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Sohn-mat: Recipes and Flavors of Korean Home Cooking

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by Monica Lee and Tien Nguyen
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Sohn-mat is a Korean phrase which means “flavor in the hands,” a sign that someone has an instinct for cooking. Author Monica Lee, who for many years ran a popular restaurant in Los Angeles, believes that the gift may not be transmissible, but the insights it brings can be shared.

A significant portion of this book addresses forms of soon tofu chigae, “a stew made with tofu so soft and delicate that it can be scooped like custard. Served with rice, soon tofu is a bowl of comfort.” There are ten recipes built around a variety of proteins, as well as an all-vegetable version.

To accompany these stews, Lee offers a range of other dishes, including banchan, the simple vegetable pickles which are ubiquitous on Korean tables, kimchis of manifold types, and crowd-pleasing favorites such as mung bean pancakes, fried rice dishes, and grilled meats and seafood.

Lee is a precise and careful cook and her recipes often begin with commentary on her efforts to find the most satisfying versions of these recipes. While she happily takes advantage of certain packaged goods, such as Korean pancake mixes, she also adds to them to get the results she wants, telling you which ingredient does what.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.

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