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Miga - Korean on the Plateau

Has anyone else tried Miga on Rachel just east of St-Denis? I've tried it a couple of times since they opened and their menu has changed nearly each time. Now we have a few favourites on the menu, their porc pané (which I noticed a lot of Korean students ordering once when I went), the beef ribs and the miga tofu which is big hit with my four year old. Must be all the sweet peanut sauces. The little side salads of shredded cabbage with a peanut/sesame dressing are good too. Not expensive and it all feels very healthy.

There are some bibles near the front door and classical music and nothing terribly spicy. I suppose I am more used to Korean cuisine with fiery kimchi, fermented young tofu, spicy pork bone soup.

In any case, it's always great to find new Korean places in town and Asian food on the Plateau is also welcome. Thought I'd check to see if anyone else had any impressions.

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  1. I have not been to this place, but I am a bit confused by your report. Is this definitely Korean cuisine? I have never associated peanut sauces with Korean cuisine. It may be owned by Koreans (as evidenced by the bibles by the door, evangelical Christianity has a serious foothold in Korea), but so are many so-called Japanese sushi places. (I'd actually love to see a Korean "sushi" place open up, as I am fond of kimbab, but i don't know if that would fly - yet. Korean does appear to be "the next big thing".) Also, Koreans do love their spice, so I would expect something involving chiles on the menu. And if they don't serve some kind of kimchi, then it cannot be called pure Korean. I would guess this is an Asian restaurant that is trying to cater tastes to what might sell in the neighbourhood, rather than being a true Korean restaurant. Which is fine, especially if the food is good. I will try to check it out when I am in the neighbourhood.

    18 Replies
    1. re: moh

      It's supposed to be Korean. It was reviewed a few weeks ago in the Mirror. Unfortunately the author seems to be a bit clueless about Korean cuisine.

      http://www.montrealmirror.com/2007/11...

      1. re: SnackHappy

        The far-from-clueless Karpati gave it a more insightful writeup in Hour a few weeks ago. www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iIDArticle...

        1. re: carswell

          Thanks for those two reviews, they were illuminating. I would agree with the comment that there is a Japanese influence here, as well as a Thai influence if they are using a peanut sauce. Yes the base is Korean, and there are plenty of Korean sounding dishes, but again, I would say the restaurant is trying to broaden their appeal by incorporating non-Korean elements such as peanut sauce and tempura. I don't have a problem with this, it gives those people who are not comfortable with Korean something to eat. Smart from a business point of view, as long as the food is good.

          1. re: moh

            That's what I was wondering about .. is there a regional cuisine in Korea that is very mild and includes tempura etc.or are they just adding Japanese items? At first they had sushi as well but that is gone from the menu now. Perhaps my original idea of Korean cuisine as spicy is limited, the way we wouldn't expect Szechuan food to represent China. When I asked one of the waiters if they had anything like pork bone soup he was bewildered, didn't know what that, was but that could be language issue. They did have a nice pamphlet on Korean food near our table, should go back and look more closely at it.

            1. re: Plateaumaman

              There are definitely many milder Korean dishes, and many Koreans who don't go crazy about really spicy food. My mother is Korean, but does not like her kimchi very spicy, and so tones it down when she makes it. That being said, she still carries those small bottles of tabasco in her purse in case we are stuck eating non-Korean! But there are many non-spicy Korean dishes, for there should always be balance in a cuisine. However, if you tried to serve a Korean banquet without something involving chiles, look out!

              Different regions in Korea do have their specialties. For example, the area around Pyong Yang (in North Korea) is known for their Neng Myun (cold noodles in soup). I learnt this from my mother, whose family is originally from this area. We had a chance to go on a limited tour in North Korea, where we had a chance to try Pyong Yang style neng myun, don't know how close it was to the original, but it was good. My mother often makes comments like "mrs. so-and so makes good <blank> because she is from <blank> province", so i am certain that there are regional specialties. Still, Kimchi is prevalent throughout the region, and there are many dishes that have become prevalent as well.

