I have a new found love of comic books, and I have loved cooking and eating for a long time. I was so excited when I saw Cook Korean! posted on the Cannonball Read Instagram – a cookbook in comic book form. I have been looking at several Korean cookbooks for a long time, so it seemed like good timing and I bought it. Since arriving, it hasn’t been far from my side. I’ve lovingly stroked it’s pages and imagined a bunch of dinner parties. But here’s my problem, most of the people in my general location either won’t, or can’t, eat any of this food. For a Texan, living in Texas, I know a surprising number of people who don’t like spicy food. I share a house with some unadventurous eaters, and my father, who likes spicy and adventurous food, is a diabetic, so no sugar. There is a lot of sugar in these recipes. But I need an excuse to broaden my social circle anyway.
So, I haven’t tested any of the recipes yet, which is the true test of a cookbook. Cookbooks can be pretty, or have intriguing recipes, but still be crap because the recipes don’t work. These recipes look like they will work, but you can’t know until you cook them. So, take my 4 stars with the caveat that I think this is a good cookbook, but I don’t know for sure.
Robin Ha was born in South Korea and lived there until she was 14. She did not grow up cooking. Cooking was something that her mother did with magic, and then she went to college and there were cafeterias and take out. Ha didn’t learn to cook until she spent a year in Italy, where she learned to cook Italian food. After a few more years, Ha began calling her mother for Korean recipes and was cooking for herself regularly. She wanted to spread her love of Korean food and show people cooking Korean is as easy as cooking Italian. Ha combined her two passions – comic books and Korean food. The result is a friendly and accessible cookbook with a side dish of Korean food culture.
I probably shouldn’t post this review until I’ve cooked a few things from it, but I don’t know when that will be, and I’m impatient. The illustrations and instructions make me feel like any somewhat competent cook can make these dishes. The biggest roadblock for potential cooks is access to Korean ingredients. I am fortunate enough to live in an urban area with a sizable Asian population – more Vietnamese than Korean – and some great Asian markets.
If you plan a trip to Austin and want to see how a white woman does with trying to cook Korean food let me know. I need guinea pigs.