At Cafe Lily, the Korean-Uzbek Menu Inspires a Previous Exodus

At the plate is a tangle of fernbrake, wild younger shoots shading from crimson to rust brown to military inexperienced, the colours of mulch. In Korean, this is known as gosari and regularly ready as a small facet dish. However at Cafe Lily, a cafe in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, run through Uzbeks of Korean descent, it is available in an excellent heap, a shovel’s value of woodland ground.

A cousin to fiddleheads, the fernbrake arrives on the kitchen dried in packets and should be soaked in a single day. Then it’s boiled into submission and fried in a handy guide a rough flare of soy and sesame oil. It emerges with a texture someplace between softened twigs and grass, and the earthy, mineral taste of darkish vegetables. Rumors of chile thieve during the undergrowth. It’s probably the most memorable dish at Cafe Lily, convenience present in a host of kindling.

Lilia Tyan, the chef, grew up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital. She is Koryo Saram, that means that her ancestors had been a number of the Koreans who left their place of origin beginning within the mid-19th century to settle the a ways jap frontier of the Russian empire.

Some fought at the facet of the Pink Military in International Struggle I. In 1937, beneath Stalin’s orders, about 200,000 Koryo Saram had been rounded up on suspicion of sympathizing with imperial Japan and shipped through freight educate to the steppes of Central Asia. They made a existence there, planting rice on collective farms and talking Russian as a result of Korean was once banned through the Soviet regime.

Part the menu at Cafe Lily is in Russian, the opposite part in English. Occasionally orders are misplaced in translation: When I requested for a dish known as “sprouted soy” in Russian, however what seemed was once extra fernbrake.

As at different Uzbek eating places on the town, there are shaggy manti, massive dumplings;…

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