Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home
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Korean American is appealing in so many ways, it's hard to know just where to begin. Eric Kim, the son of Korean immigrants who was raised in Atlanta, writes movingly of the contrasts between his mother's home cooking and the food he encountered—and eventually began to cook—from other traditions.
In a book full of compelling recipes, he uses headnotes and chapter openings to capture the tensions and inspired intersections between cultures. Those jalapeños he sometimes calls for are not traditionally Korean, but they are what was available to his family when they immigrated to a city without any Korean grocers, so they became part of their Korean American cooking. Where his father adored American A.1. sauce on steaks, Eric bastes his in gochujang butter.
Stories and insights aside, this book is full of interesting, appealing food: creamy bucatini with roasted seaweed; an ox bone noodle soup called seolleongtang served with scallion gremolata; sheet-pan bibimbap; a pear galette with salted cinnamon whipped cream.
To be clear: if you're looking for traditional Korean cooking as practiced in Korea, this is not the book for you. But if you're intrigued by the evolution and adaptation of a transplanted culinary culture, you'll be greatly rewarded.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.