Min-Ga – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series
Chewy rice cakes with a dash of heat? In.
Min-Ga sits off Bethel in a heat zone that also features friendly/deadly establishment Hoggy’s BBQ. While the exterior does not exude a spicy ora, we found that a majority of the dishes we tried had a bit of kick to them. This was our first time at this particular Korean restaurant, so we procured a hefty helping of dishes.
Behold! Too much food. The above lasted us three days because the portions are gigantic, most come with rice, and they also give you a heaping helping of sides (middle left in the picture). To Min-Ga’s benefit, all of their food was fantastic. It all packs a bit of heat (other than the dumplings), and most items seem to leverage gochujang to deliver the spiciness. The Lady of the Farm ordered the Ramen Japchae, which you can see in the top middle. Veggies, stir-fried ramen noodles, and an addictive bite to the dish made it popular for both of us.
The Duck Bok Ki (aka Tteokbokki, Ddeokbokki, or Dukbokki) is still a mystery to me. Rice cakes stir-fried with vegetables, and fishcake in a spicy sauce. The real enigma is the rice cakes (duk) coated in the spicy sauce. Outwardly they look like dense, non-hollow penne pasta that retain the coating of spicy redness. As you bite into it, there’s a chewiness that gives way to a low reverberating heat that continues to creep up on you. As I pondered the density of the rice cakes, the heat of the gochujang meandered around, pushing past the rice cakes to be released across my cheeks. We’ve found gochujang to be a bit addictive in terms of the heat profile due to it’s slow build and slow fade, enticing you to search for it again in the next bite.
Going into this spicy dish I was completely unsure what to expect. Part of that was due to not fully knowing what was in the dish (it said Duck so I thought duck maybe). Upon further research, it turns out that it’s really just referring to the traditional Korean street food Dukbokki. I’ve grown to love learning more about Asian dishes, especially comfort foods, street foods, and unique or off-menu items. Thankfully for the dukbokki I was able to find some great resources and learn more.
As my eyes wandered, they locked onto the intense red-orange of the Extra Spicy Chicken Bulgoki, sprawled across rice and loaded up with vegetables. Charcoal-grilled chicken marinated in a special spicy sauce comes with several different spicy options, extra spicy of course was our jam. A thicker sauce, the Chicken Bulgoki radiates the appearance of heat and holds up fairly well to its appearance. Comparable to similar chicken stir-fry heats like it’s neighbor GOGi, Min-Ga’s Extra Spicy Chicken Bulgoki hits you with small fists of fury, raising the heat levels then dropping down in between bites. There’s a lingering heat, but not to an extreme of “I see sounds and feel colors.” My cheeks were flush and I could feel my undereyes starting to get slightly sweaty, but the intensity leveled out there.
Between the two, the heat of the Extra Spicy Chicken Bulgoki is definitely spicier, but everything we tried from Min-Ga has some heat to it. With a sprawling menu of traditional Korean dishes, you’re bound to find something spicy to enjoy, regardless of your heat tolerance. This in mind we’re placing Min-Ga at #54 on our list. Spicier than Satori Ramen’s Kara Kapow! but not quite as spicy as The Crispy Coop’s Nashville Hot.
You can find Min-Ga at 800 Bethel Rd. Columbus, Ohio 43214
Look below for more on our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
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