augustiner tells his story: Back when he first moved to San Francisco, he used to go to Kukje Market on Noriega all the time. “I was quite fond of their kimchi. I thought it was balanced, complex, and I appreciated their addition of oysters in the mix.” But alas, that Kukje, and that kimchee, is gone now. The new Kukje Market, in Daly City, has a completely different kimchee—one that’s a little too sweet, and lacking in complexity.

Luckily, he found salvation at Woo Ri. It may be smaller than Kukje; it may have less selection; but its in-house kimchee is wonderful. “It’s still quite fresh, so there isn’t that pungency that comes from the flavors melding and fermenting, so you can still taste salt, garlic, chili powder, ginger, and the rest fairly distinctly. But it’s good. (Although what constitutes ‘good’ kimchi is intensely personal, and I’m sure that many noses have been broken in drunken brawls starting with, ‘Your mama’s kimchi can kiss my mama’s kimchi’s….’)”

The Woo Ri kimchee isn’t quite as good as the kimchee from the old, sadly departed Noriega Kukje. But it’s the best around right now. “Woori’s just tastes fresher, tangier, more balanced,” says kandagawa. And it makes augustiner so depressed about the big bottle of Kukje kimchee he still owns that he can’t even use it to make kimchee fried rice.

Woo Ri Food Market [Fillmore]
1528 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

Board Link: kimchi: woori vs. kukje?

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