The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 59

Kimchi Jjigae

at Wonju Korean Restaurant

Aush

at Bamyan Afghan Cuisine

AUSH, KIMCHI JIGGAE, BLACK BEAN SOUP: LAYLA KHOURY-HANOLD

At Bamyan Afghan Cuisine, start
with a bowl of aush, a hearty noodle
soup that owner Nawid Hassanzada
says is often eaten as an appetizer in
Afghanistan. Aush means "noodle"
in Afghani; here, the noodles in
question are short, flat wheat noodles
that Hassanzada sources from an
Afghan grocery in Fredericksburg.
At home, Hassanzada starts his
aush base with ground beef-many
traditional versions start with ground
beef or lamb-but he omits it to
keep Bamyan's version vegetarian.
The noodles are served in a
tomato broth thickened with
lentils, robustly seasoned with garlic
and black pepper and scattered
with dried mint. Yogurt often
accompanies meals in Afghanistan;
here, aush is served with a creamy
garlic-cilantro sauce that really wakes
up the other flavors.
Hassanzada says that aush can
be enjoyed anytime but is especially
good when you feel a cold coming
on. Your move, chicken noodle.

TheRoanoker.com

In Korean cuisine, jjigae refers to a
category of stew-like dishes. At Wonju
Korean Restaurant, kimchi jjigae is a
feast for the senses. You'll hear it first-
it arrives bubbling hot in an individual
cast-iron dish that calls to mind a
cauldron-before taking in the broth's
striking fiery red hue, a hint at the spice
to come.
Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage
dish that no Korean meal is complete
without (no wonder it's the national
dish) and at restaurants, it's served as
part of banchan, a medley of small sides
that accompany a meal (as it is here).
But aged kimchi is what's responsible for
the broth's deep funk and nuanced heat.
Peek beneath the generous slabs
of tofu on top and you'll discover a
whole treasure trove of goodies: kimchi,
strips of pork, noodles and dukbokki,
delightfully chewy rice cakes. The dish
has the power to clear your sinuses
and make your eyes water, both from
the literal heat (be sure to let some of
the steam escape) and the spiciness,
which can be tempered with a bite of
accompanying white rice.
Kimchi jjigae is available on the
regular menu as well as the house lunch
special, alongside sundubu jjigae, an
equally spicy number made with soft
tofu, seafood and egg.

Black Bean Soup
at Cuban Island Restaurant

Black bean soup is a quintessential
part of Cuban cuisine and every
household has their own way of
making it. Some are thick, others
broth-y, some flavored with ham
or kept vegetarian. Most start with
a trio of bell peppers, onions and
garlic, plus spices like bay leaf, cumin
and paprika. Cuban Island's version
is on the brothier side, and while it's
wonderful slurped solo, it works well
as an accompaniment, too.
For an inspired soup-and-asandwich combo, pair it with a
Cubano, a pressed-ham-andcheese sandwich that will
forever ruin you for ham-andcheese paninis. Dunking a
corner of the sandwich in
the soup is also a good move,
as is spooning it over rice to
complement plantains or a plate
of ropa vieja.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

59


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The Roanoker - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - January/February 2020

The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 3
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The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 5
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