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An Ode to Sul Lung Tang, Pho's Unsung Cousin

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With the coming cold weather, it's time to get serious about winter warmers. Soups, stews, braises -- basically anything meaty and preferably scalding hot. We've covered pho a decent amount here on CoA, and everyone with a blogging platform has beaten ramen to death, so it seems like a good time to take a look at the Korean ox bone soup called Sul Lung Tang.

The Cheap Bastard visited La Hanbat a few years ago, and while I agree with her assessment that sul lung tang is delicious, I disagree that it's not photogenic. You don't have to get your bowl filled with intestines and tongues; there are other versions with flank and brisket that are more appropriate for the timid. Just don't let Alice's use of the phrase "junk juice" deter you from a great bowl of soup.

When your bowl arrives, take a quick sip, but don't judge because sul lung tang is purposely a work in progress. Start with some of that sea salt on the table and add it in small batches to those beefy aromas you smell wafting from the bowl come into focus on your tastebuds.

Next grab the chili paste that's in another small container and add it aggressively. Don't be shy -- the stuff looks hot, but the heat takes a while to build. If you haven't turned your milky white soup an odd shade of salmon, you likely won't feel much burn. The polar vortex will own you.

With everything adjusted to your liking, start eating. There's rice you can enjoy plain, as you sip the soup, or your welcome to dump it all in the broth. You'll get small bowls of pickled radish and kimchi you can enjoy here and there, too.

There's also a tub of green onion large enough to keep a salad bar stocked for a busy lunch shift. Take the hint. Dump a ton in your soup, especially when it's hot, so they'll wilt a bit and add their aroma to the broth. The grassy flavors were custom made for this bowl.

Polar who? With a soup like this you're set no matter what this winter throws at you.

La Hanbat Sul Lung Tang, 2257 Royal Lane, 972-484-2002

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.