I remember being at the supermarket one weekend in college and coming across a refrigerator with jars of kimchi in it. I thought the idea of fermented cabbage was gross.
I was a dope.
Kimchi is probably an acquired taste, but I liked it from the moment I tried it. It’s sour, spicy, and healthier than all hell. Seriously, look it up. Or, just click here to read about its health benefits.
As for the kimchi jjigae, the broth is (if I’m not mistaken) a kind of Korean fish broth made from kelp and anchovies. Kimchi is added along with some soft tofu. There were bits of pork in my bowl, too.
Woo Lae Oak is located in Tyson’s Corner, Va., off Route 7 and near the 123 intersection. It requires a U-turn to get there if you’re coming from the West, but at least it’s got a dedicated parking lot. I’ve been there twice now and have really enjoyed myself each time.
The convenience of Woo Lae Oak, other than its delicious food, is its location; you don’t have to go as far as Annandale, Va., for authentic Korean food. So, it’s worth checking out.
Before each meal, you’re served side dishes–banchan–to eat alongside your meal…one of which was kimchi, so I was just in heaven, okay?
There’s a photo.
Then, the main course, the kimchi jjigae. The cool thing about these kinds of soups is that they’re cooked in their serving bowls, so once they’re ready, the bowls are lifted off the stove and brought right to you. Needless to say, you won’t be gulping down the soup right away, but you WILL likely feel fuller after you finish (something something, the slower you eat, the fuller you feel).
It hit the spot.