We arrived at Chosun Ok in Durham, excited for our first attempt to find a substitute for the jan pong from the now-closed China Express. Sadly our attempt ended in failure. Chosen Ok is under new management, and jan pong is no longer on the menu.
There are all sorts of soups listed, from “cabbage hangover soup” to “pork back-bone soup” but, alas, no jan pong. Still, we needed lunch, and after being informed that the dumplings were freshly made, we contented ourselves with barley tea (very good), the dumplings, and a lunch special of soybean stew.
First we were presented with thirteen dishes of banchan. I won’t list them all but there was a soy-simmered egg, a small piece of egg omelet, braised potatoes, crunchy black soybeans, two seasoned jalapeno slices, and tiny bites of eggplant. Tasty, but filling.
My picture of the stew is a little fuzzy because the steam from the bubbling cauldron kept fogging my camera lens. The dish had tofu and small clams in a fish (?) broth. My husband commented, “It isn’t jan pong, but it’s still good.” I liked the flavor, but it was way too salty for me.
The restaurant’s atmosphere and staff were welcoming, and the menu is certainly interesting. For the adventurous there are grilled beef entrails, ox head rice soup, and short arm octopus bibimbap among the many offerings. I want to return for the grilled red tongue sole. Sounds good.
Next up, jan pong #2.
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