              As for what is Japanese or Korean or Chinese, there is a certain blurring of margins. Korea's history is one of constant "interaction" (ie. conquest) with China and Japan. There is a very strong Chinese influence on our entire culture, and it is likely that way back when, we all came from Chinese origins. As for Japanese influences, well, the Koreans like to think that the Japanese stole all their ideas from the Koreans, but then put a Japanese twist on them. So Sushi rolls came from Kimbab, not the other way around. So is a dish originally Korean, Chinese or Japanese? Hard to say. There are dishes that I used to believe were originally Korean, but discovered that they were Korean versions of Chinese dishes. For example, Ja jang myun is a noodle dish covered with a black bean sauce. The sauce is definitely Chinese in origin, but Koreans have doctored it and made it their own. You can't get ja jang myun in a Chinese restaurant, at least not the way I expect to get it. There are also Korean pre-packaged noodle packets to make ja jang myun at home (kind of like ramen noodle packages). I never see these packages or anything similar in chinese grocery stores, so I believe that Chinese do not eat ja jang myun in the same form that Koreans eat the stuff. The same situation exists for a dish called tang se yuk, which is battered beef deep fried and served in a sweet and sour sauce. Definite Chinese base, but you never get tang se yuk as I know it in a chinese restaurant. This is a dish that has been remade for the Korean palate. So back to sushi rolls. I don't know if this is originally Korean, but even if it was, you have to say that the Japanese have put their special (and tasty) stamp on it.

              Cuisines are often in flux, and what we think are classics may in fact be relatively recent additions to the genre. My family immigrated to North America in the 1960's, and on our last trip to Korea, they were suprised by how much the language, culture and even the food has changed since they left Korea. So when I argue that Miga doesn't sound typically Korean, I guess I shouldn't be so adamant. But peanut sauces are definitely a recent addition to the cuisine, and it would be hard to argue that dishes containing peanuts originated in Korea. It is possible that peanuts are part of the new-style Korean cuisine, but I would argue that this is fusion cuisine.

              BTW, the pork neck bone soup is known as kam ja tang in Korean, which actually translates as potato soup (kam ja = potato), you can try to ask for that. (pronounced kahm jah tahng, all the a sounds are soft)

              1. re: moh

                Interesting mini-dissertation, moh. Thanks for it and for the recco of Maison Bulgogi, which I visited twice last weekend and will be returning to again.

                1. re: moh

                  That's very helpful! My father is from Indonesia and the same kind of crossovers occur. I cooked an Indonesian meal the other day and looked at it and realized that I had made three Chinese dishes .. but in Indonesian style, and perhaps more accurately in Dutch-Indonesian style i.e butter instead of oil in some places. In Bali these days a lot of the food has a strong Japanese influence too, especially in presentation, as these are the main tourists.

                  The sauce on the Miga tofu dish is reminiscent of peanut butter dumplings (which I've never encountered anywhere but Montreal). Perhaps they are adapting to local tastes somewhat. Then again, maybe it isn't a peanut sauce ... we'll go ask them! Important to know for some of our peanut allergic little friends anyway.

                  1. re: Plateaumaman

                    Ok! Finally made it to Miga, and I loved it! Thanks Plateaumaman for the original post! Great rec. And my visit cleared up a few points.

