- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition edition (August 8, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580082815
- ISBN-13: 978-1580082815
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Growing up in a Korean Kitchen: A Cookbook Hardcover – August 8, 2001
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Korean cuisine is a tantalizing blend of sour, sweet, hot, burning hot, salty, bitter, and nutty, or so writes Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall, author of Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen. Part autobiography and part cookbook, this remarkable work provides a practical introduction to a cuisine Americans have encountered with delight, and a poignant memoir of a time and place in which an average family meal could consist of seven or more dishes, hierarchically served according to gender and family standing (males and grandmas ruled).
Beginning with a scene-setting journey to the author's childhood home, the book then provides a detailed account of relevant ingredients, equipment, techniques, and sauces and pastes (many based on soy beans and red pepper). Over 175 recipes follow for a wide range of everyday and special-occasion dishes, from rice and cereal specialties, including an intriguing fried rice with chicken, mushrooms, and kimchi; to fresh salad and vegetable dishes such as Sautéed Spring Garlic; to barbecued specialties like Fried Beef Ribs; to desserts and confections. A chapter on celebratory dishes, such as the extraordinary, multi-ingredient Celestial Hot Pot, is balanced by a homey section on stews and dishes such as Braised Pork Spareribs. Throughout, Hepinstall offers asides that place the food in its cultural context, variations, and technical information. With an illuminating section on tea and other drinks, the book makes an exciting introduction to a kind of cooking Westerners can now prepare and enjoy at home. --Arthur Boehm
From Library Journal
Although Korean food is poised to become the next favorite Asian cuisine, there are relatively few cookbooks on the subject. Hepinstall's book is both more ambitious than Jenny Kwak's Dok Suni (LJ 11/15/98) and more wide-ranging than Deborah Coultrip-Davis and Young Sook Ramsey's vegetarian Flavors of Korea (LJ 9/15/98). One of 12 children, she provides a personal glimpse of a disappearing way of life as well as a detailed introduction to traditional Korean cuisine (she even includes her family's recipe for soy sauce). American readers may recognize some of the dishes from Korean restaurants, but many will be new. The section on main dishes covers rice and cereals, soups and porridges, and noodles and dumplings, with a whole chapter devoted to kimchi, a signature dish; in addition to side dishes, desserts, and beverages, there are separate chapters on Korean barbecue and special-occasion recipes. Hepinstall writes well and knowledgeably, and her photographs of family and her visits to her homeland illustrate the text. Strongly recommended.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Good News! The author is aware of the problems, and there's a new website (the old one was dysfunctional). It includes a great index which includes the English, transliteration, and Hangul for all the ingredients and recipe names, plus a page index ([...]). It's a little odd to have to translate an English cookbook on Korean cooking back into Korean, but it's a big help. So, what about the book?
First, read the "The Korean Scetion." Read it again and every couple of weeks if you're new to this. The recipes are elaborate but reasonable if you're serious. They're not for someone looking for "Korean food for dinner in 20 minutes or less." (although many dishes are quick to make once you're used to it - I can have jjigae on the table in half an hour or less. It takes longer to cook the rice!) You have to know your way around a kitchen and be willing to put in the time. But they are westernized in subtle ways that you won't notice unless you know a lot about Korean cooking and ingredients. So I don't recommend it for beginners. But the stories about the author's family, the local color stories, give a sense of what growing up in a Korean household - a wealthy, upper class family - was like. And once I figured out what the ingredients should be, the Baechu Kimchi recipe is excellent.
When I bought the book, I wanted to make everything in it. When I realized that I had to translate it back into Korean, I got discouraged and went to the Internet for more accessible recipes. But I'm going back to it and might just make everything in it. ;) The lady at the Korean market can't believe I'm planning to make my own gochujang. Kimchi is easy; gochujang is hardcore. But there's a recipe for it, and I just can't resist. I'm grateful to have this book, which documents a vanishing way of life. Most of the women I meet in the market have never made kimchi, and I don't think any of them have made gochujang. They all remember their mothers doing it, but they wouldn't dream of it. So if you love all things Korean, this book is a must have.
Note: I'm an American with no previous experience of Korea or Korean food. I have mentally "moved" to Korea and cooked Korean food exclusively since 2011, including so many batches of kimchi that I've lost count. I live 1 mile from "Koreatown" on Google maps, so I have access to ingredients that may not be available elsewhere, although there are mail order sources. This review expresses my experiences in the learning process.
We were in Poland three years, 1990-3 and she fed a lot of Poles. Was in Poland in 2006 and Polish friends had kind of a memorial dinner for her and one Polish woman made this toast "Until I met Bonnie I never knew spinach could taste good, let alone THAT good!" That toast brought tears to our eyes. The recipe for Sigumch'i Namul (seasoned spinach) is THAT good. So are several of the other recipes in this book. The great things is that this book explains things step by step and provides a discussion of what makes Korean food, well, Korean food. Have at least five other Korean food cookbooks. Think I'm gonna toss them.
Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall loving and generously shares her recipes and detailed instructions which I appreciate so much. I have made Kimchi, six of her side dishes, Hot Red Pepper Sauce (hit at my last dinner party) and her fired beef and chicken. Not but not least her Chapchae (crowd pleaser), although time consuming it is well worth the effort. I will try more recipes and am confident they will turn out very tasty.
Thank-you Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall for a fabulous cookbook.
Recently I have developed into a wannabe gourmet cook, collecting and reading many cookbooks of various cuisines, and trying many new recipes in the kitchen. Hepinstall's book is the only one I've found available that so comprehensively contains all the traditional Korean dishes I crave, with a bounty of authentic recipes.
Some have complained that the recipes are complicated but I have no idea what these readers mean or what they expected. I found each recipe to be thorough but hardly complicated. Could there be shortcuts? Well sure, knock yourself out. You don't have to soak meats in cold water before making that soup or stew. I don't soak the oxtails for my favorite soup. But knowledge is a good thing. It's good to know traditional cooking techniques, whether you choose to follow them or not. Cookbooks are not bibles. Perhaps someone should write a Korean 30-Minute Meals, heh!
I've made my favorites and tried other dishes I've never had before, all to my satisfaction. One thing I haven't tried yet is making kimchee - maybe soon.
Like others have stated, the glaring drawback to this book is the lack of full-color photos of the finished dishes, let alone any of the steps in progress. Maybe a future edition of this fine book will add this.
Most recent customer reviews
The recipes seem complex and more time consuming than I'm willing to spend for every day cooking.