每日英語跟讀 Ep.937: Real Korean Flavor For a YouTube Table
During the years that she was addicted to online gaming, life for Emily Kim began when she got home from work at 6 p.m.
“I would shower quick, and eat something, no matter what, so I could start playing my game,” said Ms. Kim, a.k.a the YouTube Korean-cooking star Maangchi. “And I wouldn’t stop till 3 a.m.”
In 2003, divorced and with her two grown children out of the house, Ms. Kim ventured into the online role-playing battle game City of Heroes and couldn’t pull herself away. Maangchi, pronounced MAHNG-chee and meaning “hammer” in Korean, was the name of her online avatar, who specialized in destruction, wielding a huge scimitar and wearing a tiny miniskirt.
In 2007, her children persuaded her to try a more nourishing form of Internet expression: cooking videos. “I had no idea if anyone would watch me,” she said, “but the Korean recipes I saw in English were full of mistakes, and I wanted to show the real way we do things.”
Now, Ms. Kim has more than 619,000 YouTube subscribers.
At age 58, she has just published a cookbook, “Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking,” one of the few comprehensive books on Korean cooking written for Americans, but without major adjustments to make the food more accessible.
From watching her videos, it is hard to envision Ms. Kim as a reclusive gamer. In extravagant eye makeup and bright pink lipstick, she cooks huge batches of bibimbap, bulgogi and KFC, sweet-sticky-spicy Korean fried chicken. She demonstrates the endless variations of kimchi and schools her viewers in the pronunciation of dishes like soegogi-muguk (pronounced SAY-go-gee moo-GUHK), beef and radish soup.
Although she presents herself as lighthearted, Ms. Kim is first and foremost a teacher, and a strict one at that. “I have to do everything correctly,” she said. “Otherwise I will hear about it from the Koreans.”
This is a phrase she often repeated to the editors of her cookbook when they quailed at including recipes for fermented sardines, jellyfish salad and kelp stock. This, Ms. Kim believes, is the problem with virtually every Korean restaurant in the United States: The food is sweeter, saltier, less spicy, less fishy and less rich with umami than it should be.
Ms. Kim was raised in Yeosu, near the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, where her family was in the seafood business. She learned from her mother, aunts and grandmothers how to not only cook but also pickle, smoke, dry and ferment.
Ms. Kim first came to the United States in 1992 with her husband, who emigrated to take a teaching job in Missouri. In the Midwest, she would lead fellow expatriates on expeditions in search of Japanese or Chinese restaurants.
Now, she lives and shoots her videos in a compact apartment perched above Times Square. She shares the apartment with David Seguin, a web developer at The New York Times, whom she married in 2009. There, she practices the slow and ancient art of fermenting, making gochujang (chile paste) and doenjang (soybean paste), an umami-rich flavor element pervasive in Korean cooking. The recipe calls for an electric blanket, about four liters of salt and hay; it takes almost a year to complete.
Traditionally, even a basic family dinner consists of 8 to 10 different dishes: soup or stew, rice, kimchi, often a stir-fry of protein and vegetables, and at least three side dishes like spicy cucumber salad or steamed eggplant.
“There is nothing Koreans love more than sitting around a table where every inch is covered with food,” Ms. Kim said. “And if there is a grill in the middle of it, that is even better.”
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/282065/web/