The Kimchee Effect: four dishes that deliver a Korean kick

The Kimchee Effect: four dishes that deliver a Korean kick

Why fiery Korean flavours are getting even hotter

Manhattan’s punk rock chef, David Chang of Momofuku fame, has almost single-handedly turned kimchee into the new salsa. The pungent pickle is everywhere: topping burgers, spiking cocktails—it’s even gracing the odd charcuterie platter. And other elements of Korea’s bold, beguiling—and previously intimidating—flavours have followed kimchee’s march into the mainstream. Here, the top Toronto dishes that deliver a creative Korean kick.

Grilled rib-eye
The dry-aged steak is the purported star of the plate, but the pan-Asian reuben—soft steam bun, juicy corned beef and piquant kimchee—grabs the mic like Kanye West. $38. C5, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-7928.

Spicy Bouillabaisse
This heady, Seoul-ful broth, turbo-boosted with gochujang (pepper paste) and gochu­garu (dried chili), is loaded with shrimp, black cod, scallops and mussels. $20. Koko Share Bar, 81 Yorkville Ave., 416-850-6135.

Braised Pork Belly
Soy-glazed Berkshire arrives in a kimchee sauce French-kissed with veal stock and butter. Gochujang-dressed cuttlefish and clams add wicked surf to the turf. $15. Lucien, 36 Wellington St. E., 416-504-9990.

Barbecue Short Rib
Korean barbecue sauce sweetened with Asian pear is the secret to this dish’s succulence. House-made kimchee gives the mashed spuds a hot crunch. $24. Niagara Street Café, 169 Niagara St., 416-703-4222.