                    1. You are correct, there are no peanut sauces. The slight nutty flavour is due to sesame oil (part of the typical Korean flavour palate, which includes sesame seed, sesame oil, soya sauce, pepper, vinegar, garlic and chiles). I confirmed this with the proprietor. The sauce on the Miga tofu is based on Kochujang, the red chile paste that one sees on top of bibimbap (the korean rice dish with meat and vegetables). Now here is the interesting thing. In traditional Korean cuisine, they would put pure kochujang on top of the tofu. Very spicy and in your face. What this sauce does is it keeps the subtle flavour of kochujang, but presents it in a way that is more accessible to non-Koreans. This sauce is like a vinaigrette made with kochujang, and it is lighter and subtler than kochujang itself. I believe this is representative of a newer style of Korean cuisine. As my non-Korean partner pointed out, there have been Americans in Korea since the Korean War. And the number of North american business travellers has increased exponentially in the last few decades. Cuisines change with time. It makes sense to temper the cuisine to cater to non-Korean tastes, and it is also fashionable with younger generations of Koreans, who are more exposed to North American foods. So the salad/cole slaw with the mayonnaise based sauce is a familiar side dish to North Americans, but still retains a Korean flavour profile. And the viande pane (fried pork cutlet with brown sauce which I suspect also has ketchup in it) would also appeal to Koreans and non-Koreans alike. None of these sauces have peanut. I loved the Miga tofu very much.

                    2. I agree with Karpati's comment that this is home style food, not grand banquet food. Very well prepared and well seasoned, but simple, Korean comfort food. I was very happily surprised at how much I enjoyed the Riz avec viande, which was bulgogi stirfried with cabbage, carrots, onions. Very simple, very tasty.

                    3. I was initially confused by some of the names of dishes. For example, the Miga pot is listed as having either tofu or kimchi. Upon further questioning, I was told that the tofu soup is Soon dubu ( a typical Korean tofu stew/soup). The kimchi option is kimchi jigae. Both of these are typical Korean soups, but the name "Miga pot" threw me off. Doenjang jigae was unequivocal, a typical Korean dish. I'm afraid there is no pork bone soup though. I did not get a chance to try these soups this time.

                    Our party of three also tried the fried mandoo (eggrolls). Very good, but they were better boiled in the Ramyon soup my friend ordered. The Ramyon soup was tasty, although I wondered if the soup was a doctored up version of the dry packaged soups you can buy in the grocery store. Well, even if this is true, the soup was still good. I loved the viande pane and the Miga tofu and my beef stirfry. The jabchebab was different than my version, but enjoyable.

                    So yes, this is a welcome addition to the Plateau, it is Korean, and it is good. I'll definitely return, although I'll still continue to go to Maison Bulgogi as well. I still think of tempura as a Japanese thing, but for the most part, I'll retract my previous statements about fusion, and say Yes! Another good Korean restaurant! Things are looking up for Asian food in Montreal! Thanks again for the original post, it's a keeper.

                    1. re: moh

                      Great, I'm so glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for placing the food in a knowledgeable context!

                      The other day when I took my kids to eat the deep fried pork with the little cabbage salad, I whispered to my husband that it was technically similar to the children's menu at St-Hubert (croquettes, sauce, coleslaw) but so much healthier and more delicious! They eat it with even more gusto. And I'm happy to know there is no peanut as I wanted to suggest the food to some friends who have to be careful about allergies.

                      When I asked for a description of the Miga pot the young guy working there that day said "Miga is the name of the restaurant", not very helpful! So I'm glad you were able to clarify that. I'll definitely check out the tofu soup.

                      1. re: moh

                        well, we stopped in here this afternoon and... meh. Granted, it was 4:30pm on a sunny saturday afternoon so perhaps not the best time...

                        We ordered the mandoo (these are dumplings, not "eggrolls", moh. Like japanese "gyoza" and the "raviochine" (god what a dumb name) you find in the freezers at every asian grocery store. I would not be surprised if these came out of that same freezer...
                        We also ordered the Ramyon (ramen) and just as moh said, we immediately looked at each other and knew we were thinking the same thing: "instant noodle pack?! Whaa?!"

                        Was really surprised to find everyone here so enthusiastic. We were pretty disappointed. :(

                        1. re: bopuc

                          To clarify "eggrolls". You are correct, they are more like gyoza. I am using the term eggrolls incorrectly because my mother makes fried mandoo, and translates them as "Korean eggrolls". So my bad, but there is a reason for it.

