An interior shot of Kim’s Convenience store in the show
Have you ever seen the show Kim’s Convenience on Netflix? It’s a fictional show about a Korean family in Toronto that runs a convenience store and the experience of being an immigrant family in a new country and culture that isn’t far removed from ours in the U.S. I’ve seen all of the episodes available now; the final season is out now. It’s generally a pretty wholesome comedy with adult themes peppered in now and then. I can relate to a lot of it as a Korean-American (I was born here, but most of the stuff applies to my life). And apparently it’s not without its controversies, either.
Buzzfeed has compiled a fun little roundup of all the Korean food featured in the show. There’s a few dishes I think that are worth mentioning since you don’t generally see much Korean food represented in TV shows that isn’t kimchi (which is also on the list).
One dish, galbi jjim, is a dish I ate occasionally growing up. It’s a braised short rib dish in a sweet soy-based broth. My mom’s version has potatoes and carrots. It’s comfort food at its best, though I am going to note it was a special occasion dish for us, mostly because short ribs are expensive as hell.
Then there’s gori gomtang, which is an oxtail stew that, like galbi jjim, simmers for hours. I’ve noticed oxtail isn’t a popular ingredient in American dishes; small pieces are generally a lot of cartilage and bone, but it’s super fun to eat, and also comforting. Its other main component is daikon radish, which practically melts when stewed, in a good way.
I also suggest you try bindae dduk, which I’ve noticed is a favorite for people who are unfamiliar with Korean food and are trying it for the first time. Bindae dduk is a mung bean pancake with various fillings like meat and kimchi. You can easily house a bunch of in one sitting. The mung bean gives the pancake an interesting texture you can’t get with a flour batter: it’s a little grainy but hearty, sort of like cornmeal. I see it now and then on restaurant menus, so it’s an accessible dish you can try too.
So if any of you are fans of the show, you can live vicariously through the food too. Practically all Korean food is comfort food, so you can’t really go wrong with anything from the Buzzfeed list. Go get some now.