This felt like an easy starter because I grew up eating and ultimately making Japanese curry from the packet, and this felt like a great recipe that was on the one hand very familiar but also had a fun twist. This curry calls for lotus root, eggplant, spinach, carrots, and pork belly (game changer!) instead of the typical chicken, carrots, and potatoes, so I was intrigued. I love lotus root, but have only prepared it one way, stir fried for Japanese New Year’s (it is one of my favorite dishes to eat, and I’m very grateful to my mom for teaching me how to do it!)
The recipe itself was very easy to prepare. It took a while to get the eggplant “melted” like the recipe asked for, but man was it worth it!! I don’t know why I had never thought of swapping out the items in this curry (except maybe the meat or serving it over udon instead of rice,) but I don’t know if I will ever want to make curry the way I used to anymore.
I loved the silkiness of the spinach and the eggplant in this curry, and it still had some bite with the carrot and lotus root. I wasn’t sure what the strong flavor of the curry would taste like with all those vegetables, but man did it work. It was absolutely delicious and absolutely worth it! Unsurprisingly, a huge win and something I will definitely make again. We’re off to a fantastic start!
I know that nobody is on my website, so people will not be reading this and following along, but if you somehow found this… hey :)
The title of this section of my barren website is “Julie and Julia, but make it Asian American” (at least for now.) I don’t plan on attempting the virality of that blog, BUT I wanted a place to document my journey with the “Korean American” cookbook. There are a lot of recipes to try, and when this is over and every recipe is done, I want somewhere to reminisce on what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I learned. Also, since this now lives in perpetuity on the internet, if anyone sees me start this and NOT finish? Embarrassing! This is my written commitment, and I will be held accountable. No, I am not Korean, nor Korean American, but I am Asian American, and I am an Eric Kim fan. This is my first cookbook purchase, and deciding to go through every single recipe is a very ambitious undertaking, and frankly one I’m probably not prepared. And yet, here we are! I love cooking, though I’m not the best at it, love eating (pretty good at that one,) and trust the author of “Korean American,” Eric Kim, with my whole heart (and stomach,) and I can’t wait to dig into all this book has to offer.
My dad is an avid reader and paying subscriber to the New York Times, which is where he first discovered Eric Kim’s recipes. I can’t remember what that first recipe was that my dad some time during the pandemic, but after that, we were hooked on making and eating his food. Ever the Gen Z leech, when I moved back out to New York last year, I used my status as “plus one” on my dad’s subscriber status to keep up with new recipes. From asparagus pasta with gim to fish sauce butter chicken, my dad and I share photos and reviews, which are always glowing. Eric, you have not missed once. For Father’s Day, I bought one copy for my dad, and one for me, so we can continue to eat (and enjoy!!)
I’m looking forward to seeing this through. I’m stubborn, and already absolutely put my mind to it. We’ll see how long it takes, and if we get through it all (I’m really hoping I do!) but I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself to meet a deadline. I know there will be some mess-ups along the way, but I know Eric Kim would never lead me astray, and I have full faith in his recipes, even if I don’t have full faith in my skills.
I hope to see myself become a better cook and eat good doing it! (In all honesty though, I don’t see myself becoming a better food photographer. If what I make looks ugly, it’s on me, not Eric! And if it’s delicious, that’s what will matter the most to me in the end!)