"Younghee's Kitchen" is located at the edge of Merida's Slow Food Market at Reforma & 33-D. The market takes place on Saturday mornings and for the time being, the 6-month-old Korean restaurant is only open that one day from 8am to 4pm.
It's owned by Younghee Moser, who came here 12 years ago from Korea via Albuquerque
. Her husband Mike is a jeweler, and that is the family business 5 days a week. The ever-smiling, peripatetic Younghee has other ideas, which translate into a full house of happy customers eager for some of her Korean fare -- like the fluffy "Du Bu Jjim" (120 MEX or about 7.75USD, and includes miso soup, rice and 4 other condiments + Go Chu Chang chili sauce upon request). It's the only Korean restaurant in town
That may not sound strange, but it actually is.
Visit the Museum Commemorating Korean Immigration at #397 Calle 65 and Jenny Chang will tell you that all was not well 1905, when hacienda owners (who killed too many Mayans) imported 1000+ Koreans to work in the henequen (aka sisil) fields. Today they call that human trafficking -- not unlike the bringing in of Mexicans who currently work in Florida tomato fields under murky circumstances. It's a complicated story, at once very sad and beautiful to learn how the Koreans persevered and formed their community.
There are a number of Koreans and their progeny in Merida today, but most of them eat at home, according to Chang.
Anyone else hankering for some spicy "Soon Bu Jjikye" stew -- with a raw egg dropped into the bubbling mixture -- can go to Younghee's Kitchen on any Saturday. She will definitely make it worth your while. OPA!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
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