Posted in Restaurant Hopping, The Flavors of Asia

In Which Lunch was a Korean One-pot Wonder…

Hello, hotpot!
Hello, hotpot!

Long-time readers of this blog know that bulgogi is one of my family’s favorite dishes – and it did get to the point that I ended up learning how to make it from scratch as opposed to ordering out or preparing what passes for instant bulgogi in the frozen deli section of the local supermarket.  (I swear: all the chopping, mincing, pureeing, and marinating makes the end result totally worth it.)

Sometimes, though, it’s pretty hard to scare up the energy to do all the work that comes with prepping a bulgogi meal.  Thank goodness for Korean restaurants like Kaya and Bulgogi Brothers; at least I know where to fly whenever a craving hits!  Kaya, in particular, has added a new bulgogi variant to its menu – one that pretty much pulls out all the stops and is perfect for feeding a hungry family: bulgogi jungol.

Jungol (joon-gol) is, essentially, the Korean term for a one-dish meal, somewhere along the lines of a hotpot.  It’s a close enough approximation of a familiar Japanese dish: sukiyaki.  Marinated beef, fresh vegetables, and mung bean vermicelli (sotanghon) are cooked on a hotplate at the table, basically stir-fried with some soy-and-sweet-rice-wine broth to moisten things up.

Kaya’s spin on bulgogi jungol features a mix of thinly-sliced prime beef, vermicelli, enoki and shiitake mushrooms, leeks, sweet white onions, and bok choy.  The resulting dish is good and hearty, slightly sweet with a deeply umami character with regard to the flavors.  It is the perfect thing to eat on a cold, rainy afternoon with one’s family.


Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

2 thoughts on “In Which Lunch was a Korean One-pot Wonder…

    1. Hi, Lorraine. Yes, the meat, veg, and noodles are all placed at the top dome of the cooker while the soup fills up the groove on the lower slope. It all gets mixed up when the server tosses everything together.

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