Unless you’re already a big Korean food fan, take a chance and try something new at Goong Chuan. They do have some Japanese- and Chinese-influenced dishes on the menu, but you can get that style anywhere. Go for Korean specialties, beginning with the complimentary seven or eight little dishes of Kimchi, the traditional pickled vegetables and fish — some spicy, some tart, some sweet — that accompany just about every Korean meal. Chili-coated pickled cabbage, bright yellow radishes — just pick them out with your chopsticks in a mini-smorgasbord. Then move on to the large appetizers with scallion pancakes, dumplings and a few simple soups. With the size of the entrées and all the Kimchi you might want to skip a starter.
One delicious traditional country Korean dish is Kalbi, soy and sesame marinated beef short ribs, plentiful and hearty at $14.95. Other specialties include a sweet and sour shrimp with a light breading called Tangsoo with sliced vegetables and a mild steamed monkfish, but it’s the noodle dishes that shine here in the $9 range.
All of the noodles are made in-house and can be ordered tossed with a variety of exotic Korean ingredients, including a simple yet rich black bean sauce and chunks of vegetables that you can toss in the bowl with chili sauce served on the side. Sip a beer to cool off the mouth if you’ve gone overboard with the heat and slurp up all those great noodles Korean-style.
Goong Chuan, 13 Broad St., Nashua (603) 882-8644
Rachel Forrest is a former restaurant owner and now independent food writer who lives in Exeter.