I have bought several Korean cook books recently. I have been stocking up on the base ingredients and buying cooking equipment.
I personally love to cook. However, even for someone who thoroughly enjoys cooking, cooking new foods can be daunting. Even though I am Korean, Korean food is somewhat "foreign". By this I mean, I grew up learning how to cook American food. My parents were good about teaching me how to cook. I'm not ashamed to be a single guy who knows how to cook and bake, I'll never go hungry! However cooking American food is much different from cooking Korean food, or any other ethnic food. This may not seem like a big deal, but it does make a big difference.
The difference comes to creativity and time preparation. When you learn how to cook one ethnic type of food, you know what type of flavors, spices, and tastes mix well or work well together. You also learn valuable time savings methods in preparation. So trying to learn a new type of cooking takes a lot of time and effort. It also takes a lot of trial and error, but if your willing to put in the time, the end rewards is great!
Here is one of the recipe books that I purchased:
Discovering Korean Cuisine: Recipes from the Best Korean Restaurants in LA
I was really concerned when I was thinking about purchasing this book. In my past experience most cookbooks from restaurants were usually sub-par. The reason being is the recipes are often extremely complex and difficult, requires equipment the average person doesnt have, and never seems to taste right (like the restaurant is really going to give away their secret sauce!)
This cookbook does not fit this mold. It is actually very good. The recipes are fairly simple (much more than I expected) and they taste great! Although I am still skeptical that the restaurants give out their exact recipes, however, they still taste very good. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to start learning how to cook Korean. Fairly simple recipes, great tastes!
Here are some of the items I've cooked so far:
It was so good! It was so good that I made it again a week later!:
The recipe doesnt call for vegetables, but I hate making dishes with just meat, plus I love onions, green peppers, and green onions with these types of dishes! I think I am starting to overcome my "fear" of Korean cooking because I am starting to modify the dishes to my taste!
I have also made kimchi jeon:
I love kimchi jeon, but I never made it before because I thought it might be a little tough to make. Boy was I wrong! Flour, water, kimchi, salt! Thats it!!! And it tastes great!
The third dish I have made from this book was an egg casserole:
It looked really good! Unfortunately, it didnt taste as good as it looked. I think I know what went wrong, so the next time I make it I think I will know how to improve it. I really like this dish so I will try again!
Like I said this cookbook is really good. The recipes taste great, and the recipes are fairly simple and do not require a lot of ingredients (with a few exceptions).
I mentioned that I bought some new equipment...here was a gift to myself. I figured it would motivate me in my quest to learn Korean cooking, its worked so far!
Jealous? You should be, these are awesome tools! I had to think a long time about buying these. A really good knife set is really expensive. Was it worth the cost? Definitely, I am asking myself why I waited so long to buy a nice set. The efficiency of the way the knives cut is hard to describe. They are very solid knives, with some weight to them (personally like a heavier knife, it makes me feel like there is something there). Of course you can get a really good knife that is light weight. Actually the way the knife fits your hand and the weight are the biggest determining factors when buying a high end knife. So if your debating on getting a really good knife or set, I would highly recommend it. If you don't want to fork over all that money for a full set, I would highly recommend buying a good 8" chef knife, and a 3" or 4" paring knife, these two knives are the most used/common and probably the most cost efficient.
Gamjatang (Pork Bone Soup)
3 days ago