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I'll be straight out - this is the book to accompany the PBS series introducing Korean cooking and I actually wanted the DVDS of this but none of the US suppliers via amazon or Ebay will ship to the UK. So it was a second choice.
I've become interested in Korean cooking watching the Kdramas Fermentation family and Feast of the Gods and live on the edge of New Malden so obviously there are restaurants and a pretty large Korean Supermarket just off the A3.
The book is very colorful with very attractive pictures of the food. The issue to me is that the recipes appear to me to be oversimplified and Americanized or turned into something else b y her husband who is an American chef or completely made up by her husband (jean Georges spontaneously cam up with this dish...). I don't know if you can get Hot dogs with Kimchi relish in Korea as I've never been, but I suspect not.
If you want Jean Georges spontaneous dishes influenced by Korea cooking then this is the book for you. other wise I guess we need to find something more authentic
First, this is a beautiful autobiographical book about the author's interesting background, and I commend the writer for undertaking a great task of introducing the vast culture/history/gastronomy of Korea.
I enjoyed the pictures that introduced various parts of Korea and I enjoyed the author's sentimental undertones about her ties to her Korean childhood.
However, the book is inadequate in some significant ways, namely for the following reasons:
1) it does not introduce authentic Korean recipes - albeit, the book purports to make Korean cooking "accessible" in American kitchens. However, that should not mean making Korean cooking AMERICAN - you lose the authentic value of what it is. You do not call a hot dog KOREAN, just as you would not call a bibimbap AMERICAN. I picked up this book, because I was genuinely excited from seeing the demo clips about the PBS show, and thought it would give a great idea to my friends about REAL Korean cuisine. Sadly, apart from a few handful dishes that are authentically Korean, it only had maybe 10-12 recipes that I could actually use and be happy using.
2) it does not contain PICTURES where they are needed. Think of non-Koreans who are using this book as a guide to make Korean food for the FIRST TIME - and this is another crucial shortcoming of this book in that there are far too many pages of this book which have interesting recipes but no visuals to give the reader an idea of what the final product SHOULD look like. There are however MANY pictures that have nothing to do with the recipes or dish everywhere else (which is why I believe this book is more like a travel log than a recipe book).
3) it does not contain enough healthy options. I did not pick up this book to expect to see hot dog recipe. I wanted to see Korean recipes, because Korean food is healthy - because there are many great options for vegans, vegetarians, anyone who wants something that is not greasy/fat/containing gluten or sugar. Yet, this book does not offer enough options for those. You should have included DIFFERENT types of rice to make a more balanced rice, as well as ways to integrate different side dishes into a Korean meal that would offer different types of food groups.
Korean food is diverse, rich and adaptive to all environments but can still remain true to its essentials. The book was too focused on explaining the Korean culture and slightly too autobiographic, and did not adequately present Korean recipes as they should be known to those cooking Korean food for the first time.
I would not recommend this to anyone who wishes to learn to cook Korean food.
I've had this book for several years and return to it again and again. We've loved every recipe I've tried and now work them into our regular rotation. The book presents the cornerstone ingredients of korean food in the beginning and then uses them over and over to create most recipes. This is great because you can make one trip to an asian grocery store and, for a reasonable price, purchase every authentic ingredient you need to make most of the recipes. This makes korean food at home very accessible, and once you have the right ingredients, the recipes are simple. These ingredients have become staples in my home that I reach for whenever I want big flavor with little effort. I often use this book to make meals for friends who may not be familiar with korean food. They always love it and think I'm some kind of exotic food superstar. Highly recommended!
