March 6, 2012
I'm on a roll! Yesterday, it was Mom's Daikon Soup, today it's Cucumber Kimchi. This isn't what you typically think of as kimchi, i.e. this doesn't require a long fermentation. It's more like a quick pickle, and a slightly sweet, slightly sour one at that.
All of these dishes straddle the line between an Asian cuisine (here, Korean, obviously) and fusion. Stubborn, old me is finding this a good exercise in relaxing my expectations of authentic cuisine. Do you experience this yourself? Is there a cuisine or even single dish that you fiercely guard against dilution, misinterpretation, or flat-out heresy? These recipes are challenging me to ask what makes a cuisine authentic. What are the essential components or techniques of a dish that make it, say, Korean, or American? It's one of those questions I ponder often, to no satisfying conclusion. But I ask it all the same.
On that note, here's Chef Sara Jenkins' article in The Atlantic on Italian food and authenticity. And I listened to an old Radiolab episode last night on the "self." It got me thinking about change, how we are fluid beings.
March 5, 2012
Today, I tested Steamy Kitchen's recipe for Mom's Daikon Soup. Not my mom, exactly; in fact, I'm unsure whose mom this recipe has in mind. I was attracted to this recipe because of my love for my mom's mooguk. This soup doesn't taste like mooguk, but it certainly tastes like something someone else's mother might make. I'm filing this away under "Quick Weeknight Dinners."
March 3, 2012
After a long day of wearing a suit, I came home and immediately got to work testing my first recipe for Steamy Kitchen's new cookbook. Today, it was a simple rendition of vegetable tom yum soup. It's tailored to people without access to ingredients you typically see in Thai food. I loved it. The balance of flavor is there, and I'll be making this in the future. It's an easy, cheap contender with what you sometimes get in a restaurant. You'll have to wait for the book to come out to see the recipe!
And sorry for the weird photos! Chalk it up to not being able to cook during daylight hours and having the most unflattering kitchen light. Add the fact that I'm 5'3" with a macro lens and no stepstool.