Book Review: Korean Food Made Simple


Korean Food made simple

Judy Joo is an American celebrity chef and Chef Patron of London’s JinJuu restaurant. A French trained cook, she grew up in the USA where she absorbed the wide range of culinary influences that now complement the Korean food she champions. You may have seen her series “Korean Food Made Simple” on one of the foodie channels.

For those whose knowledge of Korean food stretches no further than Kimchi, Judy’s book is a revelation. Yes there is Kimchi,; many different kinds of Kimchi. But there are also a wide range of dishes stretching from starters to desserts. So for anyone wishing to explore the depth of Korean cuisine this is a great starting point.

The book itself weighs in at a substantial 286 pages, with most recipes accompanied by a beautiful colour photograph. The recipes themselves are easy to follow with many achievable in less than 30 minutes. For those with patience there are also enough to reward a little more effort. Exotic ingredients are kept to the minimum so you should be able to find everything you need in your local supermarket.

While essentially Korean, the recipes do give a nod and a wink to some of those culinary influences that have helped shape Judy’s style. Disco fries hark back to her childhood in Jersey, while the desserts owe more than a little to her French training. And did I mention KFC? Korean Fried Chicken which differs from its US cousin by having a thin crisp coating that goes down very nicely with some Cubed Pickled Radish and a cold beer.

Think of Korea and cocktails do not immediately spring to mind. But Soju bombs are very popular in Korean bars. Just add 3 parts soju to 7 parts beer. Soju incidentally is the most popular drink in the world with more than 71 million cases sold in 2014. Introduced to Korea by Mongol invaders in the 14th century, the good stuff is made from rice and sits between 25 and 45% ABV. Try a glass, chilled and straight… Gangnam style.


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    Old Father Foodie spent over 20 years working as a chef in and around the Glasgow area. He watched the rise of Lambrusco, the demise of the steak house and still remembers life before Mcdonalds. He then spent many years working on education projects in Europe. Still a keen cook, he has picked up the odd tip or two along the way and now enjoys sharing them on these pages.

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