So, she took it on herself to show what Korean food actually means to a Korean. “I want to introduce people to the Korean food that I grew up with,” she said. “Korean barbecue is awesome but it’s not how we eat every day, it’s like assuming that Americans eat steak dinner every day.”
A few months back Yoo, who works in the photo management department at Food Network during the day, created Yooeating, a series of pop-up events that riff on Korean comfort food. Since January, she’s been hosting monthly pop-ups at the Passenger Bar in Williamsburg, with dishes ranging from traditional Korean noodles to a pork-heavy blend of Korean and Cuban cuisines. She tries to steer clear from Korean-Mexican fare, even though, at a recent private event, she prepared Korean-style tacos and all she thought was “Oh man, these are good.”
This Saturday at the Passenger Bar, Yoo will serve up bunsik, a type of snack food that’s equally appreciated by school kids as an after-school snack and by adults as a 2am hangover cure and munchies remedy. There’ll be Dduk-Kochi, rice cakes that come either in a spicy version (currently the most popular in Korea) or glazed with soy sauce, Yoo’s personal favorite that her mother used to prepare on special occasions.
The menu will also include Kimbap, aka the ultimate Korean “picnic food.” On a visual level, it sort of looks similar to Japanese maki, as it consists of roasted seaweed, a thin layer of rice, and meat or veggie fillings that you then have to roll.
If you’re not burlesqued out, Yoo and Dakota Kim will be hosting a food and burlesque-themed event on April 9, where a performer will grace the stage with a “Coney Island hotdog act” while Yoo serves Coney dogs with a Korean twist. “Whenever I tell someone about it, they’re kind of, ‘So, they’re gonna put SOMETHING up somewhere?” said Yoo, who assured me the performance is likely going to be PG-13.
In May, she teases, she’ll fuse Korean and Brazilian cuisines, and she might even develop a Korean version of chili.
Yooeating is at Passenger Bar (229 Roebling St., Williamsburg) April 4 from 6-9pm and April 9 at 8:30pm