Comfort Food

Life Got You Down? Food on a Stick Should Do the Trick

The Seoul street food skewers at Ko Sisters are ideal for a little pick-me-up.

By Katherine Chew Hamilton March 10, 2021 Published in the Spring 2021 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Michael Novak

When hunger strikes as you’re strolling around the night markets of Seoul, there’s one tasty, trendy, Instagrammable solution available from street vendors on every corner: food on sticks, guaranteed to make you feel like a kid again. And while we might not be able to fly to Korea anytime soon, the Ko Sisters food cart, opened last June by Seoul-born Susie Song and her youngest sister, Ann, offers a taste of Korean street food right here in Portland.

Grab a Korean corn dog that subs out the typical hot dog for a bottom half of fish-cake sausage and a top half of mozzarella cheese that pulls thick, satisfying, foot-long strings with each bite. Susie breads each fish-cheese dog by hand in a combination of hand-cut bread cubes, panko bread crumbs, egg, and a touch of sugar for an unexpected sweet-salty combo, followed by an artistic drizzle of ketchup and bright yellow mustard. The result: earth-shattering crunch meets a twist on a nostalgic county-fair classic and cafeteria comfort food.

Or try the so duk kim, a skewer alternating soft, chewy rice cakes edged with a hint of crisp from frying; succulent smoked sausage slices; and seaweed rolled around a blend of glass noodles and veggies, deep-fried to an audible crackle. It’s all coated in a sticky, sweet-spicy translucent red sauce that would make you lick your fingers—but thankfully, you don’t need to. That’s the magic and convenience of food on a stick. Cartside PDX, 1825 N Williams Ave

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