June 25th, 2016
With wide-ranging interests from punk music to graphic design, L.A.-based brothers Yong and Ted Kim and friend Chris Oh, started making sausages on a lark.
"It was 2012 when we made our first sausage, just for fun. It was just something we were doing on weekends," said Yong. "We didn't think anything of it, but when lightning strikes, you gotta run with it."
So they did, and their Seoul Sausage truck made it all the way to winning the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” Season 3, where their Korean-inspired sausages captured fans' hearts and appetites across the nation.
"From that, we've had opportunities to go to Korea, to New York. We've gotten speaking engagements in Asia, just by being different and going off the beaten path," Yong said.
The Seoul Sausage Co., crew has been on the island for a week, appearing at the in4mation downtown store to celebrate their T-shirt collaboration June 17, appearing at Honolulu Night Market on the 18th, Eat the Street Kakaako last night, and are set to appear today at a Kapolei block party sponsored by Kapolei Lofts, running from 2 to 7 p.m. on Kuou Street between Manawai and Wakea streets.
Ted said, "When we came here, we had no idea how people would react to the sausages."
But the brothers felt Hawaii was a good fit for their spicy pork sausage and ono Korean BBQ galbi sausage. At Eat the Street, the spicy pork was impressively fiery, tempered by a topping of apple-cabbage slaw. The galbi sausage was topped with garlic jalapeño aioli and kim chee relish. Both were delicious, at $10 a pop, but if you can't take heat, go with the galbi.
"We felt like you already eat a lot of Portuguese sausage, eat a lot of Spam."
If you happen to be in L.A. you can get more at their Little Tokyo restaurant, including an chicken-apple sausage banh mi, and their other specialty, Flaming Balls of cheesy kim chi fried rice, modeled after the Italian arancini.
"We just want to make food fun, easy and approachable for most people," Yong said.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her food coverage in print in Wednesday's Crave section. Contact her via email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.