                          Miga is what it is, a homestyle resto that serves Korean-based cuisine. It isn't the be all and end all of Korean restaurants but I like their food, it is homey and tasty and not crazy expensive. Good neighbourhood joint. It is not a must visit, but it is one of those places you like having in the neighbourhood. You may very well find their other items to be similarly lacklustre, but I would comment that I wouldn't base your opinion on the items you tried, which I think are not their strengths. I like their bento box style options, they make a very satisfying lunch. And I find the Miga tofu to be original and tasty.

                          1. re: bopuc

                            It is hard (almost impossible) to find Ramen that is NOT from instant package at Korean restaurants even in Korea. Ramen culture in Korea is originated and developed from the cheap instant ramen you find at supermarkets, and the restaurants just add some stuff and spices to variate the taste (thus usually cheap). Although there are some restaurants in Korea that serve Ramen that is not instant, it is a fairly recent trend. They tend to be Ramen-only places inspired by Japanese Ramen restaurants, and their Ramen taste like Japanese Ramen.

                            As Korean living in Montreal, I find not all but many Montreal Korean restaurants rather disappointing in terms of service and food quality. But they are getting better, and it is good to see a Korean restaurant in Plateau.

                            1. re: photomontage

                              Photomontage, it is looking more and more hopeful. I am hoping to be able to find really great kimchi soon, I feel this is just around the corner. I have been embarking on attempts to make it myself, but it is hard to get it just right...

                          2. re: moh

                            Moh -
                            I haven't been to Miga yet, so don't know what their tofu dish looks like. But I've never heard of tofu dish with pure Kochujang on top of tofu in traditional Korean cuisine, and I am Korean grew up in Korea. Maybe you are confused with some other hot sauce??
                            People cook the way they like with creativity, and you could panfry tofu with sweetened kochujang sauce. So, I won't say tofu with pure kochujang on top is not Korean. But at home and most Korean restaurants, dressing made of soysauce, green onion, sesame oil, garlic and powdered chilli, is served with tofu.

                            1. re: photomontage

                              Photomontage, I have commented extensively on the Miga sauce in my post of Nov. 21, 2007, just a few posts above this one. The sauce is not pure kochuchang, it is kochuchang based. They have used the kochuchang as an ingredient in the sauce, just like you might use Dijon mustard in a vinaigrette. It is an interesting sauce.

                              I'd be interested on your take on this! I don't know when you moved to Canada, or how often you go back to Korea. My Korean experience is based on the immigrant experience, and I find that one's take on "Koreanness" is based on when that group of immigrants originally left Korea. They tend to create a time capsule of Korean culture from that time.

                              Miga's cuisine is not "traditional Korean cuisine" in that the dishes can stray from the original versions of the dish. There is a Japanese influence that can be detected in some of the offerings. And the coleslaw is definitely Western. But the base of the dishes is Korean, and there is something about the dishes that remind me of food that a Korean mom might make at home (And in this case I am referring to a North American Korean immigrant mom, someone who has lived here for many years and been somewhat influenced by North American culture). I find it an interesting experience, but I wouldn't like it if I didn't think it was tasty too.

                              The Miga Tofu is an unabashed attempt to make a popular dish that will sell. They take little cubes of tofu, batter it with panko, deep fry the cubes, and cover them with the kochuchang based sauce. It is definitely not traditional Korean! But it is very yummy.

                        2. re: moh

                          What a good read...thanks!
                          Had kam ja tang tonight at Hwang in NDG, and it was out of this world. Absolutely amazing.

                          1. re: bomobob

                            Hwang KUM on sherbrooke or chez Hwang on upper lachine road?

              2. Hi. this is restaurant miga.
                First of all, I thank every one here showing interests in our restaurant.
                We make both Korean traditional and fusion cuisines. Our dishes are popular in Korea. We have focused on making food for taste of non-Koreans.

