Wandering Wednesday: Fiery Soft Tofu from Jong Ka Jib
It’s Wednesday, and I am checking out another spot a little more North and East than where I usually dine. Today, its soft tofu for lunch.
Jong Ka Jib is apparently THE place to get hot, bubbly, spicy Korean style soft tofu called soon du boo. I will admit that generally, I prefer my tofu like I prefer my butts- firm. Could I be swayed otherwise?
Some of the banchan put down on our table included classic kimchee, spicy cucumbers, and seaweed salad. I was sad that our mini plates were never refilled. If anyone knows of a place that is more attentive with replenishing the pre meal spicy snacks, please share in the comments.
The menu is brief; mostly varieties of soft tofu and Korean grill things. The soft tofus cost $9 no matter which you get. They come out in mini cauldron’s, fit for a baby witch. Come to think of it, the contents look like something a baby witch would concoct anyway.
An addition black vessel is used for each person’s serving of rice. The more you wait, the crispier the rice gets along the bottom.
My mixed up bowl of rice soaked with mushroom soonduboo looked intimidatingly spicy. And since we asked for it that way, we were not let down. But Jong Ka seemed to be willing to accommodate different spice levels, if you want it toned down. But generally, if it is a spice craving you are looking to satiate, then Jong Ka is where you want to be. It is my understanding that soonduboo is all about a spicy + texture experience. However, if you are like me, and think that a meal should be more about layers of flavor rather than spice and texture, maybe the trip isn’t worth it.
Photo above and below courtesy of my meal companion, Philadining, since I wasn’t fast enough with my camera
Leave it to me to prefer the fried thing. The giant Korean pancake ($10) comes stuffed with little perfect pieces of squid.
And speaking of squid, Jong Ka knows a thing or two about it. If you afford to splurge a few extra dollars or decide to split it, the charred grilled squid, served whole with scissors to cut into whatever shape you choose, was the best thing I eat here.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- I am looking for authentic spicy Korean food
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I need more than just spice and texture
Jong Ka Jib, 6600 N. Fifth St, 215-924-0100