by Kim Sunee and Seung Hee Lee
The backbone of Korean cuisine, jang, has a flavor not found anywhere else in the world. The cuisine’s combination of savory, sweet, salty, and spicy flavors makes it uniquely delicious, yet there are few resources for those who wish to enjoy it at home. Until now. EVERYDAY KOREAN by Kim Sunee and Seung Hee Lee brings accessible Korean home cooking with a modern twist.
The authors Kim Sunee and Seung Hee Lee met in Seoul in 2008; Seung Hee was Kim’s interpreter during the book tour for the Korean-language edition of Kim’s memoir, Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home. After an emotional journey through Seoul (revisiting orphanages and markets in hopes that Kim might find some trace of her birth family) and many shared meals, not to mention glasses of bubbles and soju, they bonded over their love of food, Seung Hee acting as the culinary guide, helping Kim taste her way through her birth country and feel at home. Seung Hee, who would soon leave to pursue PhD in Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins, also trained at the prestigious Taste of Korea Institute, a research organization dedicated to the preservation of Korean royal court cuisine, Korean culinary traditions, and reviving traditional recipes for modern-day kitchens.
Since Kim was adopted she didn’t grow up eating Korean food, but as much as she was fascinated by Korean cuisine, she was also intimidated by the idea of actually cooking with techniques and ingredients so different from her culinary background. But she has always felt deeply connected to the flavors and beauty of this rustic hearty cuisine. Over the years, they talked about writing this book together with a focus in re-creating delicious interpretations of Korean dishes with deep flavor and ease of preparation using ingredients familiar to the non-Korean home cook. Many of the recipes are based on traditional Korean recipes, but with a modern twist using fresh, seasonal ingredients suitable for Western home cooks. Others are reinterpretations with new flavors influenced by their respective travels and what they like to cook and eat on a daily basis.
This culinary journey will inspire readers to include traditional Korean flavors in their daily cooking repertoire. Beautifully photographed by the talented Leela Cyd, with tips for building a Korean pantry, drink pairings (from soju to microbrews), and menu ideas, EVERYDAY KOREAN is the ultimate guide to one of the world’s most unique and delicious cuisines.