                I was surprised that many people in Canadians are suffering with lots of food allergies, and I noticed the peanut allergy is the most famous allergy many people have. So, we do not use peanuts in any dishes.

                I’m happy to see people eating and satisfying our food. I hope that we can be connected as part of global community by sharing food.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Kyung Hee

                  With all due respect, I think you'll find many people around here probably wish you wouldn't "focus on making food for taste of non-Koreans."

                  It would probably surprise particularly Asian restaurant owners that times have changed, and people travel, and those same people really do want to "real" stuff. Back in the days before people were travelling so much, the whole concept of North American Asian food was the norm, but that's simply not the case anymore.
                  Search this board and you'll find many people lamenting the fact that they can't find Asian food that tastes like it does in Asia.

                  We don't want food for non-Koreans. We want what Koreans eat.
                  And if you cook it that way at your restaurant, you will have more business than you could ever imagine.

                  1. re: bomobob

                    I 100% agree with you. I don't need to say anything more.

                    1. re: bomobob

                      I agree with you as well bomobob. I've had some Korean food that wasn't Korean food. I often wonder when I eat "ethnic" foods like Chinese or Indian how authentic the dish is and how much of the dish as been "westernized".

                      When I used to live in the States, there was only one restaurant that I actually argued with the "chef" because the dish wasn't anything close to Korean and just a disgrace to food in general. I was appalled that someone Korean was passing off a dish as "an authentic Korean dish" when it wasn't even close.

                      In my experience I've found that Korean food like anything else is based on personal experience and/or preference. As moh was saying earlier it depends on which region of Korea that you came from.

                      I've heard that if you are from North Korea the food is less adulterated. It's cleaner and simpler.

                      If you are from the northern part of South Korea (Seoul area) the dishes tend to be sweeter. If you are from the southern part of South Korea (Busan area) the dishes tend to be spicier.

                      I was raised on southern South Korean cuisine and the few Korean restaurants I've tried here in Montreal, I would say has a strong northern South Korean influence. I find the dishes to be leaning on the sweet side and I have not had a bulgogi dish that I've liked. Most of the time they are way too sweet.

                      To my surprise there was only one time that I've had kimchi jigae (kimchi soup/stew) that was just like my mothers. It was at Korea House on Queen Mary. However, it was only once. I went back and it wasn't the same. The kimchi jigae at Manna on Bishop is the most consistent and acceptable but forget Maison Bulgogi. It was the worst kimchi jigae I've ever had it was watered down and lacking in any kind of flavor. They should call their kimchi jigae essence of kimchi soup instead. However, all the other dishes at Maison Bulgogi have been the best I've tried so far.

                      As for the sesame oil in MOST Asian dishes is one of my pet peeves, I usually find the hand a little heavy in the use of this oil. It coats my tongue and is often overpowering in whatever dish I'm eating. I like sesame oil but, in correct proportions.

                      BTW, the best Korean restaurant I've ever been to was a place in Queens, NYC. I forget the name but, it was on Broadway over 10 years ago!

                      1. re: bomobob

                        Bomobob, I don't disagree with what you are posting, but I would make the following point.

                        Good food is good food. If it is well prepared, then it is worth searching out and eating. I understand your quest for authentic cuisine, and I applaud and support it. However, I also feel that the food at Miga is worth eating because it is tasty. It is true that it may not be representative of "true Korean cuisine", whatever that may be given the differences in regional cuisines. But it tastes good, and the prices are very reasonable, and it would be a shame to punish an establishment just because we are upset that they are not protecting their cultural heritage. They are a restaurant, not a museum. Taste the food, and try to judge it for its inherent quality.

