En Hakkore uses abundance of vegetables
March 1, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- When you see the wide-mouthed bowls of bibimbop assembled at the new En Hakkore in Bucktown, a charming little space on Damen, the first thing you notice is the abundance of vegetables.
"Bibimbop is a mixture of everything - veggie, rice and protein - so we try to add more fresh vegetables," said owner Peter Park.
Their standard bowl - just eight bucks by the way - is overloaded with 16 different types of vegetables. Beginning with a base of thinly shaved cabbages and lettuces, it's mounded with all sorts of vegetables, like mushrooms, carrots, daikon radish, fermented kimchi and hard-boiled eggs, rather than the usual fried version.
Most of the vegetables - like the bean sprouts - are first softened in boiling water, then shocked in an ice bath; they're drained and squeezed of any excess liquid, then seasoned with salt, pepper, sesame oil and sesame seeds.
For an extra buck-fifty, you can get either pork belly or barbecued beef.
"Fresh, healthy, that is our goal. And we have three kinds of rice," Park said.
Ranging from standard white to the healthier brown and black, this rice, vegetable and beef combo is even more flavorful, once you drizzle on the house chili sauce, which is remarkably sweet and spicy all at the same time.
They also make dynamite Korean tacos, served on Indian paratha bread, as well as a large assortment of maki rolls, most of them overstuffed with vegetables.
"We just don't want to focus on the rice bowl; we just want to have some variety, options to the customers," he said.
1840 N Damen Ave
restaurants, steve dolinsky
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