“Master your grill in seven sauces”
Barbequing is a phenomenon in itself in Korea, a big part of Korean culture. A group of friends or family gathered around the grill, enjoying food together, emphasizes the sharing, warmth and heart of people. Attempting Korean barbeque at home can appear daunting to many, especially those beginning to think about trying out more adventurous recipes to add to their repertoire. That’s where cookery books can help!
We’ve been looking at Korean BBQ by Korean American Bill Kim, for some inspiration in all things BBQ!
This book starts with a lovely introduction to Bill himself, and the food that he encountered as he was growing up, the people that he met along the way, and of course the discovery of particular foods that left a big impression on his memories.
It has explanations of the basics, followed by descriptions of essential store-cupboard staple ingredients for the recipes, and then a chapter on the all important sauces. A nice touch is that there is a picture next to the instructions for every sauce, so you can tell if it looks right or not!
We liked that there were recipes for ‘banchan’ too (side dishes that you’d expect to see if you’d sat down at a table in a Korean restaurant). The book doesn’t side with the traditional here; instead we saw many examples of creative side dishes that are a nod to Bill Kim’s American influence. Korean baba ganoush anyone?
The all-important BBQ meats chapter has many recipes for different cuts and types of meat (chicken, turkey, lamb and beef) and also includes recipes for burgers and kebabs too for easy portioning. The sauces are put to use here, used to coat meats before grilling to add a punchy flavour and make everything extra tasty! Simple recipes like the honey soy flank steak are a good way to get started with barbequing. There are still a few surprises, for example the Kaffir Lime Curry Chicken and Jerk Pork tenderloin kebabs.
Fish and shellfish aren’t left out either, and neither are dishes for vegetarians! Blackened BBQ tofu wasn’t something we’d heard of before, but were keen on trying! Korean BBQ sauce and sambal oelek are used to flavour the sliced tofu and simply cooked on a hot grill.
We thought that the best part of the book was the whole section devoted to dealing with leftovers (no-one likes good food going to waste!). You can learn how to turn leftover food into completely new dishes, by adding different textures, colours and flavours to your lovingly cooked originals! Examples include the Kimchi potluck stew and Korean BBQ skirt steak tacos. If you’re feeling like making a sandwich, there’s suggestions for use of leftovers in those too!