Monday, May 27, 2013

At a Korean tofu house, ordering squid three ways

Raw squid in a fiery red-pepper sauce is one of the complimentary side dishes at So Gong Dong in Palisades Park, and one of three ways you can enjoy the mollusk at the popular Korean soft-tofu restaurant.

What do you do when your no-bread, no-pizza diet collides with one of your favorite meals -- a spicy Korean soft-tofu stew served with a fresh egg and a large bowl of white rice loaded with carbohydrates?

At So Gong Dong in Palisades Park, our favorite tofu house, I've been trying other dishes, but it's hard to avoid rice in one form or another.

Grilled squid and onions with gochujang, a red-pepper paste.

On Saturday night, I had squid three ways, including what's listed on the place-mat menu as Squid B.B.Q. with Spicy Sauce ($12.99).

The body of the squid had been sliced into rings, which were tender, and the tentacles had a pleasing firmness.

Raw squid appeared in one of the four free side dishes, and we shared Pajun, a grilled seafood-and-vegetable pancake that includes squid ($11.99).

Pajun is a grilled pancake made from rice flour.

The pajun, one of the non-spicy dishes available at So Gong Dong, came with a soy-based dipping sauce.

There are a dozen soft-tofu stews on the menu, some with noodles, but the basic Pork Soft Tofu is $9.99, including a fresh egg to poach in the bubbling broth, steamed white rice and side dishes.
You can order soft tofu four ways: "No spicy, little spicy, medium spicy and more spicy." 

Prices for soft tofu, squid, pancake and most other dishes end in .99 cents, but they include tax and are rounded up to the next dollar on your check.

So Gong Dong, 118 Broad Ave., Second Floor, Palisades Park; 201-313-5550. Open 7 days. Free parking on side streets.

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