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

l
Liquid Sky Oct 8, 2013 11:18 AM

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!

  1. Monica Oct 8, 2013 11:48 AM

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

    1. n
      ns1 Oct 8, 2013 11:53 AM

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

      1. TonyC Oct 8, 2013 12:00 PM

        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. re: TonyC
          l
          Liquid Sky Oct 8, 2013 04:36 PM

          Thanks, TonyC! :)

        2. mrgreenbeenz Oct 8, 2013 02:04 PM

          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. re: mrgreenbeenz
            l
            Liquid Sky Oct 8, 2013 04:37 PM

            Thanks, mrgreenbeenz!

          2. peppermonkey Oct 8, 2013 02:05 PM

            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
              l
              Liquid Sky Oct 8, 2013 04:38 PM

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

            2. y
              yd914 Oct 11, 2013 01:33 PM

              Hwal uh Kwang Jang if you like seafood. They use very fresh, awesome ingredients and their stews are amazing. Ask for Richard!

              1 Reply
              1. re: yd914
                PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 03:30 PM

                On my "failed" excursion into Koreatown last week (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918747#8369172), this was one of the places that looked interesting to me from the outside (I hadn't looked any place up beforehand), but the parking lot was completely full. Glad to hear at least one person here recommending it. Also apparently they have a good lunch deal: http://midtownlunch.com/los-angeles/2....

                (I see that they are relatively popular here on CH, numerous mentions in relations to sannakji, live octopus.)

              2. ipsedixit Oct 11, 2013 08:09 PM

                Naegohyang

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