Visiting with Southern California's Mandu King

You might've noticed a new byline 'round these parts: Michelle Woo (hi, Michelle!). She's our newest staff writer but will occasionally weigh in 'round these parts. I mention Michelle because we stole her from the fine magazine KoreAm, which documents the Korean-American experience and has always stood out for me from other ethnic mags due to its fine writing.

Anyhoo, they published an article last month on one of my favorite Korean dishes: mandu. And, ne: there is an Orange County connection.

The story profiles Christian Park, head of CYR International, whose Alhambra factory makes the Korean dumplings for mass consumption to the tune of millions of dollars in sales per year. Park took advantage of American trade restrictions that forbid Korean beef and pork from being imported to the United States, forcing Park--who had previously imported mandus--to create his own. He markets them under three separate names--Cham Yi Rang for Koreans, Lim's Food for Mexis, and Green Chopsticks for gabachos--and you can find them at Orange County stores.

Gentle readers: any of you tried Park's mandus? And the great local choice, of course, is Anna's Mondus in Garden Grove.


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