Saturday, April 2, 2011
Vit Goal Tofu
2107 Allendown Dr
Durham, NC 27713
Vit Goal Tofu is my favorite place for Korean food in the area. It's in a tiny strip center with a hole in wall feel until you walk inside. The place is nicely decorated with dark woods and wall papers of Korean writings. The dish depicted above is Korean Casserole - a large dish that easily serves three or four people, warmed at the table on a portable burner. Ingredients include savory broth, Korean sausage and ham, short flat yam noodles, soy beans, tofu, glass noodles (which a friend dubbed snot noodles - hee hee!) and a few other unidentifiable foodstuffs that are better left a mystery.
Ah, bibimbap - as much fun to say as it is to consume. The word literally means "mixed meal."
Vegetables commonly used in bibimbap include julienned cucumber, zucchini, mu (daikon), mushroom doraji (bellflower root), and gim, as well as spinach, bean sprouts and gosari (bracken fern stems). Tofu either plain or sautéed, or a leaf of lettuce may be added. The meat is usually sliced beef, however you can request vegetarian. This is all served on a base of white rice, which is browned and toasted against the bottom of the hot stone pot it is served in. A raw egg is cracked on top, and cooks as you stir the ingredients before eating.
But the DNA of this eatery is in the tofu. Dismiss from your mind conceptions about tofu if you have not liked it in the past. The plentiful quantities of tofu served here are delectable tender clouds of deliciousness floating in a savory boiling hot soup (in the ubiquitous hot stone pot), accompanied by beef, pork, kimchee, or baby octopus. The soup remains steaming hot throughout the meal. Rice is provided with every dish on the menu, as is gochujang - a hot pepper paste with a taste unique to Korean cuisine. I slather it on everything.
With every meal comes condiments and cold toasted barley tea. Condiments include small dishes of kimchee, spicy sweet pickles, sesame marinated bean sprouts, and cubed daikon in that wonderful flaming gochujang. These alone are worth the trip, and are complimentary!
Dessert! This is called Milk Shaved Ice. It has a base of milk and shaved ice (duh), topped with fruit cocktail, tapioca pearls, iced corn flakes, sweet red beans, and ice cream with a cherry on top. Absolutely amazing!
Go try Vit Goal. They have a great menu.