by Inlander Staff & r & & r & Asian Accents DINING & r & Korean cuisine is enigmatic. Influenced by the cuisine of neighboring Mongolia and Japan, traditional Korean food combines richly varied, fresh ingredients to create complex flavors. Seafood, rice and fermented vegetables (such as the well-known kimchee) are staples in Korea. Noodles, beef and pork are also utilized. Food is liberally flavored with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and chilies.
So can you find good Korean cuisine in Spokane? Now that KIM'S TERIYAKI has moved into town, the answer is yes. If you crave exotic Korean dishes that harmonize contrasting flavors and textures with a balance of color presentation, it's as close as the Garland District. Owners Dae Oh and Tong Yon Kim bring their restaurant experience from Seattle and Tacoma. And they're also native Koreans.
Just last month, the Kims opened the renovated 47-year-old Corky's Drive-In and rolled out their Korean and teriyaki cuisine. The Japanese dish of grilled meat glazed with soy sauce, mirin or sake and sugar imparts a rich flavor and color.
Teriyaki entrees at Kim's include chicken, beef and pork. Tempura (with prawns and/or veggies) and fried rice (chicken, pork or seafood, with shrimp and calamari) are also offered. Kim's stir-fry dishes feature the fresh veggies Korean cuisine is known for, with items ranging from chicken and beef to seafood and tofu.
No Asian restaurant worth its soy sauce would omit combination meals, and Kim's is no exception. Diners can get teriyaki chicken and beef, chicken and ribs, and beef and pork combos, to name a few. Kim's signature Korean spicy entrees include grilled chicken, beef and pork with house spicy sauce. Specialty Korean dishes of kalbi (grilled, marinated beef short ribs) and bulgogi (stir-fried, marinated beef sirloin slices) both sport their own special sauces. All entrees (teriyaki, combos and spicy) are served with steamed rice and salad.
If it's noodles you crave, there are yakisoba and yakiudon varieties stir-fried with chicken, beef, pork, tofu and seafood. No Korean dining experience would be complete without some kimchee (fermented Napa cabbage with Korean chili) or gyoza (pot stickers) -- both offered at Kim's. -- Susan Hamilton
Kim's Teriyaki, 927 W. Garland Ave., is open Mon-Sat from 11 am-8 pm. Call 326-0202.
Smokin' Barbecue TAKE-OUT & r & Many a pit-master considers smoking to be the only true barbecue. This traditional North American phenomenon uses slow, indirect heat and low temperatures while cooking meats in a special smoker. Smoke is barbecue's defining flavor. Its source is typically hard wood -- hickory, oak or apple. The art of smoking produces some of the most tender, flavorful meat you can imagine.
A newly opened mobile eatery on Spokane's north side features smoked, barbecued meats. You can't miss SMOKIE'S BAR-B-Q HEAVEN. The small log cabin (housing a full commercial kitchen) and smoker on wheels are surrounded by hay bales, colorful pennant flags and the unmistakable, sweet aroma of smoking barbecued meats.
"So many of my customers are Texans, and they just rant and rave about my barbecue," says owner Janet Bouser. "I've been selling out every day. People smell the smoke and the meat cooking and they just come to see what it's all about."
Bouser begins at 5 am, preparing her six-foot smoker with an applewood fire. She has her own special rub for meats that she prepares using methods she learned from award-winning smoker specialists in Monroe, Wash.
"Real Texas barbecue is cooked slowly over applewood," she says. "It takes many hours for the meat to absorb the smoke and heat. I'm offering really good food that's slow-cooked but fast to get."
Smokie's take-out menu includes sandwiches and meals. The sandwiches are served on Texas-sized buns with chips. Meals come with a choice of two "fixin's" -- cole slaw, potato salad or baked beans that are all homemade. Diners can choose from Texas beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken or smoked German bratwurst sandwiches. Meals include smoked chicken, pork ribs, Texas beef brisket or pulled pork.
"At Smokie's Bar-B-Q, I'm getting back to my roots, where I grew up in Wyoming," Bouser explains. "My mom always said a good meal takes hours and hours to cook, and I'm proving her right," she adds.
Bouser will remain at her location "as long as the weather permits," she says. You can also find her mobile log cabin and smoker at various events, like the biker rally in Rosalia in August and Pig Out at the Park in September. -- Susan Hamilton
Smokie's Bar-B-Q Heaven, 300 W. Francis Ave., is open Tues-Sat 11 am-6 pm.
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