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Koreatown: A Mini Vacation

While my traveling days are still ahead of me (always more of the world to see), Koreatown by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard definitely points my internal compass to Korea.  The book is peppered with little interviews and asides from others who share the love of the Korean cuisine.  The stories are lively, the history and love emanating from the little looks into Korean food are enthralling.  I really enjoyed that the stories are not just from Koreans or Korean-Americans, they really run the gamut of different people who are bit by the bug of Korean food.  Just a fantastic read.

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The books is set up like a regular cook book, starting with appetizers (and banchan) and then progressing to various categories of noodles, meats, drinks, and desserts.  The recipes are fun and seem like something one could actually produce in  kitchen. The “pantry” section is informative, clear, and if you can’t find a local supplier, the authors even give you online options to order from. I personally am excited about all the banchan recipes because I discovered Korean food a few years ago and sometimes want those little plates with just rice to even out a tiring day. Now I can indulge. Especially since most of the recipes are made ahead of time, my fridge is about to get funky!! I can’t wait to make the “Dakgangjeong” (Koreatown fried chicken) and my own mandu.

If you read the Introduction, you will get some great advice from the authors and a fun way to look at the cookbook. The photography is all candid, from their trips around the country eating Korean food. I love this idea, especially in the technology age. I feel like the lack of staging really makes you feel like part of the experience that they are presenting.  I especially enjoy it because we all know the various tricks used in photography and those are refreshingly absent.  The pictures are what the food really looks like as it comes out from the kitchen. And it looks delicious. I admit that I looked over the cookbook during my morning coffee and was jealous. I didn’t even want Korean food at the time, but man, that changed my feelings quite quickly. Le sigh. Guess I’m taking a trip up to the Korean restaurant and grocery store.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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