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Favorite Dish: Jjamppong Soup at Izziban Sushi & BBQ in Lauderhill

With so many restaurants in South Florida and more opening all the time, just picking where to go for dinner on a Saturday night or lunch on a Wednesday can be an overwhelming task. Sometimes, you just need a reason. This ongoing list of the favorite dishes from food writers who know the local scene will help you discover new restaurants, cafés, and eateries and maybe even a new favorite dish of your own.

When you think of Asia's best hot noodle soups, usually ramen and pho come to mind. But there are so many more variations to consider.

Despite nearby cities in Japan — many known as celebrated food regions — some of the Koreas' best culinary creations originated far away from these metropolitan influences. Take restaurants in China, for example, which offer a specialty dish from one such remote area known as jjamppong, a seafood and kalguksu noodle soup with a vibrant red broth that offers just a touch of heat.

Today, it is one of the most popular Korean-Chinese dishes outside another noodle dish known as jajangmyeon (noodles in a black bean sauce), a dish adapted for Koreans by early Chinese immigrants. In Korea, the dish has become a popular takeout meal, carried to customers in steel containers. It makes sense that, at Izziban Sushi & BBQ in Lauderhill, the soup is served in a deep metal bowl with chop sticks and a long, arched spoon. The serving is large enough for several people to share at once, but if you're hungry you'll be able to put a good dent in it on your own.

Let's start with the broth, an angry-red, opaque liquid that's thickened from hours simmering with various root vegetables, while a thin veil of chili oil clings to clam shells and collects in tiny pools on the surface. The scent of seafood — not briny, but fresh — wafts from the bowl in onion-laced tendrils.

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Izziban does a good job of giving patrons their money's worth of seafood, everything from clams and mussels to squid, baby octopus, shrimp, whole prawns, and snail. Slippery hand-cut jjamppong wheat noodles — known as kalguksu — are as thick as a straw, gummy and bouncy from the spicy broth spiked with Thai basil, ginger, fish sauce, chili flakes, and lemongrass.

Of all the soups on the Izziban menu, forget the ramen. This is the one to make a slurp-worthy mess with.

Izziban Sushi & BBQ in Lauderhill is located at 7225 W Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderhill. Call 954-368-6767, or visit the Facebook page.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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