Korean-Inspired Cooking Recipes – Los Angeles Times


Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with a friend, first-time cookbook author Eric Kim, while he was in town on tour for his book “Korean American.” Reading it to prepare for Kim’s speech through Now Serving, a cookbook shop in Chinatown, I found myself dying to make every recipe, each a playful twist on an American or Korean classic.

While making her Salt and Pepper Pork Chops with Pickled Scallions and Gochujang Glazed Zucchini with Fried Scallions (two recipes Kim shared with The Times), I stocked my pantry with Korean staples which I love including gochujang, tteok and lots of kimchi. I plan to make more of Kim’s recipes, but I’m also noting several dishes from The Times Archives inspired by Korean classics.

Grilled LA Kalbi is a specific classic; I love its pear and maple marinade and how those sweet ingredients help caramelize and char the short ribs on the grill. While the grill is hot, I’m also going to make these gochujang glazed chicken thighs, tossed with the fiery chili paste that infuses the chicken with immense flavor.

For a friend’s birthday party later this week, I’m making Korean Fried Chicken, which stays incredibly crispy even after I glaze it with gochujang, thanks to the cornstarch coating that fried with a smashing crisp . To accompany it, I’ll make green fig kimchi, but substitute the green figs for large strawberries or cucumbers…anything sweet, juicy and a bit crunchy to balance out the chili stuffing.

And for an easy dinner for one, after the heat wave passes, I’ll make Korean Corn Grilled Cheese, made of thick slices of sourdough with a mixture of bubbling Korean Corn Cheese made with mozzarella and mayonnaise, which I you often see sizzling in a ditch next to your Korean barbecue.

THE Grilled Kalbi

The traditional Korean marinade for kalbi is sweetened with a mixture of pear and maple syrup so that it caramelizes on the meat. Serve the kalbi over steamed rice and with shiso leaves for the wrapper and chili peppers and scallions for garnish. Potato salad is also a great side dish.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 30 minutes

(Leslie Grow / For The Time)

Gochujang Glazed Grilled Chicken

Gochujang, a Korean fermented soybean paste with red chili peppers, gives this grilled chicken a little kick. If you want your chicken to be spicy, use more gochujang in the sweet and salty glaze. Fresh lemon juice balances sweetness with flavor and also keeps the chicken juicy.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.

A plate of gochujang glazed chicken with potato salad and kimchi.

(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

Korean Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom Dak)

One of the secrets of Korean fried chicken is to coat it in cornstarch. The other secret is to fry the chicken pieces twice for that extra crispy texture.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 1h10.

Quick green fig kimchi

Spicy Korean chili flakes and tangy garlic, ginger, and fish sauce might seem like an overwhelming match for figs, but the fruit holds its own. Slightly under-ripe fruit works just as well as super-ripe specimens, although the latter will yield more syrup to coat the figs after chilling in the refrigerator for a day.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 30 minutes, plus 1 day

Figs stuffed with kimchi, sitting on a green plate.

(Silvia Razgova / For the times)

Korean grilled cheese with corn

The beauty of this dish is in the taste of the sweet corn blend with the super stretchy cheese. If desired, you can use low-moisture mozzarella, but adding fontina or provolone provides a bit more flavor without overpowering the sweetness of the corn.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 40 minutes.

A Korean corn grilled cheese sandwich.

(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

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