cover image K Food: Korean Home Cooking and Street Food

K Food: Korean Home Cooking and Street Food

Da-Hae West and Gareth West. Mitchell Beazley, $27.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-78472-159-6

Da-Hae West was born in Busan, South Korea, moved to England when she was three, and always considered Korea her second home. While traveling there on her honeymoon with coauthor Gareth, the duo had an epiphany, in McDonald’s of all places. A Korean burger joint! Busan BBQ, a market stand serving Korean fusion, soon followed their return to the U.K. The Wests share their ingenuity in this absorbing collection, with mouthwatering photos illustrating a mix of the familiar (basic kimchi, crispy pancakes, twice-cooked crispy pork belly, pork steamed buns, and gamjatang, aka Hangover Stew) and mashups such as bulgogi Philly cheesesteak, gochujang meatloaf, KFC (Korean Fried Chicken, in which the chicken is soaked in kimchi brine), a riff on corndogs that calls for wrapping the dog in potato strings before frying, and a lusciously lacquered sticky ginger roast chicken (not to mention the kimchi bloody Mary). Readers will savor some simple but powerful touches, such as onions pickled with mustard sauce and DIY knife-cut noodles, and essays on Korean drinking and BBQ culture give the book a sense of place. Even if readers never attempt Korean BBQ at home (the authors offer tips) or whip up their own gochujang, the ubiquitous Korean red chile paste that adds a distinct sweet/tart edge to dishes, they will most certainly appreciate the time and effort the authors put into this standout Korean cookbook. (June)