My love of spicy food is hereditary, passed on by a father who loved everything from Tabasco to Taco Bell Fire sauce. There are, however, some things that are too hot for my cast iron palate. Many fall into the category of “dare you to try” dishes or extreme hot sauces.
I thought Yupdduks’ “extremely spicy” yup topokki would be such a dish. I was sure I would either eat two or three bites and then cry “Uncle” or solider through it much to the amusement of the waitstaff. (Unlike some Korean restaurants you don’t need to know the magic words to get fiery Korean fare here.) Instead, the glutinous rice cakes kept me and my dining companions coming back for more.
The chewy cylinders were coated in dark red sauce that had a sweet undertone along with a fierce chili heat. They were accompanied by broad ribbons of fish cake whose texture did a great job of soaking up the sauce. The logo for this newish Korean snack shop is a smiling hot pepper with the word’s “Ttangcho Hot Food.” And that pretty much sums up my experience with Yupdduk’s yup topokki: a hot and spicy dish that left me smiling instead of crying.