This korean bar wants you to stop drinking crappy makgeolli _ munchies

On a Thursday in Seoul, I hit up Damotori to say hi to Kim Min-ho, the 36-year-old restaurateur who has made it his business to spread the gospel of good makgeolli to Koreans, Japanese, Westerners, and anyone else who drops in.

The waitress is a petite woman sporting auburn hair and giant grey kicks with red laces. How to fry pork chops in a skillet Her Korean is clean, and it’s not until I hear her talking to a table of tourists in crisp staccato Japanese that I realize she’s not local.

As I wait, I look around at the olive green walls and pale yellow lamps, the ink drawings hanging up, the teacups on display. Recipes for cooking pork chops The place is just large enough to fit eight tables and a six-stool bar. Baked pork chops and gravy On the wall behind the bartender is a rack of makgeolli bottles, and more in the fridge.


“But isn’t the name of the place Japanese?” It would makes sense, since tori is Japanese for “liquor.” Also, checking the Korean-English dictionary on my phone, I find that “damo” is a term for an ancient class of Korean servants who ranked below slaves.

I thank her and start flipping through my menu, which features images of makgeolli bottles organized by region, each with tasting notes. Crock pot pork chops with rice The are about 30 types of makgeolli in all, but most of them aren’t on the menu.

Damotori, a makgeolli tasting bar, also serves a fine selection of traditional Korean fare. How cook pork chops Makgeolli, which literally means “carelessly filtered,” is the nation’s oldest booze, made from rice, water, and a starter culture known as nuruk (dough that’s been inoculated with bacteria and yeast). Baked pork chops and stuffing The result is a milky and sometimes slightly carbonated beverage.

She turns the pages of the menu for me and points to it. How to fix pork chops The tasting notes describes it as “sweet and gentle, like drinking a dish of yogurt.” At 6 percent alcohol and only 7,000 won ($5.94 USD) for a 900-milliliter bottle, it seems like a solid choice, so I order a cup of Sani and a plate of dubu kimchi.

The food at Damotori is actually half the reason I came. Fried pork chops in cast iron skillet Dubu kimchi, for example, is usually a simple snack made of sliced tofu and kimchi, but at Damotori, the tofu is sprinkled with black sesame, the kimchi is tossed with meat and lightly braised, and the portion is large enough to stand as a meal. Pork chops bone in Also on the menu is yukhoe, a Korean delicacy made of raw ground beef with a raw egg on top.

I practically inhale my food, and afterwards, Kim comes over to speak with me. Baked pork chops marinated He runs the shop with his mother, and while we chat, she waits attentively on the guests and occasionally tells him if a customer has ordered food. Fried pork chops meals In addition to being the manager and resident makgeolli scholar, Kim is also head chef. Stuffed pork chops recipe Remarkably, though, he’s had no formal training.

“Makgeolli goes very well with pajeon,” he says, naming a savory pancake-like dish filled with green onions and served with a vinegar-soy dipping sauce. Fried pork chops cooking time “When you cook pajeon, the sizzling oil sounds like rainfall. How to cook pork chops chinese style So when it rains, Koreans like to have makgeolli with pajeon. Healthy oven baked pork chops We’re always very busy on rainy days.”

When I ask about the name of the place, he says it’s an old term for a bar that sells soju in large bowls. Grilled pork chops food network When I later check Naver’s dictionary, I find that it’s a sunurimal, or pure Korean word not taken from Chinese or Japanese, which means “to drink soju from a large cup” or “a house that sells soju in large cups.”

About six years ago, when Damotori opened, Korea suffered from a scarcity of options. Baked pork chops lipton onion soup mix Most people drank fair to middling soju, and soju distillers were making bricks without straw by using tapioca instead of rice. How to make pork chops tender But then came Craftworks, about two blocks from where Damotori is today, offering a selection of microbrew beers. Pork chops on the grill This was followed by Magpie, and soon every bar in the area was carrying a broad selection of high-quality beers. Fried pork chops Small-batch sojus hit the market next, and that’s when Kim decided someone needed to preach the truth about makgeolli.

Usually sold in a plastic bottle, makgeolli carries a reputation akin to that of 40-ounce malt liquor in the States. Grilled pork chops recipe bobby flay That is, many think of it as low-class swill, sucked down on a convenience store curb—not something you order with dinner.

Kim says the first time he tried makgeolli he was 20 and, not long after, he got so sick on the stuff he wouldn’t touch it for another ten years. Pork chops in over During that time, like most Koreans, he stuck with soju and beer. Pan fried pork chops recipe But, on a trip to Osaka, he wandered into a bar and was dumbstruck by the quality and variety of sake.