By Tressa Dale
For the Peninsula Clarion
The first time I ever tried a Korean meal (beyond Korean spicy ramen, which is still one of my favorite junk meals ever) I was in a small restaurant called NaRa in Monterey, California.
I had just started my 63-week Korean language course at the Defense Language Institute and, after having just finished a section on Korean food, I was intrigued.
I ordered a dish my teaching team agreed was quintessential and an appropriate ambassador for Korean food: fermented soybean paste stew. They brought out an array of small plates of side dishes, called banchan, which included cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi,
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