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Dok Suni Hardcover – October 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312192614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312192617
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dok Suni is an enchanting combination of personal narrative and appealing recipes in which Jenny Kwak shares stories and food from her mother's Korean kitchen. Since few cooks are familiar with Korean food, it is helpful that Kwak's descriptions of each dish tell what results to expect: Spinach and Clam Soup, you discover, "is good boiling hot (yet) there is a cool sensation about the flavor ... from the clams." The 70 recipes in this volume include important classic Korean dishes. There are six versions of Kim Chi, the incendiary pickle made from cabbage or other vegetables, garlic, and mounds of red pepper. Bibimbop, a dish of sautéed chopped vegetables served over rice--often in a heated clay dish--is topped with a raw egg that cooks as you mix it in. Proving how much Koreans love beef, Kwok gives her mother's recipes for Bulgogi and Kalbi. Bulgogi is thinly sliced beef marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine, then grilled. The short ribs used for Kalbi are similarly marinated before they are barbecued.

A caveat is necessary. Though Dok Suni is coauthored by a native English speaker, select recipes contain some questionable or incomplete directions. For the Pumpkin Porridge, the black beans are cooked for only five minutes, and no presoaking is called for, which seems an inadequate cooking time. Where brown rice is called for, there is no indication whether to use short or long grain. This being said, the book is still an inspirational introduction to Korean cooking that's also filled with Korean folklore and charming family narratives. --Dana Jacobi

From Library Journal

The second book on Korean food in a matter of months is proof that interest in this cuisine is indeed growing. Kwak and her mother own a popular Korean restaurant in New York City (Dok Suni, its name, means "strong woman"). Kwak's book is a more personal one than Deborah Coultrip-Davis and Young Sook Ramsay's Flavors of Korea (LJ 9/15/98) and, unlike their book, is not vegetarian. However, Coultrip-Davis and Ramsay include far more recipes than Kwak's 75, with more information about the cuisine as well. Still, given the paucity of books on the subject, Dok Suni is recommended for most larger collections (despite its inflated price).
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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For years, I have been searching for good recipes to duplicate these Korean dishes.
Kathleen Meyer
My sweet mom said it tasted wonderful but I know what it's really supposed to taste and look like so I felt that i wasted 2 hours of my time on this recipe.
J. Lee
Growing up in a Korean/American home, most of the recipies in this book are familiar and tastes like my mom's home cooking.
Pink Gypsy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Being korean-american, I guess my expectations were too high. I thought that since, the authors of this book were korean, that this book would help me hone my korean cooking skills. I was very disappointed because there are not that many recipes contained in the book and also many of the techniques used are not traditional. The recipes turned out okay, but they seemed to be lacking something. The ingredient list and techniques used seemed to be simplified so that they would be easier for nonkoreans. However, for someone who is unfamiliar with korean food in general, there are not enough pictures to help them. There are 8 pages of pictures and six of them contain pictures of finished products.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am a Korean American who has been eating Korean food most my life-I feel that I can be a fairly accurate judge of Korean cooking and this book is Excellent. I feel that these recipes were very easy to follow and were very authentic. Because most Korean cooks-cook according to instinct versus documented recipes( a pinch of this and that)-this book was wonderful to have. It give some structure to the art. I've recommended this to several friends and have even bought it for others. Also this book has some wonderful little stories about cooking and the author's family. It is a beautiful and handy book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "ann26hw" on February 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have been keeping this book for about six months and have tried around 10 recipes from it. I am not Korean but my boyfriend is a native so he can easily tell whether those dishes are authentic or not. After those experience, I feel this book is helpful for beginners, but it oversimplifies Korean cuisine. Those side dishes aren't so easy to make as they look, believe me. Besides, some recipes are confusing. For example, Kalbi, according to the book, for 1 pound beef short ribs, it only needs 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoon sesame oil and chopped garlic, no salt at all. If you follow this, the beef ribs will turn out to be tasteless. Korean barbecue dishes always have strong taste and need much more condiments. And Yuke-jaong, our favorite, needs much more red pepper flakes than the quantity from the book to get that hot and spicy taste. So I think this is just an OK cooking book, not a great one, though I do love those stories bringing out the culture of this country.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Ready on February 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has wonderful glossary under the title "moms shopping list" which explains all the ingredients and how they are usually prepared. Also, this book has all the family style dishes that are not in many of the other Korean cook books. For someone who grew up eating Korean food and is now living in a place where it's not available at all, this is a life saver.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "unchienne" on January 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Just as my title implies, I found this book of "home cooked" recipes to fall just out of reach of my expectations. Being half Korean I have begun a collection of recipe books in order to enjoy the foods that I have grown up with. I will say that this book was the most satisfying I have come across so far, the others being so Americanized that they were a joke, or so vague and nondescript that I wasn't sure if I was preparing it properly. My problems with this book were the same as those that others have previously stated. The recipes were not as varied as I had hoped for and centered on familiar/common foods such as bulgogi and bibimbop, typically American favorites. The foods were also somewhat Americanized, as I found out when I cooked them for my Korean mother. She was quick to point out the differences. Still, overall it's better than most, and provided the basic steps for recipes that I could alter during cooking to suit my taste and memory.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Dok Suni is a nice Korean cookbook with it's many pictures of the author growing up, the little stories of her diligent mother, the colorful pictures of the food. I wouldn't call it authentic Korean cooking though. The recipes are still very tasty, but don't make these recipes thinking they are what most Korean mothers make for meals. The recipes are very Americanized and it's a great book to introduce someone to Korean food and cooking. Just don't serve these recipes to someone from the Fatherland and call it "homecooking".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! It has all of my favorite dishes from growing up as a Korean American. Until this book, I mainly cooked American food and left the Korean food to my mom or eating out. For my first try, I cooked a dinner of Kalbi, boiled dumplings, japchae, cucumber salad, tofu, egg custard and seaweed soup when I first got the book and everything turned out wonderfully. I got rave reviews from my guests. By sprinkling the Kalbi with brown sugar before tenderizing with Kiwi juice(a key ingredient), they turned out perfect. Another reviewer said that the recipe calls for salt or more marinade, but I found it to be the right amount. I agree that some of the preparation details are sometimes similfied and missing information such as boiling time, etc. Also, in the seawood soup recipe, the seawood amount is a bit much and I had to add water and more of the seasonings. However, everything so far has been authentic, fun to make, and delicious. I already bought another book for a friend & for a newly married couple. It helps if you grew up with Korean Food, are familiar with Korean flavorings, but just couldn't get your mother to write down the exact recipes.
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