chapssal Soondae still managed to surprise me. This chain is named for a North Korean city, has 200 locations in Korea, and recently debuted in Koreatown’s 7-Vermont Plaza next to local legend Kobawoo House.
Squid Soondae ($15.99) features a blend of 23 ingredients, versus 21 in standard soondae, and a highly unusual casing: squid. Sinuiju Chapssal Soondae serves each order sausage sliced on a sizzling platter with onions, which sweeten as they cook. On the side, expect dishes of standard banchan and a bowl of milky beef soup called sul lung tang.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.