Monday, February 1, 2010

Korean Food at Yee Ga

Chinese food and Japanese food were already checked off my list, so naturally Korean food would round out the Asian cuisine experience. I did not have the slightest clue of where any Korean restaurants were located, so luckily I had a guide and friend to get me in the loop.
If you are looking for a Korean restaurant, you can find a lot of mom and pop type restaurants in the Aurora area, just look for the Korean lettering above the door. Like me you may not be able to translate or have any idea of the name of the restaurant you are in, but having a taste of what’s cooking is a worthwhile experience. And the prices are great, for a table full of food it was right around 30 dollars. We ate at Yee Ga. So simple for such complex lettering :)
Korean food mostly consists of rice, vegetables, meats and tofu. An authentic Korean meal is served with many side dishes, or banchan. We also can’t forget the Kimichi, spicy radish and cabbage that is used to stimulate the appetite. But with all the side dishes that were laid on the table, I sure did not need any stimulation.
There are many spices incorporated into the cooking, like sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger and red Chile paste. The spices and heat on some of the side dishes were turned on high, so I kept my barley tea in my eye sight at all times.
At this restaurant it could not be more from the stovetop to the table, as the stove was on the table. We cooked marinated BBQ beef ribs, and the spicy marinated BBQ pork right there. After, it was time to start sampling. (Well lets be honest, I had already been eating the cabbage, radish and carrots).
Side dishes change on a daily basis so it’s always a surprise what will be laid out on your table. Ours included spicy picked radish, carrots and cabbage, bean sprouts, cold seaweed and fish cakes.
I followed the leader and found it was best to take a lettuce wrap, add a spoonful or two of rice and a sampling of one of the side dishes, some ribs or pork, then wrap the lettuce, eat and enjoy. The best part about this was I didn’t have to tango with the chopsticks.
And we can’t forget the tofu soup we had, and for the sake of being as authentic as the meal, it was called Sundubu Jjigae. Please do not ask me for the pronunciation! This soup, besides having a kick, includes tofu, vegetables, mushrooms, onion and scallions.
There are also Korean desserts, like rice cakes, but after a meal like that I think that would be for another day, and an excuse to come back for some more excellent fare. Yee Ha for Yee Ga!!

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