Our recently-concluded The Hunt Club contest called upon Voracious readers to find 10 esoteric edibles somewhere in Seattle. This week, we'll look more closely at a few of the listed items - and tell you where our top scavenger hunter found them.
Instead of stones, Korean cooks with limited food budgets have long tossed beef bones into pots of boiling water, drawing every possible scintilla of flavor from them.
"It's definitely like a soul food," Lee says. "I don't know too much about the ancient history, but I suspect it was invented to extract as much as you can out of nothing."
Lee's father ate sol-long-tang as a boy in Paju, South Korea. "His mom would take bones and boil and boil and boil them so it turned the water into a milky broth," Lee says. "My dad, he still loves it."
The flavors of sol-long-tang are subtle, if the eater can distinguish them at all.
"It has no taste," Lee says. "It's just a very bland soup, but it's customarily served with sea salt and raw scallions. It's eaten with a bowl of rice and a square radish cabbage."
According to LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold, the ideal sol-long-tang is "healthy and digestible as chicken soup, protein-rich, pretty much skimmed of all its fat, just the thing for a rainy spring afternoon, or as ballast for a night of serious drinking." Traditionally, Koreans have embraced the opposite approach, using sol-long-tang as a hangover cure.
The days involved in making sol-long-tang have upped the price of the humble soup; restaurants have also lately toyed with serving chunks of beef or tripe in the broth. Still, Lee says, "it's not one of the standout soups" in a cuisine with its share of them.