The Kimchi Chronicles: Rediscovering Korean Cooking for an American Kitchen by Marja Vongerichten

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Notes about this book

  • TrishaCP on March 26, 2015

    I would agree with Nicole that this has just as many Korean-inspired recipes as traditional Korean recipes, and since the "inspired" recipes tend to be the tastiest and most appealing (of the ones that I have tried so far) in this book, you will be disappointed if you want the book for traditional Korean food only, or if you want it to be the definitive guide to Korean cooking. But I keep this book because the "inspired" recipes are tasty in their own right, this book helps to coax reluctant family members to try Korean food because the new to them flavors are presented in more familiar ways, and it uses up pantry ingredients that would otherwise be withering away since I am not cooking Korean food on a regular basis.

  • nicolepellegrini on March 15, 2015

    This book is definitely more "Americanized" Korean food than authentic Korean food, so keep that in mind if you're considering buying it. So far I have not been overwhelmed with the recipes; I suppose it is better as a travelog and companion to the TV show than a truly authentic Korean cookbook.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Crispy seafood and scallion pancakes (Seafood and scallion pajeon)

    • JoanN on January 15, 2014

      Added more shrimp to substitute for the oysters, but otherwise made this as written. I didn't matter how long I cooked the pancake or at what temperature, I couldn't get the inside of the pancake to cook. I even baked a pancake at 350F for about 15 minutes and the inside still wasn't cooked. Ended up throwing out the rest of the batter.

  • Umma paste

    • milgwimper on November 07, 2016

      You can use this as a condiment, dip or spread.

    • TrishaCP on November 01, 2016

      This was the base of the easy braised chicken dish, which I really liked. Not sure how I would, or that I would, use this paste as a stand-alone ingredient as suggested though.

  • Sautéed spinach

    • lorloff on November 02, 2015

      Very good easy and delicious. I increased the garlic and added roasted garlic as well about a 1/2 cup. Used a thick artisinal soy sauce with a light touch

  • Glass noodle and vegetable stir-fry (Japchae)

    • lorloff on June 30, 2019

      This was really great. We made it with fresh favas and with Vietnamese brown rice noodles. It was a big hit at our dinner party. The quantities were very large for 4 people so you will have lots of left overs. I had fresh peas so I added those as well. Will make this again.

    • aileent1 on July 11, 2012

      Excellent and the dangmyeon noodles were a lot of fun for all of us. I stuck to the basic vegetables because I had them on hand and I cooked the mushrooms longer than indicated in the recipe to get them a bit brown on the edges.

    • imaluckyducky on March 18, 2014

      Pg. 193 5 Stars. Wow! This stir-fry is dynamite. Comes together surprisingly fast - including the time it took me to prep everything too standing at the counter scarfing the finished product straight out from the wok, it took 43 minutes. Obviously if prepped beforehand, this would be done in under 10 minutes, easy. Longest part would be waiting for the noodle water to come to a boil. Didn't have any green beans, so I doubled the amount of spinach because why not. The sauce itself is subtle, probably because I used a low-sodium tamari, but I couldn't resist throwing a squirt of sriracha in the mix. It will serve 4 very generously. Looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow. Will make again!

  • Easy braised chicken

    • TrishaCP on November 01, 2016

      A delicious and tasty dish that is very easy to pull together if the umma paste is already made. The broth is very seasoned- salty and spicy- so really requires the called for accompaniment of rice. I subbed boneless chicken thighs for the whole chicken and was glad that I did- the skin would have been flabby otherwise.

  • Korean slaw

    • TrishaCP on May 20, 2012

      I didn't serve these with the tacos from the book, but as a side with other grill items (as suggested). I found the recipe as written tasty but too sweet- next time I would omit the pear and bump up the lime juice.

    • nicolepellegrini on March 13, 2015

      I liked this (and so did my sweetie, who demanded a bowl as soon as he saw it chilling in the refrigerator last night). I did use a kohlrabi instead of jicama but otherwise followed the instructions. I did not find it too sweet personally but a nice crunchy, crispy salad that's good with spicy foods to cool things down a bit.

  • Seasoned short rib burgers (Tteokgalbi)

    • TrishaCP on May 20, 2012

      These are amazing- full of umami goodness with the soy sauce. I used chuck with 15% fat to no ill effect rather than the ground short rib meat called for in the recipe. After forming the patties, I did let them rest in the refrigerator for about 2 hours and the meat was really perfumed with the ginger and garlic. These burgers are best dressed very simply (I just used tomatoes.) Definitely will be making these all summer long.

  • Spice-rubbed Korean chicken

    • TrishaCP on January 10, 2012

      This made a delicious and fast weeknight meal with plain rice and a vegetable.

  • Barbecued chicken with sweet barbecue sauce

    • TrishaCP on May 20, 2012

      I made this with chicken thighs, and it is now one of my favorite barbecued chicken recipes. Although garlic isn't in the title, it really should be, because it uses pretty massive quantities and is definitely a dominant flavor (nothing wrong with that). I only used half of the gochugaru called for, but I will definitely use the full amount next time for moderately spicy chicken. I only did the marinade for the minimum 2 hours, but that was plenty of time.

  • Grilled chicken sandwich with Asian pear and bibimbap mayonnaise

    • TrishaCP on June 30, 2021

      We really loved this sandwich, which was easy to prep for a weeknight. The sandwich spread is great- very strong flavors that I loved. (I kept dipping cucumbers and extra Asian pear into it- so good.) And since the spread is added to the sandwich and not the chicken, this is a good one if you are serving anyone that might just prefer a plain chicken breast.

