Have a nice morning. These are the ten traditional Korean foods that I would choose to eat for the rest of my life if I could only eat them once. This week, Eric Kim contributed to The Times’s Food section with an article.
Eric is a writer for the Food desk and an Eat columnist for The New York Times Magazine. He is the son of South Korean immigrants and has been attending his mother’s master class in Korean cooking since he was old enough to walk. Eric describes himself as “a little shadow following her around our suburban Atlanta kitchen, tasting her kimchi for sugar and salt; helping her pick and wash perilla leaves from the garden for a family dinner of ssam; or, later in life, sitting at the kitchen island watching her prepare
The recipes that are presented here were chosen by Eric because they are fundamental to both his identity as a person of South Korean origin and his expertise as a cook. To start, we have doenjang jjigae, a stew that is high in umami and contains a lot of fermented soybean paste called doenjang. Onion, zucchini, and radish give it a sweet flavour.
The name “three-layer meat” refers to the fact that pork belly consists of a fat cap and two leaner layers of flesh underneath it, one light and one dark. This dish is called samgyeopsal (above). At home, you may have a straightforward and authentic Korean barbeque experience with this method. Budae jjigae, also known as army base stew, is a dish that has been around since the end of the Korean War. At that time, resourceful home cooks used leftover rations from the United States Army to build a satisfying stew. Budae jjigae consists of hot dogs and Spam simmering in a broth of kimchi and gochujang, with noodles drifting with American cheese.
Many people refer to miyeok guk, a soup made with seaweed, as birthday soup. In Eric’s take, the traditional beef broth is replaced with a different one that is cooked with mussels, onions, garlic, and anchovies. In order to avoid the clumpiness that often results from using freshly steamed grains, fried rice typically asks for cold rice that was previously cooked. On the other hand, Eric’s sheet-pan kimchi fried rice may be prepared using fresh rice since the heat of the oven takes out the moisture to produce crisp and chewy results.
To create what Eric refers to as “a fatty redolence,” the cosy soup known as seolleongtang is made from beef bones and scallions and is prepared by slow-cooking the ingredients for a number of hours. A sort of gremolata made of scallions, garlic, and salt is used as the finishing touch. Fish jorim is a fundamental component of traditional Korean home cuisine. The dish is traditionally prepared by simmering several types of fatty fish in a broth comprised of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
Eric’s cheesy cabbage tteokbokki are stir-fried chewy Korean rice cakes with gochujang, coated with melted cheese, shredded raw cabbage, and a run of split soft-boiled eggs. This dish is a riot of textures and flavours.
Before there was Korean fried chicken, there was tongdak gui, which is a kind of rotisserie chicken that is brined in a combination of soy sauce and white pepper to give it a spicy kick. To top it all off, Eric shares his recipe for tongbaechu kimchi, which consists of quartered napa cabbage that has been salted and sauced before being stored in the refrigerator to ferment for as long as possible before being consumed.
On New York Times Cooking, you’ll find tens of thousands more of our recipes ready and waiting for you to try them. Yes, a subscription is required in order to have access to them. The job that we do is made possible through subscriptions. Would you kindly subscribe right now, even if you haven’t done so already? Thanks! Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with arepas or colcannon, but I just finished reading “The Midcoast,” the first book by Adam White, which is an intense story about family, crime, and a little village in Maine.
An intriguing extract from April White’s upcoming book, “The Divorce Colony: How Women Revolutionized Marriage and Found Freedom on the American Frontier,” can be found in the Smithsonian Magazine. During my early pandemic binge-watching, the Danish political thriller “Borgen,” which is available on Netflix, stood out as a particular pleasure. Tina Jordan, one of my coworkers, just brought to my attention the fact that there is now a fourth season. I’m trying to stretch it out as long as possible by drinking it slowly. At long last, I present to you the Jayhawks, codenamed “Blue.” This week, when you’re cooking, you should play it, or better yet, the whole album. In addition, I will return on Friday.