I don’t really get cravings, but often times I find myself thinking about duck fat; I make my eggs with it, I store it alongside bacon fat, and I would drink it like coconut water. I think all people secretly love duck fat, they just aren’t comfortable admitting it (Vegans are like distance runners, they secretly hate themselves, but I digress). Sun Ha Jang is like a speakeasy for duck fat lovers, those in the closet and out. I’m out.
Sun Ha Jang is in a mini plaza next to some other restaurants, a mildly non descript building on the edge of Koreatown. Upon entry, an ominous duck stares down upon you foreshadowing the deep healing properties of liquified fowl fat. Extra saturated please.
An Ajhumma with a serious look on her face came to us and begin describing in Korean the quality of her duck fat as she vigorously cut through chunks of flesh, fat, and tendon with her ninja scissors. She brought out the most elegant looking cuts of duck meat, frozen and sliced thin to melt us on a journey to meat Valhalla.
We ate in the appropriate way of non marinated meat moving towards marinated, reaching high gastronomic heights with this platter of spicy unidentifiable carrion.To further illustrate her point, while the stone cauldron sizzled the meat, she placed her finger in the duck fat and removed it unharmed.
I was shocked and amazed; she was like the Korean Mary Magdalene of duck juice. I immediately began thinking about using the stuff for lotion. After several successive styles and cuts of duck meat in the most intelligent manner (un marinated first then marinated) possible she dumped rice into the fat and stir fryed it. Magnificent.
My only complaint here is that the Kimchi and ban chan selection here was not particularly exciting, though moderately well executed. This actually, for 4 people was slightly expensive for Korean food at around $40 per person. The dining room was sadly mostly empty. Now that, according to the NYTimes Fat isn’t Taboo anymore, I think it’s time we all got back into tallow, lard, and especially duck fat.