                        I would also mention that if we all insisted on authentic cuisine all the time, we would still be eating raw strips of meat and seeds like they did before there was fire. Food is everchanging. I don't know what the original cuisine was, but thank goodness things have evolved! Look at the cuisines of New Orleans, the Caribbeans, Singapore/Indonesia/Thailand, etc. A lot of these wonderful cuisines are a result of a melting pot of different influences (Asian, French, Spanish, etc.etc.). They have become unique cuisines of their own, but they started as fusion. I find it fascinating to eat food and try to pick out the various influences. That is why it is fun to eat Chinese in many different countries, and see how it changes from country to country. (There is a really great essay by Calvin Trillin on Chinese food, as well as a documentary on the diaspora of Chinese food. If anyone knows anything about where to see it, I would love to see that documentary) Variety is what I crave, and I've been on enough trips where we ate a single cuisine for extended periods of time to know how lucky we are to live in a place where we can eat food from a different part of the world on any day of the week. So I am more forgiving of places that don't completely tow the party line.

                        We are entering a new era in Montreal Korean restaurants. Korean has finally become more mainstream, although there is still a ways to go. We have more choice than ever. If a good mainstream restaurant can introduce the cuisine to more Quebecers, more power to them, and to us. The more demand there is, the more likely that quality restaurants will open up and succeed. And there will be more restarants catering to various niche markets, of which the desire for utmost in authenticity is one. Then we all win.

                        1. re: moh

                          Well said moh, I didn't think about it those terms. You make an excellent point about food that is always everchanging and good food is good food.

                          I just wish someone could open a restaurant where the cooking is just like my moms! LOL....:)

                          1. re: calla0413

                            Oh yeah, I hear you on that one! I occasionally suggest my mother should start a restaurant. But that wouldn't help me here, as she is in Winnipeg.

                            Anyhow, we have to consider ourselves lucky that our mothers are good cooks! Didn't you always feel a little sorry for the kids whose mothers couldn't cook???

                              1. re: moh

                                Hehehehe...

                                When I was still living at home, my friends would love to get invited to dinner. Ocassionally, when I am visiting my mom, I will invite my friends over for dinner and they never turn down an invitation.

                                It's so funny to me that at 30-something I'm still asking my mom if I can invite my friends over for dinner and at 30-40-somethings they all want to come!

                                :)

                      2. Me and my husband love Miga. The food is yummy and the owners and employees are exceptionally kind and welcoming. I would recommend this restaurant for an informal meal. It is reasonably priced and I like that they have pictures of the food, since I don't know much about Korean food.

                        1. Miga has expanded their menu a bit! there are more offerings, and they are also BYOB (apparently they have been for 6 months, but I only realized it when I saw a customer come back from a depanneur run with a bottle of wine.... Guess I am too stoopid to read the big sign on the window!)

                          We tried the Ssam bap, $35 for 2 people. Very satisfying. We started with a savoury pancake with dipping sauce, then got lettuce leaves, bulgogi, rice, den jang paste, kimchi, various side dishes and jigae (Korean miso soup with tofu and some seafood, mostly squid). You wrap the rice, den jang and bulgogi in the lettuce leaf and stuff it in your mouth, and hope you can chew! It is a nice way to eat bulgogi. It was a tonne of food, but we managed to polish it off.

                          I still really like this place. It is nice to have some Korean in the Plateau. Very homey, very tasty.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: moh

                            We went to Miga last week and thought the food was great! Definitely not the high-end Kalbi joints you find in LA (where the pretty waitresses cook your meat) but a homey, relaxed kind of atmosphere where you can enjoy the food.

                            We're recent transplantees from Orange County, CA so we've had our share of good Korean and we'll definitely add Miga to our repertoire. Not as pricey as Maison Bulgogi either (though I have to admit the kimchee was delish at MB)

                            Sadly, we haven't been able to find many authentic Japanese choices in Plateau though...guess we'll give Ramen-ya a shot and try to keep an open mind about the Tonkatsu(?) ramen!

                            1. re: nwada

                              Nwada, love your comment about the pretty waitresses in LA Korean Kalbi joints! Yes, I like the homey relaxed atmosphere at Miga very much.

