Mar 052016


Koreatown: A Cookbook by Matt Rodbard

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (February 16, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0804186138
ISBN-13: 978-0804186131
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Sold by: Random House LLC
This is not your average soft-focus “journey to Asia” kind of cookbook. Koreatown is a spicy, funky, flavor-packed love affair with the grit and charm of Korean cooking in America. Koreatowns around the country are synonymous with mealtime feasts and late-night chef hangouts, and Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard show us why with stories, interviews, and over 100 delicious, super-approachable recipes.

It’s spicy, it’s fermenty, it’s sweet and savory and loaded with umami: Korean cuisine is poised to break out in the U.S., but until now, Korean cookbooks have been focused on taking readers to an idealized Korean fantasyland. Koreatown, though, is all about what’s real and happening right here: the foods of Korean American communities all over our country, from L.A. to New York City, from Atlanta to Chicago. We follow Rodbard and Hong through those communities with stories and recipes for everything from beloved Korean barbecue favorites like bulgogi and kalbi to the lesser-known but deeply satisfying stews, soups, noodles, salads, drinks, and the many kimchis of the Korean American table.

Full of beautiful photos and lots of information, this book is a great place to start for someone like me who isn’t very familiar with Korean food or recipes. It starts out with an Introduction and then moves on to:
Ingredients & Equipment
Kimchi & Banchan
Rice, Noodles & Dumplings
Barbecue: Grilled, Smoked & Fried
Drinking Food: Pojangmacha
Soups, Stews & Braises
Respect: Guest Recipes
Sweets & Desserts

So much info and recipes. There are a good variety of recipes, from Kimchi Fried Rice to Ojinguh Gui, which is Broiled Whole Squid. I have eaten squid before at the urging of my late husband, but don’t think I’d like to broil a whole one, or serve it for a meal at home.

In my 20’s I lived on an Army base. The people who lived in the other half of the duplex we lived in were always making Kimchi, which we thought smelled terrible. It would stink up the inside of our house and even smelled up the yard. It sure did stink! I’m sure it tasted good though.

Since I’m a believer in trying new things, I thought this book would not only nudge me into trying to eat a Korean dish, but to also try making it myself.

One of the first recipes I want to try is Dakdoritang which is a spicy chicken stew.

I would recommend this book to any who loves Korean food, or wants to try it. But as a heads up, some of the ingredients may have to be bought at a Korean store, which is to be expected. I’ve never seen gochujang or sheets of toasted seaweed in the stores I shop.

I’m so thrilled with this book and so happy to add it to my cookbook shelf.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads





 Posted by at 3:41 PM

  15 Responses to “Koreatown: A Cookbook by Matt Rodbard”

  1. I do a lot of Asian cooking but never specifically Korean. I am going to have to check out this cookbook.

  2. I’m going to check this one out! Thanks

  3. You said you received this from “Blogging for Books” — did you specifically choose it because you were interested in Korean cooking? I guess Korean cooking is kind of an obscure thing to try, though there are some pretty good Korean restaurants in my experience. Just wondering.

    best… mae at

  4. Looks like a great book. The Korean food I’m used to eating is the local version served in Hawaii, which is different from the food you’d actually find in Korea. Korean restaurants around the country vary, so it would be interesting to read and learn more.

  5. We have a couple Korean restaurants here but have never tried them and I’m not sure why. I’d love to look through this cookbook.

  6. Great review. I cook all kinds of Asian cuisines but for some reason Korean food is the one I am not entirely comfortable with–beyond some fusion dishes using kimchi. I will have to look for this book–maybe it would push me to try cooking it more. 😉

  7. I was very curious about this book. I’ve tried lots of Chinese and some Japanese foods, but never Korean. Thanks for sharing this book with us!

  8. I liked the Korean food I had in when I lived in Hawaii but I’ve never tried to make it at home. I’m often frustrated by cookbooks with ingredients one has to special order (I’m in a small town, so no Korean grocery). But I’ll have to see if the library will get a copy.

  9. I love getting Chinese takeaway but I never think about cooking Asian foods at home. This would certainly be a healthier way to take care of my cravings. Pretty book.

  10. My husband loves Korean food but I’ve never had it. He can’t go to Korean restaurants since he developed food allergies that means it can’t eat it any more. Maybe I should try this book to see if I could adapt anything so he could eat it again.

  11. Vicki,

    This sounds like an incredible cookbook. Dakdoritang sound delicious! I have a lot to learn about Korean food. I have only been to Korean restaurants a couple of times.

  12. I’ve heard quite a bit about kimchi but I’ve never had Korean food! Sounds like a fun and informative book, even if I likely won’t be cooking Korean fare for my family anytime soon (maybe when they’re older!).

  13. Sounds awesome! I love Korean food, especially dumplings!

  14. Sounds like a good book.

  15. I like trying different foods, and I like Asian food, cooking it is another story though.

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