Cook's Illustrated


are small dishes served alongside every Korean meal to provide balance and contrast. Cataloging all of them would be impossible, but the following are some of the most () is pungent and crunchy. Laced with rust-red Korean chile flakes called , () both cools and burns. To make wobbly, pearlescent (), cooks simmer powdered bean starch in water until it’s the consistency of thick pudding and then cool it in molds, slice it, and sauce it with a vivid chili vinaigrette. Sweet, refreshing () acquires its neon-yellow color from turmeric in the brine. Snappy, nutty () are flavored with sesame oil, garlic, and chives. Strips of stir-fried () resemble thin omelets with a tender, slightly chewy bite. Syrupy, soy-based sauces enliven starchy cubes of () and cling to the honeycomb hollows of chewy-crisp (), while a stickier lacquer balances the umami punch of needle-thin ().

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