                              Re: Maison Bulgogi being pricey, I think it depends on how you approach the menu. I also tend to spend more at MB than at Miga, because, I order a variety of dishes, and probably more food than we need. But if you go to MB and order a soup, or a single main dish, you get a lot of food, and the prices are comparable to Miga. Or, if you go as a large group and eat family style, the prices are very reasonable at MB. A lot of the dishes at MB are meant to be shared family style, whereas the dishes at Miga tend to be meals meant for a single person, and I think this may explain the differences you see in pricing. I guess I don't see MB as being a more pricey joint, just a differently priced joint....

                              1. re: moh

                                Ohhh...now that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation moh! Since we're both terribly addicted to Kalbi, it's always the first thing we order - hence the sticker shock at MB. But you're right, the standard menu items like jap chae, dol sot bi bim bap, etc are fairly comparable. And the banchan is included (yea) at MB!

                                BTW I'm craving yuk hwe (with all the trimmings; pear, pine nuts, mmm). Where would you suggest in MTL? And do you have a favorite place to pick up kim chee? My best friend is first generation Korean American and her mom makes the best...but sadly I don't think she can send me care packages from NY without the Canadian Post Office confiscating it as a bio-weapon!

                                1. re: nwada

                                  Oh dear, I get my yuk hwe in Toronto - I am assuming you mean the spicy beef soup? Or are you referring to something else?

                                  As for kimchi, I have often bemoaned the fact that it is hard to find really good kimchi on sale here. I usually get my kimchi from Epicerie Coreene et Japonais on Sherbrooke, you do have to let it ferment outside the fridge for a few days as they sell it a little underripe. It is ok kimchi. But I have started trying to make my own based on my mum's recipes, as I also feel my mum's kimchi is the best!

                                  1. re: moh

                                    Hmm, that sounds like yuk hwe jang (sp?) but the yuk hwe I'm on a mission for is a beef tartare dish. I'm sure some people will cringe at the thought but it's incredibly good when done correctly.

                                    Oh oh oh can I bribe you for some homemade kimchee? Perhaps some smuggled tonkotsu ramen would entice you? My parents (well dad really) makes an awesome Japanese pickled napa cabbage but I've never tried my hand at it. I think it's too late for me to start since he's got decades of experience to get to this point. Good idea on the fermenting a store bought version - they just seem to lack the "tang" that I crave. Kind of like aging poi back home (I grew up in Hawaii).

                                    BTW as a Montreal newbie I keep seeing your posts/replies. I must admit, you've got tastes that mirror mine (pho, hot chocolate, etc)! I would love to pick your brain sometime. Though it could be dangerous since talking about food usually makes me crave whatever dish is in discussion...

                                    1. re: nwada

                                      Darn, my Korean sucks... yes you are right I was referring to yuk hwe jang the spicy beef soup. I have not seen yuk hwe offered in the restos here, but perhaps others have seen it and can add their two cents. My mother has an aversion to raw food, and so I have never been exposed to real yuk hwe.

                                      Re: kimchi, I am almost out of the current batch. But you should definitely try your hand at pickled products - it is never too late to start. I am a perfect example of that!

                                      Re: picking brain, you can email me.

                                      1. re: moh

                                        Hey no worries, I know my parents pretend they don't hear my constant verbal faux pas! Kinda funny/sad that I am the most fluent in food items though...be it French, Japanese, Persian, or any other language.

                                        Oh wow, I'll definitely keep an eye out for places w/ yuk hwe. I know in DC & LA they have the Woo Lae Oak (upscale, pretty waitresses joints) but maybe it isn't too popular here?

                                        Hmm, maybe I will give homemade kimchee a shot...then again my microbiology background is shuddering at the thought of what concoction (of living organisms) I will create. Maybe I should just beg MB for an extra portion when I go there...

                                        Do you have a recipe for oi kim chee (the cucumber is a favorite)? I saw the post on kim chee martinis and I have to admit, it's a bit intriguing (like a dirty martini).