good morning. “If I could only eat 10 Korean dishes for the rest of my life, this would be it.” Eric Kim wrote this week in the Food section of The Times.
Eric is a food desk writer, “eat” columnist for the New York Times magazine and the son of South Korean immigrants who’s been attending his mother’s master class in Korean cooking since he was old enough to walk, “A little shadow followed by our neighborhood kitchen in suburban Atlanta, tasting kimchi from For sugar and salt; helping her pick and wash perilla leaves from the garden for a family dinner from Sam; or, later in life, sitting on the kitchen island watching her mashed herb, those wonderful grilled seaweed, over a family plate of kimchi fried rice.”
Here are Eric’s basic Korean recipes, basic dishes for him and his experience as a person of South Korean descent.
First, dunjang jijae, an umami-rich stew filled with fermented soybean paste, and sweetened with onions, zucchini, and radishes. (Make it vegan by skipping the anchovies and using tofu in place of the rib eye steak.)
Samgyeopsal (above) is “three-layered meat,” referring to the pork belly with a fatty covering and two smaller layers of meat underneath, one light and one dark. It’s an easy way to try Korean barbecue at home.
Budae jjigae, or army base stew, is a soup carried over from the end of the Korean War, when resourceful home cooks used rations left over from the United States Army to build a satisfying stew: hot dogs and spam in a broth of kimchi and gochujang, with noodles with cheese American.
Miyeok guk is a seaweed soup known to many as Christmas soup. Eric’s version discards the common beef broth in favor of one made with mussels, onions, garlic, and anchovies.
Fried rice usually requires refrigerated leftover rice, as using fresh steamed grains often leads to clumping. But Eric’s Paper Fried Kimchi Rice can be made with fresh rice, since the oven heat draws in moisture to deliver crisp, crunchy results.
Seolleongtang is a simple, comforting soup made with beef bones and green onions, and cooked over several hours to provide what Eric calls a “greasy aroma.” Ended up with a gremolata of green onions, garlic, and salt.
A staple of Korean home cooking, fish jorim is best prepared with any type of fatty fish, in a broth of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
There’s a riot of textures in Eric’s cheese-wrapped tteokbokki, Korean fried rice cakes pressed with gochujang topped with melted cheese, shredded raw cabbage and a batch of halved hard-boiled eggs.
Before there was Korean fried chicken, there was tongdak gui, a type of grilled chicken salted in a soy sauce mixture energized by ground white pepper.
And of course Eric offers a recipe for Tongbaechu kimchi to round it all out, pickled and salted napa cabbage into quarters, then refrigerate to ferment for as long as you can manage before eating it.
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Now, it has nothing to do with Aribas or Colcannon, but I tore up Adam White’s tense first novel, “The Midcoast,” about family, crime, and the small town of Maine.
In Smithsonian Magazine, April White published a fascinating excerpt from her new book, “The Divorce Colony: How Women Revolutionized Marriage and Found Freedom on the American Frontier.”
The Danish political thriller Borgen, on Netflix, was one of the highlights of my early witness to the pandemic. My co-star Tina Jordan reminded me that there is now a fourth season. I sip through it, to make it last.
Finally, here are the Jayhawks, “Blue.” Play that – play the entire album – this week while you cook. I will be back on Friday.