Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

HANJAN, 36 West 26th Street (between Broadway and 6th Avenue), Flatiron DistrictDdukbokki is not a recognizable dish to most Americans. Even if you’re vaguely familiar with Korean food, you probably know the kimchis and the bibimbaps. But you should open yourself to the world of ddukbokkis (not sure if that’s the correct plural, but why not?)

In my mind, Ddukbokki is the perfect Korean dish. It combines both contrasting textures with lots of bright, balanced flavors. They look like glazed carrots, but the tubular rice cakes tossed with mixed bits of fish cake are soft and chewy with bold sweet and spicy flavors

I’ve had this addictive snack a handful of times before, but the richer and slightly more refined version I tasted at Hanjan, has turned me into a ddukbokki junkie.

Hanjan is Chef Hooni Kim’s second slightly upscale Korean restaurant in the city and it’s another winner. After Danji’s success, he turned his attention to elevating Korean bar and street food, and he has another hit on his hands, as was evidenced by the full house on a recent Thursday evening.

Pork Fat "Ddukboki" at HANJAN

The ddukbokki on offer here are phenomenal. It’s slicked with amazing sweet red chili sauce that builds in intensity, but never burns too bad. And amidst the fish cake are perfect bites of chewy, soft rice cakes that soak up every last ounce of flavor. The entire dish is heightened by the addition of meaty, decadent pork fat. It makes a perfect dish even better.

Hopefully after reading this article, you too are intrigued by the idea of these flavor-bursting texture sticks. Check them out at Hanjan and I guarantee you, you’ll never forget the name. Ddukbokki.

HANJAN
36 West 26th Street (between Broadway and Sixth Avenue),
Flatiron District
(212) 206-7226
hanjan26.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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