The final gorgeous cookbook in our Asian collection from Tuttle Books is The Korean Table: From Barbecue to Bibimbap 100 Easy-To-Prepare Recipes by Taekyung Chung and Debra Samuels. It’s full-color, glossy, hardcover book with 100 recipes to get you started cooking Korean.
My last apartment in Chicago was located in aPolish neighborhood, but there was also a Korean enclave nearby, so we had a lot of bibimbap in my last year there. Sooo delicious. But like most Asian food, it was a mystery to me. What I love about these cookbooks from Tuttle is that they’re clearly designed for teaching. They always include detailed ingredients and tools lists, as well as step-by-step photos for unfamiliar processes. This one is no exception, and I would feel completely confident making these recipes. The authors are a fascinating pair, one Korean, one American, who met in Japan, moved away, both came back, and reconnected. The modernized recipes are full of fresh ingredients, and the book was photographed in the U.S. with ingredients available here. (Note that I used a funky filter on the photos, the book is not covered in green specks!)
Layout and design:
The large format allows for plenty of white space, giving the recipes and photos room to breathe. A sans serif font is used throughout, but is heavy enough to read. The book begins with the story of how the book came to be (worth reading!), an introduction to Korean food, and an ingredients primer. Chapters include: The Basics, Starters & Snacks, Salads Kimchi & Sides, Soups & Hot Pots, Meat & Poultry, Fish & Seafood, Vegetables & Tofu, Rice & Noodles, Desserts & Drinks.
There are so many I would try, including pine nut mustard dressing, seafood and green onion pancakes, cucumber kimchi, egg custard beef soup, Korean hot wings, braised tofu, and fig compote with cinnamon and ginger.
What I liked about the book:
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
Anyone wanting to learn about Korean food.
Not recommended for:
Migraine sufferers, low-sodium, gluten-free diets. Limited vegetarian and vegan options.
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.