Take a “behind-the-scenes” look at the photo shoot for The Korean Table.
Our team includes photographer, his assistants, a food stylist and a dedicated group of friends helping to make over 15 recipes a day!
I believe in fate. How else could you explain the origin of this book? My friend Taekyung Chung and I met in an Indian cooking class while we were both ex-pats in Tokyo in 1992. After a year we returned to our hometowns: Boston and Seoul. We lost touch and went on with our lives, both of us cooking teachers and food writers. Back in Tokyo in 2005, I was invited to a chic Korean restaurant by a friend who wanted to introduce a cooking teacher and food writer who he thought I would enjoy knowing. You guessed it –it was Taekyung! She had returned to Tokyo and we spent the rest of the year renewing our friendship, exchanging cooking lessons and exploring markets. Along the way we thought it would be fun to write a Korean cookbook together using her vast cache of delicious recipes as the base. It has been a delicious collaboration and we hope you will agree.
Cooking school teachers Chung and Samuels offer an alluring array of Korean recipes designed for the Western kitchen. As an added bonus, the authors delve into the history of the cuisine, including the importance of balance in taste and color, medicinal qualities of ingredients, and construction of the typical Korean family meal. They also include a lengthy section introducing the reader to common ingredients of the cuisine. The dishes, some traditional, some modernized for contemporary tastes, are what the authors call a “starter kit”: the building blocks essential to Korean cooking. Staples include Kimchi Paste, Soy Scallion Dipping Sauce and a collection of homemade stocks. Because Korean meals often include a minimum of five dishes, recipes are quick and accessible. Some, such as Korean Dumplings, include handy sidebars with instructions on technique. Others, such as Asparagus Salad, Korean Hot Wings, and Stir Fried Beef with Vegetables clearly appeal to the American sense of familiarity, albeit with a Korean flair. For the more adventurous, recipes such as Roasted Corn Tea, Kimchi Soup, and Warm and Spicy Squid Salad are sure to appeal. Complete with full-color photos throughout, this collection offers a welcome and undaunting introduction into Korean cuisine.
— Publishers Weekly
Glass Noodles with Beef andVegetables Japchae
Made from sweet potato starch, these dense and chewy “glass” noodles easily absorb the sweet soy and sesame oil sauce. The seasoned transparent noodles are tossed with a variety of vegetables and meat in this Korean classic.
1/4 lb (100 g) sirloin beef tips or rib eye steak, cut into matchstick strips
5 oz (150 g) dried Korean vermicelli noodles (about half a package)
1/2 lb (250 g) spinach (half bunch)
2 tablespoons canola, safflower or other neutral oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick strips
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in water and cut into matchstick strips
1 tablespoon dried wood ear mushrooms, reconstituted in water and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, plus more for drizzling
5 tablespoons Sweet Soy Base Sauce (page xx)
1 tablespoon Roasted Sesame Seeds (page xx)
Fine-grain sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Sweet Soy Base Sauce (page xx)
1 tablespoon minced green onion (scallion)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
In a small bowl, add the beef and the marinade ingredients. Toss the beef stips until thoroughly coated. Let the beef marinate while preparing the other ingredients.
Place the dried noodles in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Pour 4 cups (1 liter) of boiling water over the noodles and let soften, about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles. Cut the noodles in half with scissors and set aside. If they get sticky just give them a quick rinse with warm water.
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of the neutral-flavored oil and place over medium heat. Stir-fry the onion, carrot and mushrooms separately, seasoning each with a pinch of salt. Add additional oil to the skillet as needed. Place each vegetable, when done, into a large serving bowl.
In the same skillet, add the beef and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add to the serving bowl.
To the skillet, add the 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and the 5 tablespoons of Sweet Soy Base Sauce. Bring to a boil. Add the softened cellophane noodles and mix well. The noodles will become transparent. Turn off the heat.
Add the noodles to the serving bowl along with the cooked vegetables and beef. Add the Roasted Sesame Seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil. Toss until the ingredients are distributed. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.