Top positive review
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Beautiful and delicious Korean Food
on August 9, 2011
My family had the pleasure of living in Pusan, SK for three and half years. One of our favorite weekend things to do was get on the subway and just ride, getting off randomly and explore the area. The food was fabulous and different, spicy and fragrant. We would see the older women sitting on curbs rinsing giant bunches of cabbage for kimchi. None of the four of us spoke more than the most basic of Hangul, thank you, please, etc, but everyone was gracious and willing to help us.
We'd stand at the rolling carts eating hot food off a stick or go into little holes in the walls (literally,it would not be unusual to go in somewhere that had maybe three tables and someone sleeping in the back separated only by a curtain) hand over some won and be fed. Half the time we had no idea what we were even eating but it was delicious.
The Kimchi Chronicles bring back those wonderful ingredients, memories, and the unique individuality of Korean food. We haven't had the pleasure of seeing the PBS series yet, but Marja Vongerichten evokes the feeling of Korea in her cookbook. She does an excellent job of explaining the ingredients. The book is full of pictures of finished recipes which is very helpful when exploring a new cuisine.
Chapter one, which is on Kimchee, might be surprising for anyone unfamiliar with Korean food. Kimchee is not just the pickled red cabbage we associate with the word. Marja (not spelling out the last name every single time, sorry) shows how different food works together to make an entire experience, not just a meal.
Okay, so the book's pretty, has pictures, and food in Korea is yummy, none of that really matters if the recipes don't work.
If you want to start with the more familiar there are recipes for bulgogi and spiced pork chops. The pork chops were delicious. The seafood and scallion Pajeon (crispy seafood and scallion pancakes) taste like we are standing in the middle of the street eating them straight off a vendor cart in Korea.
The ingredient list and instructions are well written out and easy to understand. The Ingredients can be found in most grocery stores plus a few in a market for Asian foods. Nothing so far has been at all hard to find.
Excellent cookbook with delicious recipes, try Korean Cuisine, your taste buds will thank you.