Here is my mini interview with Jen and photos of the Korean dishes that she made. She says she doesn’t buy kimchi anymore – ever since she found my kimchi recipes, she makes her own delicious kimchi. When she feels like Korean food, she checks out my website, and then buys the ingredients at a Korean store on the way home from work.
I can picture her coming home with a grocery bag full of interesting ingredients. There may be dried pollack, a huge heavy Korean radish, fish sauce, a tub of soy bean paste, or large dried anchovies! : ) When she walks or takes a subway home with the grocery bag, she will be full of excitement for the food she decided to make.
She lives in New York, and so do I. What if we happen to meet on the street when she carries her Korean grocery bag? She may say, “Oh,oh, Maangchi, I bought these ingredients to make your spicy stir-fried pork!”
She plans to cook Korean food, then watches my video, then reads the recipe, then goes shopping, and then cooks! She and I are together from the beginning to the end, so maybe you see why I feel connected to her. Even though I have never met her face to face, if we meet each other, she will feel very close to me!
This is my feeling about all of my readers who make my recipes. We have a close bond through food.
1. What is your name and where do you live?
My name is Jen Park and I live in NYC with my fiancée.
2. What do you do and how many family members do you have?
I work in publishing (children’s books) and I have two immediate family members (my mother & an older sister). Most of my family is back in Korea.
3. How often do you cook Korean food following my recipes?
I usually will cook Korean food once or twice a week using your recipes. It’s a very happy time for me to look through your website, watch your videos, plan my menu and make a list of things I need to pick up from the Korean supermarket on my way home. I love planning what to make as much as I love making my meals (and later eating them!).
4. What are your favorite Korean dishes? Choose 3, please.
My favorite Korean dishes are doenjang jjigae, spicy pork stir-fry and cucumber pickles. And I make them all with your recipes! I am very grateful for your website. I think your videos are great and I appreciate how you take the time to measure out your ingredients so that us beginners can know how much to put into each dish. You make cooking Korean food easy and fun.
Doenjang jjigae (soybean paste with vegetable and seafood stew)
Doshirak: spinach (sigeumchi namul), spicy seasoned shredded squid (ojingeochae muchim), rice, and salty beef (jangjorim)
Pan-fried tofu with seasoning sauce (dubu buchim yangnyeomjang).
Spicy stir-fried fish cake (uhmook bokkeum).
5. What’s your best Korean dish, the one that everybody compliments you on when you make it?
My best Korean dish is mak kimchi, which I’ve made by faithfully following your measurements and instructions. It’s a no-fail kimchi recipe and I haven’t bought store-made kimchi since I started making yours. Most of the time I don’t make 10 pounds worth at one time because my refrigerator is too small, but I’ll make extra kimchi paste and store it in the fridge. Then later, even if I’m feeling lazy or tired, it’s a cinch to make more kimchi with the pre-made paste. All I have to do is salt the cabbage and then smear on your secret sauce.