I'm going to call it now: Koreatown
will doubtless be one of my top five cookbooks of 2016. This is one of those cookbooks where every recipe calls out to me. Inspired by American Korean neighborhoods, most of these recipes are traditional Korean with a splash of Americanism. Authors Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard introduce each recipe with hints and recipe history. Small essays and interviews turn up throughout: "Why Two-Year-Olds Need to Eat Kalbi," "Don't Tell David Chang He Is a Korean Chef," "Eric Ripert Really Likes Korea, We Really Like Eric Ripert," and perhaps the most important essay, "How to Cook Korean Food at Home without Pissing Off Your Neighbors." Koreatown
is a celebration of Korean food, with the photography to prove it. If you have any interest whatsoever in eating Korean, you will love Koreatown
. (Featured Cookbook, "On the Table") Recommended By Tracey T., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
This is not your average soft-focus “journey to Asia” kind of cookbook. Koreatown is a spicy, funky, flavor-packed love affair with the grit and charm of Korean cooking in America. Koreatowns around the country are synonymous with mealtime feasts and late-night chef hangouts, and Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard show us why with stories, interviews, and over 100 delicious, super-approachable recipes.
It’s spicy, it’s fermenty, it’s sweet and savory and loaded with umami: Korean cuisine is poised to break out in the U.S., but until now, Korean cookbooks have been focused on taking readers to an idealized Korean fantasyland. Koreatown, though, is all about what’s real and happening right here: the foods of Korean American communities all over our country, from L.A. to New York City, from Atlanta to Chicago. We follow Rodbard and Hong through those communities with stories and recipes for everything from beloved Korean barbecue favorites like bulgogi and kalbi to the lesser-known but deeply satisfying stews, soups, noodles, salads, drinks, and the many kimchis of the Korean American table.
Hong is one of the hottest chefs in New York’s Koreatown. Rodbard authored the Korean Food Foundation’s guide to New York after sampling the cuisine at 60 Manhattan restaurants. In collaboration the two have come up with a detailed and sharply written collection that includes nearly 100 recipes as well as photos short essays and interviews that explore various K towns across the U.S. The authors are quick to point out what has been lost in translation. They explain that kimchi for example is a pickling technique not a single dish and offer seven variations including pineapple to prove their point. Bibimbap translates to mixed rice and can include any number of ingredients. The authors’ interests lie more in flavor combinations than in cooking from scratch so packaged noodles and thawed dumpling wrappers are the order of the day but the results are delicacies such as jjampong a spicy noodle soup full of seafood and anchovy stock. Bar snacks—including classic Korean fried chicken braised pig feet and crispy pork belly—take on an added dimension in a chapter that asserts “Drinking symbolizes respect for elders.” An inspiring section is handed over to guest chefs who have found ways of adding Korean flavor to their dishes: Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop creates a Korean barbecue–flavored ball and Texas chef Paul Qui concocts a comforting kimchi grilled cheese. (Feb.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
“I fell in love with Korean food over a decade ago, and enjoy learning as much as I can about this complex and flavorful cuisine. Koreatown is filled with information about ingredients, techniques, and insights into Korean American food culture. This cookbook is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to know more about where to find delicious Korean food across America and how to prepare dishes at home.” Eric Ripert
“The food of Korea is complex, and becomes fully realized in this amazing new book by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard. With a thrilling new voice and original ideas, this is not the same boring “ethnic eats explainer” that is often used as an excuse to profile a country’s cuisine. I couldn’t put it down, and can’t wait to start cooking from these pages. Bibimbap for the win!” Andrew Zimmern, author and television host
“Eating Korean food is the best legal high in the world and Koreatown is the gateway drug you need!” Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Little Failure: A Memoir
“Koreatown is not a place. It’s an energy, an attitude, a painstaking stew of spice and frugality and brutally honest flavors. For the first time, here’s a book that captures all of its electricity and mystery in a voice that is both vibrant and respectful.” Edward Lee, chef and author of Smoke and Pickles
“Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard have given us a deep and important look at the people, places and cuisine that are reshaping what we want for dinner. Koreatown thrills with flavors that will change your life.” Anthony Bourdain
About the Author
Deuki Hong is chef of the smash-hit Korean barbecue restaurant Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong in Manhattan’s Koreatown. He began his cooking career at 15 as a line cook under Aarón Sanchez at Centrico before heading to the Culinary Institute Of America. After graduating near the top of his class, he cooked under David Chang at Momofuku Noodle Bar before spending two years on the line at Jean-Georges. He's recently been recognized as an Eater Young Gun and named to the Zagat 30 Under 30 list.
Matt Rodbard has written about restaurants, chefs, drinks, cooking and music for the past decade. His writing has appeared in Bon Appétit, Travel & Leisure, Men's Journal, Tasting Table, SPIN, and he currently serves as Contributing Editor at Food Republic. He's the author of Korean Restaurant Guide: New York City, a comprehensive guidebook detailing the 40 best Korean restaurants in New York City.