Category Archives: Cooking

Cookbooks, Ethnic Markets, and Growing My Own Stuff

All Cookbooks My collection of cookbooks

My interest in ethnic food isn’t just limited to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisines.  A cousin took me to my first Thai restaurant nearly a decade ago, and during my college internship years I was introduced to Indian, Greek, and Middle Eastern dishes, thanks to fellow interns from around the world.  My own heritage is Scots-Irish, with a little Jewish, Armenian, and Lord only knows what else thrown in. Continue reading


Dak Juk and Do Chua

Kim Sam Soon 01
Sam Soon delivers juk to Jin Heon. I wish she had dumped it on his head.

Sickness in my family usually means that my mom will make a fast-and-dirty version of chicken soup.  Rice, barley, canned chicken, dried vegetable flakes…it may sound like a pathetic excuse for chicken soup but it is actually quite good.  And it’s a heck of a lot easier and faster to make than from scratch.

During a recent bout with stomach upset, my mom instructed me to make some soup, but to cook the rice a lot longer so that it fell apart…which put me in a mindset to try juk, the Korean version of rice porridge. Continue reading

Making Kimchi

FBRS Kimchi Kiss
The famous “kimchi kiss” in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

You can’t watch Kdramas and not know about kimchi.  It took me a while to develop a taste for it, but I’m proof that it can happen.  Unfortunately, kimchi can’t be found in the little town were I live.  The closest Asian market is an hour and a half away.  Thankfully, my daughter attends college there so I often send her to the market before she comes home for the weekend. Continue reading

Ddukbokki Times Two

My daughter’s friend loves to watch the videos at Eat Your Kimchi, especially the food related videos.  She saw the video about ddukbokki and has had a hankering to try some ever since.  My daughter ever-so-graciously offered to have me make some for her to try.

Here’s the thing: I’ve made several attempts at ddukbokki, with various degrees of success, but none that would make me go “Wow! I could eat this every day!”  I’ve tried four completely different recipes, hoping to find one that would let me understand why the dish is so popular. Continue reading

Kimchi Jjigae – 1st Attempt

I’ve been wanting to try kimchi jjigae, or kimchi stew, for some time now.  After looking up several recipes online, I ended up printing out four variations to try.  I chose to try this recipe first, because it sounded fairly basic and easy.  I used a little more pork belly than the recipe called for, because hey, I like pork.

It was very easy to make and the result was quite yummy.  My daughter and I halved it and ate it over some leftover rice, which soaked up the broth quite nicely. Continue reading

Introduction – Cooking Asian Food

Growing up in the deep south, I was raised to eat a variety of vegetables and to appreciate the home-grown kind.  We ate wild game and fish caught in the river.  A typical meal at my house would include a meat, 2-3 vegetables, potatoes or rice, gravy, and cornbread.  And sweet tea.  Can’t forget the sweet tea.

Like my mom, though, I was always willing to try something new.  My first taste of Asian food happened when I was about 12, at a Chinese restaurant in the city where my aunt lived.  Cashew chicken.  It was so good!  And my love of Chinese food was born.

Continue reading