Jungsik Part 2: Haute-Korean At Its Best
Welcome back to Part 2 of our review for Jungsik. Or, if you haven't read Part 1, you can read it here. I forgot to explain this in the last review but Jungsik is a modern Korean, two-Michelin starred restaurant in TriBeCa, NYC with French influences. As you will soon see, some of these dishes are typical of traditional Korean cuisine. However, they are modified with the style of French cooking techniques.
Thanks for reading! Hope this was helpful to you. Please comment or send me a note if you end up trying this place and like it too!
The first dish I want to talk about is the Bossam, or Crispy Pork Belly with Dwenjang Rice (above). Traditionally, the pork belly is not as crispy because it is boiled and it is often served with garlic, onion, sauces, and kimchi, which are used to accompany the meat as it is wrapped in lettuce or cabbage. The act of wrapping meat (usually pork belly) and toppings in vegetable leaves is called bossam, meaning "wrapped" in Korean. Jungsik's bossam was delicious. Each bite was a perfect amount of tender meat and fatty goodness. Dwenjang is used to flavor the rice. It's a thick, fermented Korean bean paste. Similar to miso, its full of healthy benefits like vitamin B12 or lysine, which can improve mental well-being and calcium absorption.
Next, I want to show you guys the Crispy Red Mullet with Shrimp Salsa (above). As you can see, the scales look crispy and are sticking upwards. It's super cool. After a bit of research, I found that the Amadai, or Tilefish, and the Sea Bream are two fishes that can have crispy scales like this when seared or fried a certain way. When I asked Jungsik how they prepared this dish, they explained that hot oil was poured over the scales to create this effect. I've also read that this can happen to the fish during frying or the scales can be manually pulled back during searing. However they did it, it's an awesome effect and adds a crisp and airy texture to the fish. FASCINATING.
For our "Land" courses, we got the Galbi (above) and the Wagyu Tenderloin. The Galbi with Sweet Soy was terrific. It's essentially just thinly sliced short rib with a really tasty sweet sauce. It was accompanied by some pieces of dduk, or Korean rice cake. Usually, dduk is soft and chewy throughout. However, Jungsik's was toasted, making it crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.
The Wagyu (above) was awesome too. It was prepared very well and the meat was full of juicy goodness. But, I do think it was missing something special. The potatoes and mushrooms were boring but the pickled sancho peppers were a little bit more interesting.