Woori Korean- The King of Tofu

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We- Used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself and one or more other people considered together. The Korean word for “we” is Woori. The plural form is the basis of a Flushing restaurant Woori. Together is the idea that draws cultures together. Community, mores and social norms are principles in creating the idea of “Woori.” 

Woori has a very modern feel. Wood panel boards line one wall, black vinyl with wording describing the process adorn the other one. The decor is simple, understated and surprisingly modern. It is incredibly comfortable. 

Top left Clockwise- Kimchi , Fresh Tofu, Ginger salad, Pitaya. Soy sauce and herbal tea in center 

Our gastronomic voyage began with a beautifully spicy Kimchi. Kimchi, as I understand, is a staple in Korean cuisine. It consists of fermented vegetables chili powder, scallions, ginger and jeotgal- a salted seafood. A citrusy ginger salad, Pitaya “Dragon Fruit” and restaurant made tofu- made that morning! The blend of flavors and textures were amazing. The bite of the Kimchi paired beautifully with the coolness of the Pitaya. The ginger kick of the salad paired nicely with the tofu. 

Udon with Manila Clams

A quick thought about tofu. Has there ever been a more versatile food? Forget all about Salmon and Quinoa- the true Superfood is Tofu! Tofu is low in calories, with high levels of protein, iron and calcium. The flavor of tofu is subtle- but it picks up other flavors very well. So it is easy to season to any palate. Tofu, in my opinion, is a blank canvas- it begs you to create. Chef Naiwan Chang, says he makes and uses about 40 pounds of Tofu per day! Woori is the King of Tofu! 

Seafood Pancake

Moving on with our gastronomic venture we enjoyed a Seafood Pancake. Imagine taking a scallion package and adding clams and other seafood to it. Just a delightful idea. Soft, flaky and delicious. We also experience Oyster Soft Tofu Soup. This is the perfect marriage of Oysters and fresh tofu. Both these dishes are comfort foods like none other. 

 

Oyster Soft Tofu Soup

About the Chef 

Naiwan Chang had an interesting trip to America. He was born in South Korea.  After working a few years in hotel and restaurants he went on to work for Korea’s Blue House. The Blue House I the Korean equivalent of our White House. His food is PRESIDENTIAL! Chang came to New York in 1999 and eventually opened Woori. We are all better off for it.  

Thoughts about Woori

I love Woori. I love everything abut this place. The decor is plain but very modern. The food tells a story. The first story it tells  is South Korea is a peninsula. Therefore fish and seafood is paramount. The flip side to that is beef might be limited- therefore Tofu is an important substitute. I consider everything we tried as “Comfort Foods.”  It’s rich, it’s flavorful and ultimately simple. 

I like Downtown Flushing. I usually stop in for soup dumplings or similar type things often (once a month or so). Woori has jumped to the top of my favorite’s list. 

Best way I can describe Woori is yes anytime! 

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