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My Rice Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside the Lines Hardcover – September 26, 2017
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“Rachel’s sumptuous food, like her stellar career, transcends easy descriptions. She cooks without borders, without inhibitions, but always with a master’s sense of technique that makes unexpected flavor combinations seem natural and delicious. This is cross-cultural cooking at its best. This is the cuisine of the future.”
—Edward Lee, chef/owner of 610 Magnolia and author of Smoke & Pickles
“Rachel Yang has always inspired me as a pioneer in American cooking. She uses her experience as both a Korean and an American to come up with a new, exciting approach that continues to shape modern American cuisine. This cookbook beautifully speaks to her personal story and gives guidance to how she creates her unique flavors. This is the kind of cookbook that will be filled with stains because you will actually be cooking from it all the time!”
—Beverly Kim, chef/owner of Parachute
“Along with being an outstanding example of taking on the American dream, My Rice Bowl presents a menu of delicious contrasts. Add resourceful perseverance and a passion for food, and make the flavors your own.”
"Yang brings culinary fusion to full flower, as she demonstrates in this unique cookbook...An adventuresome cook will discover plenty of imagination and novelty here."
"This is a collection of innovative recipes with Korean flavors. The food in this book is not straight-up traditional but, like Yang — a Seattle restaurateur — unique and memorable."
—WBUR Here & Now
“Diners at acclaimed Seattle restaurants Joule and Revel have already sampled James Beard Award-nominated Yang’s Korean-fusion cooking; now that can re-create those flavors at home with this recipe-filled guide.”
—Alaska Airlines Magazine
“[A cookbook] with a point of view…nothing short of epic.”
“If you love [Seattle’s Joule, Revel and Trove] restaurants, you will love this book.”
“[My Rice Bowl] includes 75 recipes based on Yang and husband Seif Chirchi's comfort foods.”
“[Rachel Yang’s recipe had] a pretty simple marinade but what blew my mind … was how juicy and tender [the meat] was.”
—Bon Appetit Foodcast
“Yang incorporates Korean flavors and techniques in unexpected (and delicious) dishes.”
“[This ]high-quality, well-designed cookbook practically beg[s] you to re-create restaurant favorites at home"
—The Seattle Times
“I am in love with this book.”
—Eat Your Books
“Basically if you are trying to elevate your cooking in the kitchen - get your hands on a copy of this bad boy.”
"lt's food without boundaries, made with ingredients from all over the globe...built from our understandings of how flavor works."
“It’s a beautiful book. It looks like something I want to use in the kitchen.”
—KIRO Seattle Kitchen
“James Beard Award-[nominated] all-star chef.”
—The Daily Meal
“A cookbook with 75 recipes from her inventive, highly personal take on Korean cuisine."
“Chef Rachel Yang … shares her unique take on Korean fusion.”
—Table Manners Aside
"The story that she tells is very relatable and provides the back story to her inventive recipes and the dishes she serves at her and her husband’s restaurants...The graphics and photos are fantastic, but most importantly the recipes are approachable and tasty."
"In addition to the recipes, My Rice Bowl includes captivating stories of family and love. Yes, that’s right. There is romance too...It’s a compelling read highlighting Rachel’s Korean upbringing and what it means to be American."
"With layers of flavors, culinary traditions, and cultural influences, this is a truly global take on Korean cuisine."
"Bravo to Chef Yang! We really can't stress enough how much we like this cookbook."
—I'll Have What She's Having
"If you’re itching to recreate Joule’s kimchi recipe at home, chef Rachel Yang, like an angel of cookery, has descended from the heavens to answer your prayers and so much more."
"If you love Joule, Revel, and Trove, you’ll love learning chef-owner Rachel Yang’s secrets to her personalized Korean style — instead of traditional bibimbap, expect Revel’s indispensable 'mother sauces' (like savory chili sauce) and Joule’s staff-meal brisket buns. The recipes are diverse, delicious, and doable, and the tone is personal and engaging thanks to local author Jess Thomson."
About the Author
RACHEL YANG and her husband, Seif Chirchi, own and operate Joule, Revel, and Trove restaurants in Seattle, and Revelry in Portland. The duo holds four James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef. Both Rachel and Seif remain working chefs who still cook on the line most nights in one of their signature open kitchens. Their two young sons, Pike and Rye, can often be found in the family’s restaurants as well.
JESS THOMSON is an award-winning freelance food and travel writer, and the author of seven cookbooks, many written with Seattle-area restaurateurs, plus her recent memoir, A Year Right Here: Adventures with Food and Family in the Great Nearby. Her work has appeared in the New York Times; Food & Wine; Cooking Light; and Seattle, Sunset, and Edible Seattle magazines; and in multiple issues of the yearly Best Food Writing book collection. She lives in Seattle with her husband and eight-year-old son.
