On the other side of town and at the opposite end of the carryout spectrum sits Seoul Street, a Korean joint on Plymouth Road next door to Brewer’s gas station. Hidden behind Panera and Qdoba, the storefront is easy to miss but worth searching for. The raison d’ętre of Seoul Street is Korean fried chicken, a popular bar staple in its home country that’s now sweeping immigrant communities in this one.
Most meat eaters find fried chicken, like bacon, irresistible. The Korean-style version, though, doesn’t resemble Southern fried. One, the pieces aren’t soaked in spiced buttermilk or brined in a salty solution; the meat is essentially unseasoned. Two, the coating isn’t thick and crunchy but light and crispy. The pieces receive a light dredging and two slow fryings that render the skin a papery, crackling-crisp shroud. Finally, the Korean version obtains added flavor with an optional glaze—soy garlic or hot and spicy—brushed on after frying. My brother, who favors the opulence of Southern fried chicken, didn’t appreciate Seoul Street’s poultry. My crew of girlfriends and I, though, enjoyed the chicken. The meat, fresh Bell & Evans pieces, was juicy and clean tasting, and the skin, with the hot and spicy glaze, a delicious contrast. However, stripping off the crust, as one of my overzealous health-conscious friends did, pretty much nullifies the reason for eating fried chicken.