top of page

New Food Finds at Soju

Korean restaurants are not found in abundance in Pittsburgh; the only exposure to Korean food I’ve experienced so far was Boonseek, which is a fantastic food truck serving up Korean corn dogs, mandu (dumplings), kimbap (a seaweed and rice roll), and Korean fried chicken. When I stumbled upon Soju on Instagram, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it before.

This cozy spot in Garfield has been open for over four years and serves up a variety of Korean dishes including beef kimbap, kimchi fried rice, and Korean barbecued meats. I had never heard of tteokbokki (pronounced tuk·bow·kee), until I went to Soju. When I asked the waiter about this new-to-me dish, he said it was a popular type of Korean street food made with rice cakes. I was intrigued, as I’d never had a Korean rice cake before.

This savory dish’s main component is rice cakes, but the spicy sauce it’s slathered in is composed of a dried kelp and anchovy stock, gochujang (Korean chili paste), sugar, soy sauce, and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes). Some recipes I found included fish cakes, too. It’s typically topped with sesame seeds, green onions, and a hard-boiled egg. Soju added cheese on top of theirs as well.