L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi and Tien Nguyen and Natasha Phan

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  • Kimchi
    • Categories: Chutneys, pickles & relishes; Cooking ahead; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: kochukaru; onions; garlic; fresh ginger; fish sauce; rice vinegar; soy sauce; napa cabbage; chives; oysters; Korean salted shrimp
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Soups; Main course; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: dried anchovies; cooked white rice; fresh ginger; sesame oil; roasted sesame seeds; abalone; eggs; scallions; soy sauce
    • Categories: Side dish; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: canola oil; duck fat; baking potatoes; sweet potatoes; yuca root; limes; Thai basil
    • Categories: Chili; Pasta, doughs & sauces; Main course; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: ground beef; onions; garlic; tomato paste; apple cider vinegar; beef stock; canned green chiles; jalapeño chiles; ancho chile powder; ground cayenne pepper; ground cumin; dried oregano; canned crushed pineapple; cilantro; spaghetti pasta; cheddar cheese; Tabasco sauce
    • Categories: Main course; Cooking for a crowd; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: firm tofu; ground pork; ground beef; scallions; fresh ginger; garlic; oyster sauce; sesame oil; roasted sesame seeds; green cabbage; soy sauce; rice vinegar; kochukaru; all-purpose flour; dumpling wrappers
    • Categories: Main course; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: top round beef; beef New York strip steaks; soy sauce; scallions; garlic; roasted sesame seeds; black peppercorns; sesame oil; Asian pears; quail eggs; pine nuts; sugar
  • Instant pickled cucumbers
    • Categories: Chutneys, pickles & relishes; Quick / easy; Korean; Mexican; American; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: Persian cucumbers; whole star anise; sesame oil; rice vinegar; roasted sesame seeds; kochukaru; black peppercorns
    • Categories: Breakfast / brunch; Cooking for 1 or 2; Korean; Mexican; American; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: dried mung beans; tempura batter mix; baking potatoes; scallions; soy sauce; vegetable oil; rice vinegar; kochukaru
    • Accompaniments: Splash
    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Rice dishes; Main course; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: baby back pork ribs; pork belly; sesame oil; kimchi; scallions; pork stock; firm tofu; shiitake mushrooms; rice
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Sandwiches & burgers; Main course; Picnics & outdoors; Korean; Mexican; American; Lebanese
    • Ingredients: lamb chops; garlic; lemons; dried oregano; cinnamon sticks; ground allspice; ground cayenne pepper; ground cumin; thyme; cilantro; parsley; yogurt; sour cream; limes; black peppercorns; dried dill; pita bread; red onions; tomatoes
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Main course; Breakfast / brunch; Lunch; Snacks; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: ancho chiles; pasilla chiles; jalapeño chiles; dried oregano; ground cumin; Hungarian paprika; ground cloves; rice vinegar; garlic; pork butt; black peppercorns; limes; eggs; corn tortillas; avocados; hot sauce
    • Categories: Beverages / drinks (no-alcohol); Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: coconut milk; agave nectar; strawberries; mangoes; peaches; pineapple; bananas; pineapple juice; limes
    • Categories: Cookies, biscuits & crackers; Afternoon tea; Cooking ahead; Cooking for a crowd; American; Chinese
    • Ingredients: butter; all-purpose flour; almond extract; slivered almonds
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Dessert; Cooking ahead; American
    • Ingredients: dark corn syrup; ground cinnamon; pecans; pie crust; store-cupboard ingredients
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Snacks; Cooking ahead; American; Korean; Mexican
    • Ingredients: pollack roe; scallions; jalapeño chiles; kochukaru; roasted sesame seeds; garlic; sesame oil; soy sauce
    • Categories: Children & baby food; Snacks; Cooking ahead; Korean; Mexican; American; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: sugar; lemons; whole star anise; kaffir lime leaves; pink peppercorns; cinnamon sticks; apples; pineapple
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Snacks; Cooking ahead; Korean; American; Mexican; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: sour cream; limes; prepared horseradish; black peppercorns; horseradish; Tabasco sauce; herbs of your choice; taro root; baking potatoes; vegetable oil
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Cooking ahead; American; Mexican; Korean; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: sour cream; limes; prepared horseradish; horseradish; Tabasco sauce; herbs of your choice
    • Accompaniments: Casino prime rib
    • Categories: Sauces, general; Cooking ahead; Korean; Mexican; American; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: mae ploy; roasted sesame seeds; serrano chiles; Sriracha sauce; limes; oranges; Thai basil; cilantro; garlic; Anaheim chiles; fresh ginger; scallions; kochukaru; rice vinegar; galangal
  • Carne asada
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Main course; Picnics & outdoors; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: garlic; scallions; ancho chile powder; black peppercorns; jalapeño chiles; cilantro; beer; oranges; limes; kiwifruits; mirin; beef skirt steaks
    • Accompaniments: Horchata
    • Categories: Snacks; Cooking ahead; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: beef flank steaks; garlic; rice vinegar; serrano chiles; sugar; soy sauce; yellow onions; scallions; chile flakes
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Stews & one-pot meals; Dressings & marinades; Main course; Cooking ahead; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: dried arbol chiles; dried California chiles; jalapeño chiles; kochukaru; tomatoes; scallions; mangoes; limes; oranges; apple cider vinegar; turmeric; ground allspice; ground cumin; black peppercorns; goat; jasmine rice; coconut milk; saffron; cilantro
    • Categories: Main course; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: pinto beans; pork belly; tamarind pods; garlic; jalapeño chiles; cilantro; roasted sesame seeds
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Main course; Chinese; Korean; Mexican; American
    • Ingredients: oyster sauce; Thai chile garlic sauce; chili oil; fish sauce; hot sauce; rice vinegar; garlic; oranges; kochukaru; kochujang; soy sauce; jalapeño chiles; Thai basil; cilantro; lemongrass; scallions; Sriracha sauce; roasted sesame seeds; sesame oil; chicken; dried chiles de arbol; bell peppers; onions; baby bok choy; watercress; water spinach; eggplants; Thai bird chiles; roasted unsalted peanuts; limes
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; American; Korean; Mexican; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: mirin; rice vinegar; mint; cilantro; Thai basil; shallots; serrano chiles; jalapeño chiles; limes; roasted sesame seeds; tomatillos; avocados; black peppercorns

Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Baby bok choy

    • meggan on June 16, 2021

      Added fresh rice noodles to the stir fry to make this the whole package.

    • chezlarios on February 21, 2022

      Excellent! Served this with brown rice and mandu (gyoza) for dinner one night.

  • Pho for dem hos

    • imaluckyducky on September 19, 2020

      5 Stars. Ok, so I love trying different methods of making pho broth. I'm comparing this one to Andrea Nguyen's instant pot beef pho (which I loved). I much, MUCH prefer this one if I have some time on my hands to skim gunk off the top. First, this broth is powerfully scented and flavored by the star anise - using a whole cup's worth compared to the 4-6 in Andrea's recipe. There is also a half cup each of black peppercorn and coriander seeds, which round the broth out for a deep, subtle spice. Choi uses a "short cut" that I appreciate, adding a cup's worth (!!!) of beef broth base, which drastically cuts the cook time of the broth down to 3 hours instead of the 8-10 for traditional pho broth. Find a beef base you love, and perhaps one that isn't overly salty. Definitely need at least 3 gallons of water to have the broth not be inundated with salt. I used a mix of marrow bones and neck bones I had lying around, which rounded out the broth with a wonderfully addicting mouthfeel.

  • Chili spaghetti

    • MmeFleiss on October 22, 2016

      This was nothing to write home about.

  • Carne asada

    • MmeFleiss on October 25, 2016

      Everyone though this was just okay. Despite marinating for 2 days, the flavors didn't really penetrate the meat.

  • Salsa verde

    • MmeFleiss on October 25, 2016

      This was great, although I omitted the canola oil and used a light olive oil instead. I made a half recipe and it was close to two cups.

