Disclosures: There are Amazon affiliate links from which I may make a commission. The giveaway prize is provided courtesy of Ten Speed Press who also provided me a review copy.
I don't know about you, but I'm crazy for Korean food. Frankly, I don't understand why it isn't a bigger deal in America. The flavors are overall quite friendly to the Western palate, with a great balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavors.
Because I'm a grazer, my favorite part of any Korean meal is the sometimes dizzying array of banchan, snicky snacky dishes of wee tastes that excited the palate as appetizers, or refresh between bites of tangy bulgogi or a steaming bowl of kimchi jjigae. No self-respecting place would serve fewer than eight or nine, and I've heard rumors of places in L.A.'s Koreatown that lay out as many as three dozen.
In with the banchan, and insinuating itself into every part of the meal, will be at least one kind of kimchi. I remember a colleague once saying, "nice like rice, icky like kimchi." I couldn't comprehend the sentiment. Kimchi is one of the world's great fermented foods. I routinely eat it as an accompaniment all kinds of foods, or just as a midday snack all on its own.
For many Americans, kimchi means cabbage. But kimchi comes in many forms, made spicy or not, and from cabbage, radish, cucumber (like the stuffed cucumber kimchi, pictured on the book cover), greens, green onions, celery and more.
But not all banchan are fermented and spicy. Some are meant to be more refreshing, like marinated bean sprouts or tender spinach marinated with black sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.
Hungry to bring the flavors of Korea to your own table? Lucky for you my pal Karen Solomon (famously of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It and Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It) has a new e-book out that will get you rockin' the banchan in no time.
In Asian Pickles: Korea:, the second in a series of Asian pickle e-books (starting with Asian Pickles: Japan; China is already available for preorder) she serves up a veritable feast of kimchi and other banchan, with straightforward recipes that don't intimidate.
And guess what? I've got one copy to give away.
Simply scroll down and leave a comment, telling of a mouth-watering Korean meal experience. I mean it: I want my mouth to water.
And here's a way to get more chances to win: Click here to tweet about this post, or pin this post on Pinterest (make sure the book cover image gets pinned so we can find it). All comments, tweets and pins must be logged by midnight PDT, Friday, April 26.
Congrats to Frank Jones, our lucky commenter!
Still need more convincing? Fine, here's the recipe for the stuffed cucumber kimchi so gorgeously gracing the cover of the book:
Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi (Oi-sobagi kimchi)
Cook time: About 1 1/2 hrs
Yield: 14 stuffed cucumber bites