Korean Cuisine Redefined

Ravioli, pickled beef tongue, and sashimi were just three of the dishes that were served earlier this month for Korean Cuisine Redefined — none of which you will probably find on the menu at your local Korean restaurant.  Held at the Korean Consulate in New York on October 5th, the tasting featured five Korean American chefs and their own take on redefining Korean cuisine. To get to know a little more about the food and the inspiration behind it, let’s meet the chefs!

Rachel Yang, Akira Back, Youngsun Lee, Andrew Chang, Tommy Lee
Rachel Yang, Akira Back, Youngsun Lee, Andrew Chang, and Tommy Lee

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National Day and Armed Forces Day at the Korean Ambassador’s House

When I was growing up in LA, eating Korean food meant one thing: an all-meat dinner cooked over the grill at the restaurant, Woo Lae Oak. Each visit was pretty much the same experience — billowing clouds of meat-scented smoke, sharp, vinegary kimchi, marinade-drenched bulgogi or kalbi and the  sizzling sounds from the grill complemented with the loud, sucking vacuums above each grill.  Little did I know, I had only skimmed the surface of Korean cuisine.

Earlier this month, I was asked to help in the Korean government’s latest efforts to promote and globalize their cuisine at a celebration of National Day and Armed Forces Day at the Ambassador’s home in D.C.  And this time there was no grilled meat involved… Ok, maybe a tub or two of bulgogi.

Bucket of bulgogi

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The Great Binondo Food Wok Tour

Say hey to Zoe Dulay, my good friend and our World to Table tour guide through the crowded streets of Old Manila’s Chinatown in the Philippines.  Join her as she ventures to Binondo’s restaurants and street stalls, where she experiences delicious encounters with dumplings, tea eggs, lumpias, hopias and more. — Veronica

I have realized that my love for food will topple most things, like my dislike for the outdoors and apparently, my common sense.

September marks the start of stormy, rainy weather here in Manila. One would think that maybe traipsing around Chinatown (Binondo, as it is locally known) is hard enough in the usual muggy heat- what more in torrid rains? Yet the minute my History professor mentioned the Binondo Food Wok Tour as an option for extra credit, I took it.


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A Weekend of Fish Curry and French Movies in Chiang Mai

Nat retreats to Chiang Mai for a relaxing weekend of fish curry, click French movies and some poolside lounging. — Veronica

viagra sale on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldtotable/3952326362/”>Chiang Mai

If I could live anywhere in Thailand, pills it would be Chiang Mai.  The old city retains its traditional, square layout, with a surrounding moat and restored medieval gates which lend an atmosphere of history that is absent in most of Bangkok.  Chiang Mai is over 500 years older and the people seem commensurately more kind and relaxed.  Nowhere is it more apparent that Chiang Mai is culturally different than in the wats, or temples which have decidedly less gold and glitter and more delicately carved wood.  Bangkok feels rushed, brash and taxing in comparison.

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Kindai Tuna Demo and Tasting

Early last week, malady I was lured into the French Culinary Institute in SoHo by sweet promises of freshly sliced sashimi and a chance to witness a masterful dissection of a tuna.  Curious and hungry culinary students and professional chefs evidently fell for the bait too, online filling up the seats in the small auditorium to witness the artful slicing and deconstructing of Kindai tuna by Chef Toshio Suzuki of Sushi Zen, Chef Noriyuki Kobayashi of Megu and Chef Kazuhiro Sato of Poke.

Kindai tuna is born and raised at Kinki University in Higashi-Osaka, Japan.  Born in the laboratory and hand fed wild catch, they are raised in better conditions than other farm-raised tuna and offer a more sustainable alternative to wild bluefin tuna.

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A Late Spring Chinese Dinner with Red Cook

Last Saturday night Kian of Red Cook invited me and my family to his Late Spring Chinese Dinner at his home in Harlem.  Fellow dinner guests included Kian’s partner Warren, their fellow food enthusiast friend Ed, Shelley Menaged from the James Beard House and Iron Chef judge and food writer Akiko Katayama.

When I asked Kian how he had accumulated such a wealth of knowledge about Chinese cooking and cuisine, he told me, “I do lots of research.  I read Chinese cookbooks, go online… the online forums are very helpful.”

Over the course of four hours, Kian bustled back and forth between the dining table and the kitchen, meticulously prepping and presenting us with course after course.  Meanwhile, we shared stories about gritty pizza joints, trips to outerboroughs, and our passionate love or hate for durian fruit, all between bites of food.

We gathered around Kian as he was finishing prepping his first course, waiting with eager anticipation for the ten-course marathon to begin.

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Bitter Melons and Bok Choy in the Lower East Side, NY

If you’ve ever explored the aisles of an Asian supermarket, you might wonder how you can always find a steady flow of big, juicy fruits and pounds of fresh green vegetables for affordable prices. Here in this unassuming warehouse in the Lower East Side, you can discover the magic behind it all…

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