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Try this dish! At Bon Chon - Allston

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Bon Chon draws raves for its addictive, spice-coated fried chicken. (Mr. Swank is a particular fan of their luncheon special, which comes with a side of fries and radish.)
But I recently recovered from a chilly bad day at Bon Chon with a very surprising dish: Tteokbokki.
Please, do yourself a favor. Next time you have a bad day, hotfoot it to Allston and order a big ole bowl of this stuff.
I saw diners at a neighboring table gobbling the stuff, and I stopped to ask them what it was. Mouths full, they told me it was a must-try. And they weren't wrong!
It's a cauldron of traditional crimson Korean spicy sauce, studded with turgid stir-fried rice cake and topped with a swirl of melted cheese and soft onion. Blink twice and you could almost mistake it for gnocchi in marinara. Ladle up the sauce with a spoon; it's that good -- a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and incredibly rich.
Apparently many people ask for it topped with seafood, but I think that seafood would detract from the deliciousness of the rice and the depth of the sauce.
I had leftovers for two days. Order this soul-warming dish!

(On another note, I also tried the much-ballyhooed octopus dumplings. Found them oversauced and leaden -- way too heavy for an appetizer.)

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  1. Buk Kyung II makes a fine version of this Korean staple as well: you can order it at just about any Korean restaurant, but I don't think I've gotten it at any of the several other Korean places in the immediate neighborhood.

    1. Sounds like Tteokbokki could be the next poutine!

      1. Swank, I sure hope you write for a living, because I just love your posts.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bear

          Aw! Thank you, Bear. Yes, I do. :-)

        2. Heard they no longer serve alcohol. True?

          1 Reply
          1. re: mojospapi

            It seems that they're in the process of getting their liquor license renewed, per the sign on their door.

          2. Get it at Color... with cheese

            4 Replies
            1. re: Luther

              Is the cheese topping common? I've never had it that way.

              1. re: gimlis1mum

                I think most places offer it with or without cheese.

                1. re: gimlis1mum

                  Never seen cheese offered in the Korean sit down dinner places I've been to, here or overseas.

                  1. re: gimlis1mum

                    Pretty common, yeah.

                2. Wait a minute . I can get BonChon chicken at lunch?!

                  1. hmmmmm, well, we tried this at buk kyung II today but it was too spicy for us. And pretty much just sauce, rice noodle 'barrels', some onion and carrot and mild 'where's the cheese?' cheese..

                    oh well, glad you liked the bon chon version.

                    I was happy with the Ganjajang though i wish it had more than just noodles, delicious roasted black soybean sauce, a mote of meat and tons of onions. (Why no zucchini or potato? probably just because.) Can anyone help me understand Korean food- it seems the chinese korean food is very lacking in green veggies; is Korean food that way too? Is Korea known for very rocky/poor farming soil? I mostly have seen what i would call "poor peoples' veggies": onions, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, daikon. But I know very little about Korean food (which is why i'm asking.)
                    Thx for any illumination here.