  • Marinated thinly sliced beef (Bulgogi)

    • TrishaCP on January 22, 2012

      This wasn't bad, but I would probably try out other bulgogi recipes before trying this one again. I subbed vodka because that was all that I had on hand, but I would have preferred the flavors from a rice wine. Unless you buy butcher cut meat that is incredibly thin for bulgogi, I would recommend a longer marinade as well- I didn't get as much marinade flavor as I wanted, and I think it was due to the thickness of the meat as cut by my husband.

    • nicolepellegrini on March 15, 2015

      Agreed with TrishaCP - it wasn't bad, but not quite the bulgogi flavor I was expecting or have had before in restaurants. I did use super-thin beef from a Korean grocer and marinated it for a full 4 hours+. I think it needed grilling instead of skillet-cooking to get a nice char and better flavor; I've done a different bulgogi recipes before on my grill pan that came out much more authentic.

  • Grilled steak with kimchi butter

    • TrishaCP on August 17, 2014

      Not as good as I was hoping. I think the problem for me was that when I want to eat kimchi, I am looking forward to that full blast of kimchi heat, sourness, saltiness, and funk, so making a compound butter just wasn't the same. Also, I would prefer using a less fatty steak to add a compound butter over, like a filet. The ribeye that was recommended was too rich-tasting for me with the butter.

  • Grilled pork chops with spicy barbecue sauce

    • TrishaCP on May 06, 2012

      The sauce was delicious (we used half of the gochugaru called for) and the pork chops came out nice and juicy. My only complaint was that with the honey in the sauce, the chops had a tendency to burn rather than caramelize- really be mindful of the grill heat when making these. (I think these would be good in the oven too.)

    • nicolepellegrini on April 20, 2015

      Delicious - best recipe I've made from this cookbook so far. I used even a little more than the recommended amount of gochujang (because I love it) and had no problem with the chops burning from the honey; I cooked them on my indoor grill pan without problem. I was surprised at the amount of flavor without needing any advance marinating or seasoning. I would just say the sauce takes more than the "minute" described in the recipe to put together, since the ginger and garlic needs to be shredded. But it's still pretty quick and easy.

  • Spicy pork stir-fry

    • TrishaCP on August 03, 2016

      This was great! Basically, if you like gochujang, you will like this dish. I was pretty liberal with my subs (edamame for snow peas, red bell pepper for a hotter red chile, Marash pepper for gochugaru), but this is a very flexible stirfry. I used the full amount of gochujang, but only a teaspoon of Marash pepper instead of the tablespoon of gochugaru called for, and it was plenty hot for me.

    • thekitchenchronicles on November 04, 2014

    • hbakke on September 11, 2021

      Easy recipe with a flavorful marinade. Next time I'll make sure the pork is caramelized before continuing cooking the vegetables, since everything got kind of soggy in the pan after adding the veg.

  • Cold broccoli salad

    • nicolepellegrini on April 20, 2015

      Another "just ok" side dish for me from this book. Needed salt badly.

  • Fresh bean sprout salad

    • nicolepellegrini on March 12, 2015

      Thought it was too heavy on the sesame oil and had to add more rice vinegar - a problem I keep having with the recipes in this book. Perhaps my tastes in Korean food just do not match the author's.

  • Scallion dipping sauce

    • nicolepellegrini on January 03, 2015

      For me was way too oily - I only salvaged it by adding a lot more vinegar and soy sauce. Too much sesame oil, I thought.

  • Korean chopped salad

    • tracyfox on January 27, 2015

      Nice little side for any Asian-inspired meal. Everything's better with gochugaru on it.

  • Tuna tartare

    • meggan on August 20, 2013

      Easy and, if you love raw tuna, delicious. Served with kimchi butter steak as a "surf and turf".

  • Healthy chicken soup (Samgyetang)

    • aileent1 on March 10, 2013

      This is a fun recipe and the flavor is surprisingly complex. It's a bit messy to eat because of the whole cornish game hen, but worth it.

  • Mrs. Rhee's mung bean pancakes (Bindaetteok)

    • aileent1 on April 18, 2012

      Made these as a (nearly) vegetarian main dish - fabulous! I used mostly water instead of half kimchi liquid because I was afraid it would be too strong for my kids (ages 12 and 16). They loved them, too, even though they said they looked weird before they tried them.

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  • ISBN 10 1609611276
  • ISBN 13 9781609611279
  • Published Sep 12 2011
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 272
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Rodale Incorporated
  • Imprint Rodale Incorporated

Publishers Text

Long a favorite of in-the-know foodies, Korean cuisine is poised to become the next big food trend, with dishes like bibimbap and kimchi popping up on menus nationwide. In a new PBS series that will begin airing in May 2011, Marja Vongerichten and three-star Michelin chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will give viewers an insider’s look at Korea as they travel the country and experience its authentic flavors and cultural traditions. As the show’s companion cookbook, The Kimchi Chronicles will include a recipe for every dish featured, explaining how they can be easily duplicated in an American kitchen. Chef Vongerichten will also offer original dishes with a lighter, modern flair, showing how the flavors of the Korean table can be readily integrated into any meal.

For lovers of Korean food, those eager to experiment in search of an accessible introduction to this intriguing cuisine, and readers who just want a little taste of culinary and cultural exploration outside the Western Hemisphere, The Kimchi Chronicles is sure to provide plenty of inspiration, information, and entertainment.

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