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Yong’s Korean Kitchen a great addition to Spring Creek Shopping Center 

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper

1712 S. Circle Drive, 719-308-5529, yongskoreankitchen.business.site

Yong’s gets its name from chef/co-owner Yong Mi Sawyer, whose husband/co-owner Don kindly walks me through the grab-and-go fridge of daily-made kimchi dishes adjacent to the order counter. (I can’t resist a basic but spicy and perfect cabbage kimchi for a fair $6.99, which I pick on for the next several days.)

The bright, tidy spot with lovely Asian landscape paintings spanning the walls opened two months ago in the same Spring Creek shopping center that hosts Friday food truck rallies. Morbid curiosity drives me to get a “Korean corn dog” — actually a breaded hunk featuring mozzarella on its top half (that almost tastes like smoked gouda) and a hot-dog-like fish cake sausage as the core of its lower half. But I get back to adult business with a plate of kimchi fried rice, and a beef rice cake and dumpling soup called mandu tteokguk.

The dark-sauced rice doesn’t bear much wok hay and only mild spiciness with sour kimchi bits snapping under tooth and some tender pork bits for more sustenance; a runny egg on top coats some of the rice in yolk as a highlight, and it’s fine as a lighter, simple dish.

The soup’s milky broth also leads easy and light with slight beef flavor backing up slices of chewy brisket. The large coin-shaped rice cake slices are always a textural treat, starchy and firmly gelatinous, and soft doughy dumplings (pre-made) delight with strong onion essence and lightly seasoned ground pork and beef. 

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