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Oct 8, 2013 11:18 AM

Healthier Korean restaurants (no MSG, easy on the salt)?

I love Korean food, but I find that most restaurants are heavy-handed on the salt and/or MSG.

Can anyone recommend Korean restaurants that are on the lighter, healthier side? (I'm in the downtown area.)

P.S. LOVE Korean stews and soups. I also love the veggies, but I'm NOT a vegetarian... so I welcome seafood and meat.

Thanks, Chowhounders!

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  1. I don't know about MSG but it's hard to imagine a korean food without a lot of salt.

    1. On a somewhat related note, has anyone tried Dave's Gourmet Korean food, usually found @ farmer's markets?

      1. Soban. They ferment their own soy sauce, produce their own gochujang/doenjang. Everything is seasoned pretty lightly, and little sugar is used.

        Alternatively, you can go to any KBBQ joint and order unmarinaded meats, or go to any of the "fish centers" and not use cho gochujang. Otherwise, the entire cuisine, as found in Ktown, is loaded with MSG+salt, especially that $6.99 bowl of naengmyeon.

        1 Reply
        1. Any sul lung tang (beef stew) joint gives you a side of salt to flavor to taste. Han Bat Sul Lung Tang on fifth and western is good.

          Same usually goes for samgyetang (chicken soup) places. The soup is unsalted and served with a dish of salt for you to add to the soup or dip your chicken in.

          I don't know about msg in those dishes but since they taste completely unsalted to start with they probably don't have msg either.

          1 Reply
          1. Soban, Jun won, seongbukdong, masan, han bat (you season the beef soup yourself). And I'd say chinese food is about 5x as overloaded with MSG than korean food in ktown.

            1 Reply
            1. re: peppermonkey

              Thanks, peppermonkey! I avoid Chinese-MSG places as well... usually I can tell by tasting the food how heavy-handed they are.