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There also is a very helpful ingredients list with information about brands and what to look for.
(For example: I've had this book for over a month now, and it took me a week of dedicated reading and studying just to get through the book once--not even attempting any of the recipes that first week, just embracing the words.)
For me, who does not fit into any of the three groups of people I mention above, I enjoy and use bits and pieces of this book: I like, and sometimes love, the recipes that are made in their kitchens that are the building blocks of their dishes. I love the Mother Sauces detailed at the beginning and other sauces that are tucked here and there throughout the book. I love the Magic Dredge, the vinaigrettes, the pastes and the rubs. I can't stay away from the Pickle chapter and I am repeatedly going back to many of the salads in the Banchan chapter.
Once I stopped feeling intimidated by all that is here, I opened my brain to accepting the bits of information and the ingredient lists that I could work with, and realized there is plenty here for me. Plenty to tackle for years to come. Plenty to embrace right this minute with what's already in my pantry. Plenty of recipes and ideas to incorporate into all my future cooking.
Back to the first group I mention above: Once the fans of these chefs read through this book and attempt some of the recipes themselves, they will be able to easily rationalize their trips to the restaurants. Many of these recipes are daunting and intimidating: Many steps are often necessary to create the wonderful taste sensations that can be realized in just one dish. Sometimes I wonder why people go to a restaurant when they can create the same meal at home easily. That is NOT the case here. Chefs Yang and Chirchi go through a lot of effort to create a meal. Anyone contemplating buying this cookbook should keep in mind that this is, definitely, a popular chef's restaurant cookbook. In fact, there is mention of any one of the three restaurants on almost every page. A lot of self-love here....as there is in most all chef-owned-run-restaurant cookbooks.
To create many of the recipes in this book--I estimate maybe a third to a half of them--you will be hunting down ingredients, (especially for those recipes in the kimchi and pancake chapters; also in the hot pots and stews; plus here and there throughout the book; even in the rice and grain chapter you will be looking for geoduck, banana leafs, thumb-size dried shrimp, and top round of lamb). Unless you live in or near a large city with upscale grocery stores and at least one large Asian market, you will be buying a good amount of pantry items online (here at Amazon, of course). And you will be making many substitutions in the fresh ingredients.
But the recipes are fairly do-able: Take my situation for example. I am in a rural area in the middle of nowhere, with the closest large and well-stocked grocery store about two hours away. And the nearest large Asian market even further away. I do make trips to the big city about once a month, so I do have the ingredients to make kimchi (but not the cooler temperatures needed, yet). And I already had many of the Korean and Asian pantry items already on my shelves. (You need a big pantry if you want to be an eclectic cook....) I am hard pressed to find substitutes for the Asian vegetables and even some of the beef and pork cuts, but I have been making do. (I had to do an internet search for the "coppa" cut of pork, and that's coming from a person who has been studying pork butchering and talking to butchers for the past few months in anticipation of our farm-raised Red Wattle going to the butcher this month.) And I cannot attempt the fish recipes, but can tackle the shrimp because I keep it frozen. I have still gotten quite a lot from this book. Glad I persevered--I did have to push myself over quite a few hurdles, though. And, I'll save the dumpling- and noodle-making for some other time.
Be aware that these chefs--living and cooking in bountiful Seattle, and with access to the entire West Coast--have their blinders on when it comes to ingredients: They very seldom offer substitutions. That's on you. Also, these chefs are very educated and intelligent and experienced: They have assumed you a similar background. The instructions here do not talk down to you.
This is a wonderful cookbook covering many topics and encourages the home cook/chef to experiment and make things their own. I was most interested in the kimchi and barbeque. I made the brisket with horseradish pickled cucumber and it was very good. Perfect compliments to each other and I can't wait to bring it to a potluck dinner for something different.
I don't live in an area where korean food ingredients are readily available, so thanks to gourmet sleuth I substituted balsamic vinegar for the black vinegar, and a mix of red pepper flakes, soy and sugar for the korean chili paste. Hey! making it my own! it was very good and the cucumber salad was delicious with it. Overall I don't want to go through the effort of ordering a lot of ingredients online for dishes I won't make that often, so I'm giving this to someone I know who lives in Seattle! I do however recommend the cookbook if hunting down ingredients doesn't phase you, or if you live in a large city like Chicago where finding them is very easy. I would also recommend just reading the book for the authors story alone. I also appreciate how she has her children in the kitchen with her at a young age, I think that's important to help kids learn to eat healthy. It's very inspiring.
In addition to easy-to-read recipes, the authors provides pages of info on technique and general background knowledge on some of the areas/ingredients - which is helpful for someone who is not as familiar with Korean cooking. The photos also help to illustrate technique.
This is a beautiful book and would make a great gift. I'm looking forward to trying all of the recipes.