  • Pork and beans

    • Popisdead on January 26, 2021

      Super easy recipe to follow. Has a cassoulet vibe but way less hassle. Few notes for changes below. Served with garlic and ginger spinach. The pork and beans could also be a side to something though. Tempted to reduce the amount of beans a bit. A good squirt of hot sauce or similar would help, maybe left over barbecue pork to add the extra flavour too.

  • Perfect instant ramen

    • hbakke on May 03, 2019

      I've made this a ton of times with Velveeta cheese. So good...the best really.

  • Quick spinach soup

    • chezlarios on April 30, 2021

      According to the BF, the flavor was very strong, much more than your average miso soup.

  • Birria

    • chezlarios on October 16, 2022

      I used lamb instead of goat and only half the amount of meat (while keeping all other ingredient amounts the same). I also used normal whole canned tomatoes instead of fire-roasted as I cannot find that here. I cooked it in a pressure cooker to speed it up (20 min vs 1.5 hours) - once it was done I added two cans of drained kidney beans and shredded the meat chunks before putting back in. As birria is my favorite dish ever and I live somewhere now where it's not available, this recipe and its flavors really made me so happy. Next time I would add less water to make the flavors more intense - I ended up adding more than the recipe stated because I knew I'd be adding beans, which diluted the flavors a bit. Also, you'll need to add salt as the recipe hardly calls for any!

  • Easy de Anza Cobb salad

    • chezlarios on May 12, 2021

      I skipped on the blue cheese (don't like it) and the fried shallots (didn't have them). Still pretty tasty, but we ended up using a greater ratio of bacon, cucumbers, and tomatoes - more like 1/2 cup for 2 servings.

  • Simple chicken piccata

    • chezlarios on June 24, 2021

      Solid. Served on top of linguine w/carrot top pesto.

  • Mushroom quesadilla

    • chezlarios on November 05, 2022

      I forgot to add salt and pepper to the mushrooms - don't forget this step! I was also surprised that the recipes says the yield is 4-6 quesadillas but for us it was 3 max - maybe because of the size of our tortillas? I used a combination of Gruyere and "tex-mex" cheddar cheese.

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Reviews about this book

  • Serious Eats

    The mix of recipes—some come from his mother, some are his own—provides a fun glimpse into Choi's background, and his brash, expletive-laced writing style is woven throughout the directions.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Carne asada

    • Serious Eats

      This recipe couldn't be easier, and the complexity of the marinade really pays off in the final taco—you don't need more than a pinch of chopped onion and a handful of cilantro to finish the dish.

      Full review
  • Brussels sprouts and kimchi

    • Serious Eats

      Brussels sprouts are a staple....and cooking them with kimchi offered a nice break from more typical preparations. I loved the fact that this flavor-packed side dish was so easy and fast to prepare.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0062202634
  • ISBN 13 9780062202635
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Nov 21 2013
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 320
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Imprint Ecco Press

Publishers Text

Los Angeles: A patchwork megalopolis defined by its unlikely cultural collisions; the city that raised and shaped Roy Choi, the boundary-breaking chef who decided to leave behind fine dining to feed the city he loved—and, with the creation of the Korean taco, reinvented street food along the way.

Abounding with both the food and the stories that gave rise to Choi's inspired cooking, L.A. Son takes us through the neighborhoods and streets most tourists never see, from the hidden casinos where gamblers slurp fragrant bowls of pho to Downtown's Jewelry District, where a ten-year-old Choi wolfed down Jewish deli classics between diamond deliveries; from the kitchen of his parents' Korean restaurant and his mother's pungent kimchi to the boulevards of East L.A. and the best taquerias in the country, to, at last, the curbside view from one of his emblematic Kogi taco trucks, where people from all walks of life line up for a revolutionary meal.

Filled with over 85 inspired recipes that meld the overlapping traditions and flavors of L.A.—including Korean fried chicken, tempura potato pancakes, homemade chorizo, and Kimchi and Pork Belly Stuffed Pupusas—L.A. Son embodies the sense of invention, resourcefulness, and hybrid attitude of the city from which it takes its name, as it tells the transporting, unlikely story of how a Korean American kid went from lowriding in the streets of L.A. to becoming an acclaimed chef.

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