I am Korean, born in America. My parents are both native south Koreans. My dad has recently been staying during the week to help with childcare, and before they moved nearby I worried about what he would eat (he made it clear to my mother that I wasn't a good cook, though I am, he can just be a typical, critical Korean parent, but I won't get into that!). My mother had shown me how to cook some of my favorite dishes in times past, and in retrospect I should have recorded the cooking sessions because it was never very clear to me probably due to translation issues ("a little of this- Oh, I don't know what it's called"). I have other Korean cookbooks by Korean authors but the instructions were not easy to follow, and I wasn't driven to keep trying other recipes. So, I tried KC, tweaking recipes here and there as I often do, out of convenience, or out of my own taste. The first recipe I made for my dad was the yukaejang/hangover soup. I used my own beef bone broth, but otherwise followed the recipe. Dad said it was really good, as good as any restaurant! I continued with the seaweed soup, and the rice cake soup, again using my own beef bone broth, and again I was praised (he and my mother said "my" soup was better than my mother's!). I tried one soup not using my flavorful broth- sundubu jjigae, and it fell flat. I do think a flavorful broth is key in the soups. What I love about this book is it is easy to understand, even regarding buying the ingredients if I weren't familiar in an Asian grocery. The kimchi, the hallmark of Kor cuisine, turned out really good, and was not at all as intimidating as I thought it would be. I've made bulgogi using her recipe pretty much to a T and gotten rave reviews from guests. The only thing I want to perfect as of now is getting my brisket fork tender for the soups, or just using a more tender cut of beef instead. I also just made the sweet and spicy bbq chicken for my young family and everything got gobbled up. I will definitely be making that more often. I will be trying many more of her recipes. This is a modern cookbook with some of Korea's most classic dishes. True to her life and her influences from her husband there are delicious fusions, my favorite way of cooking and entertaining! I especially loved reading about her story, her pictures, and am grateful to her for helping me familiarize myself in the Korean kitchen.
I have collected cookbooks for years but never any which featured Asian cooking. This is an interesting guide to Korean dishes which I had never had the pleasure of sampling until a few years ago. My late husband's client was a lovely Korean woman who had come to America and saved for years to open a Korean restaurant. Coincidentally, one of my brothers moved back to our city after spending a lot of time in Korea and developing a taste for the cuisine. Thus began my love affair with Korean food and my desire to create the dishes for myself. The book has lots of lovely illustrations, not only of the food, but photos of family & friends. The author gives a short history of her life both in Korea and in the US which I found utterly charming. The recipe instructions are easy to follow and not difficult to prepare. It was just what I was looking for and I've found it to be an excellent cooking reference for me and a good companion book for the PBS television series of the same name.
I am new to Korean food but have been making Chinese food for 5 decades. This book is very informative with great information on the ingredients something I have not found in one place. I may never make authentic Korean food but this book instructs on the use of ingredients. I would like to incorporate Korean fermented foods in my diet and this book inspires me to try.
This book is excellent. It is a very high-quality piece, and can serve as decoration or as a practical cookbook. As a cookbook, though, it is somewhat lacking. The recipes that are there are GREAT. Seriously, they are VERY good recipes, and pretty practical. However, you might expect a cookbook to be packed with recipes and made with sturdy pages. This is more of a designer book--the pages are high quality, and glossy. They won't hold up against the splashes of Kimchi juice that you will unleash upon your kitchen when you start pumping out high-quality Korean food. :)
Seriously though, it's an excellent book, and I do recommend it. It just isn't the typical American-style cookbook. It's much better.
One of my favorite cookbooks ever. I owned the hard cover version, but I am migrating all my books into kindle versions and I had been repurchasing digitally only those books worth keeping forever, this book made it to the digital selection.
I bought this book after seeing the television series. It has accessible recipes with relatively easy-to-find ingredients for Americans, with interpretations by the author's husband, famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I made the Ginger Fried Rice, with a sunny-side-up egg on top, as a fuss-free gateway into the flavors of Korea. It was a big hit with my (admittedly, foodie) children. There is a whole chapter on Korean Barbecue, previously the only way I had eaten anything Korean. The dessert chapter, entitled "A Little Something Sweet", is indeed little, only 3 recipes; a sweet pancake, an ice cream flavored with a fermented rice beverage, and sesame seed brittle. But Asian food in general is light on the sweet dishes, anyway. Go make yourself a nice bibimbap with a fruit salad for dessert, and you'll be fine.