Here is my mini interview with Sylvia Smith and the photos of Korean dishes that she made.

1. What is your name and where do you live?
Sylvia Smith from Westchester, NY

2. What do you do and how many family members do you have ?

I have a wonderful husband and we have six children.  I am a full time mom and homemaker.

3. How often do you cook Korean food following my recipes?
I cook Korean food a couple times a week for myself and about once every two weeks for the family.

I have made all of these from your recipes:
Panfried Tofu, Hobakjuk, Spicy egg sidedish, gajinamul (Eggplant side dish), Jjampong (spicy with seafood and not spicy with pork), Grilled beef (BBQ beef with all kinds of side dish, everyone in the family choose their own things to put into the lettuce bundle),Kimchi jjigae (I am the only one who eats kimchi in the family), Kkaennip kimchi and jangajji-with kkeannip from my garden, Samgakgimbap (this was tricky to get the shape correct), Soondobu Jjigae, Kongguksu, Oisobagi , Kongnomulguk (I make this at least once a week for my own lunch) , Spicy stir fried fish cake, Squash pancake- both zucchini and butternut squash, Sweet and crispy chicken, Hwajeon, Tangsuyuk with beef, Buchujeon (asian chives pancake), Yealmu mulkimchi (from radish in my garden),
and Kimbab:
I put all kinds of filling on a big tray and make the rice then I let my children and their friends make their own.  This gets a little crazy in the kitchen and I have about 5 rolling mats, but they have fun and it gets them to try.  Some of my children’s friends have never tried this type of food so they might just put in cucumber or carrots, but I have many options so they will be exposed to new things.
I also have a rice cooker and often make multi grain/bean rice.

perillaleaves perilla leaves (kkaennip) from my garden

gyeranjjim steamed egg side dish (gyeranjjim)


riceballs rice cake balls for hobakjuk

4. What are your favorite Korean dishes? Choose 3, please!
Kimchi Jjiggae made with very sour kimchi , Soondubu Jjigae, Kongnomulguk- but, I must have radish kimchi and rice with it, exactly as you show in your video

5. What’s your best Korean dish, the one that everybody compliments you on when you make it?
Dakkangjung (sweet and crispy chicken)


  1. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    I got the seeds online.
    Perilla is an annual herb. This was the first time I grew it and it was quite easy. I treated it like I would basil. I scattered the seeds on well raked soil in May. I did not water them much as it rained a lot this year. At first it grew slowly. Then all of a sudden I had enough leaves to make kim-chi and I gave a lot away to a Korean friend. In late September it had little flowers. Just two days ago we had a hard frost and all the plants wilted. I have gathered the seeds to dry them for next year.
    It was a cool summer hear in NY, I suspect Perilla will do well in Canada.
    I also grew Sukat but it did not do well.
    Next year I hope to get other Korean garden seeds. I may have to drive to a Korean market in New Jersey to get a better variety of seeds.

  2. Sylvia! Wow, to grow your own perilla bush for kkaennip. I’m so inspired to do the same. Thank you. So, next season(I live in a suburb, just outside of Toronto, Ontario) I’m going to try and plant the perilla bush in my garden as well. If you any hints/pointers, pls let me know.

  3. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    Thank you Reinier,
    I am motivated by a few things:
    1) Maanchi’s recipes never fail
    2) My family likes Korean food
    3) I love to eat :-)

    I can now add torn noodle soup to my list, the nonspicy version.

    • Meltemi X NJ joined 5/14 & has 1 comment

      Sylvia, you are inspiring. I love Korean food and just moved to Jersey from Chelsea (where I grew up) so could you please tell me where in NJ do you get the seeds? Can you update us on your kkaennip bushes. It’s May! I still have time to do it and get them as big as yours. :)

  4. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09

    Oh wow! You sure make a lot of good food.

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