Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE KIMCHI CHRONICLES by Marja Vongerichten


Korean Cooking for an American Kitchen

by Marja Vongerichten with Julia Turshen photographed by Andre Baranowski

Pub Date: Aug. 2nd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1609611279
Publisher: Rodale

Vongerichten spices up the kitchen with this colorfully photographed companion piece to the new PBS series in which the author shares her Korean roots and easy-to-prepare culinary delights.

The author may be the wife of three-star Michelin chef Jean-Georges, but when it comes to Korean cooking she is the master. Recipes include an assortment of flavors for all tastes, ranging from sauces and salads, meat for the barbecue, seafood, staple dishes of rice and noodles and, of course, the robust Ultimate Cabbage Kimchi. While she doesn’t attempt to Americanize the dishes, many ingredients, such as Kraft single cheese slices, can already be found in readers’ kitchens: “A lot of [American] foods found their way into pantries in Korea after American GIs rationed them to Koreans during the war,” she writes. Other more exotic ingredients can be readily sourced through the author’s recommended resources, including the affordable Koa Mart (, and she also provides lists of pantry staples and required cooking tools. It’s not just about food for Vongerichten, who attempts to shed light on Korean culture as well. Readers are encouraged to introduce a series of small side dishes (Banchan) for communal eating, and reminded that drinking in Korea is accompanied by much good food cooked on sizzling camp stoves in tents. Along with recipes for several cocktails, the author offers hangover cures and preventatives, like Budae Jjigae (Army stew), which by itself is well worth the book’s price.

Excellent recipes for all skill levels.