The first time I ever cooked Korean food for myself was in graduate school.
Even though I’d grown up eating home cooked Korean food just about every day of my 26 years of life, I’d never tried cooking it myself. The whole cooking thing was a riddle to me, and somewhat intimidating.
I think this was because my mom always wanted me to have a better life than she did growing up: One where cooking and cleaning was not something you had to do everyday, like she did starting at the age of 13, but something you chose to do if you wanted to.
But even when I’d offered help in the kitchen, my mom told me to use that time for improving other skills… like reading or practicing on the piano.
So, there was some irony in the fact that as I embarked on my post graduate studies, I started cooking more and more.
Why I Started Cooking Korean Food and Never Stopped
Back then, I’d just moved to New York City from Southern California for graduate school and the campus food here left much to be desired.
I was also homesick and missed my mom’s home cooked Korean food.
So even though I never learned how to cook Korean food, I taught myself, through trial and error, based on what I remembered my mom doing, thousand times over, for almost 20 years.
But that’s the same story I hear from other Korean-Americans who learned to cook Korean food, too.
Even though many of them grew up eating home cooked Korean meals, no one ever taught them how to do it. Like my mom, many Korean parents thought that cooking Korean food was not an essential nor even a family tradition worth keeping.
So thank goodness for the wealth of Korean (And Asian!) food blogs on the internet now.
How easy things would have been for me if this was available 23 years ago!
Korean Food Blogs Every Korean American Must Know
Here below, I’ve rounded up what I believe are THE Top 5 Korean Food Blogs on the internet right now.
These blogs have helped me so much not only in expanding my paltry Korean cooking repertoire (I started off knowing how to cook only 2 dishes: Kimchee and Doenjang jigaes), but they have helped me in keeping my family nourished and well fed and staying connected with their Korean heritage.
I hope these sites help you do the same for your family and home, too!
Top 5 Korean Food Blogs Now
Korean Food Blog #1:
This is THE ULTIMATE “go to” site for traditional Korean recipes.
The blogger, Hyosun, is a Korean-American working mother, who decided to publish her recipes on-line for her two adult children who kept asking her to teach them how to cook the same meals they grew up enjoying.
This slow cooker dakjjim recipe of hers is so easy to make but tastes oh so amazing!
It takes just minutes to prep and cooks all on its own in the slow cooker and yet it tastes just like the stove top braised version which takes hours to make. It’s been a hit with my family as well as with many of my other guests, both Korean and non-Asian.
Korean Food Blog #2:
If you’re looking for traditional Korean recipes with a bit of “beyond the ordinary”, Beyond Kimchee is THE Korean recipe blog for you.
Holly, the owner, blogger, recipe developer and photographer on this site, is a native Korean (now resides in Virginia) who cooks up some mean dishes like this: Chicken Dak Galbi.
This, and some of her other stews make my husband’s face visibly light up–it’s that good!
If you ever crave spicy, hearty, good old fashioned Korean dishes with a side of international flair (Her Kkakdugi calls for milk, and she uses cumin in this dish for instance) you need to try her recipes, like now!
Korean Food Blog #3:
Probably one of the longest running video-logs about Korean cooking ever to appear on the You Tube scene, (since 2007!) Maangchi has been an iconic recipe site for anyone “looking” to cook Korean food.
Her accessible and fun to watch cooking videos will make any novice cook become fearless in the kitchen. In fact, New York Times calls her: You Tube’s Korean Julia Child. I wholeheartedly agree.
I followed her step-by-step video to make my first Korean mandu from scratch!
Up until then, I’d always thought they had to come in a bag (or my mom’s kitchen) to taste good.
My only advice? Don’t put her videos on a reel. You’ll be watching her for hours and not cooking!
Korean Food Blog #4:
Being that she’s a native Korean born and bred, she speaks our language when it comes to authentic Korean food.
This Korean style popcorn chicken is also a “house” favorite– my kids gobble this up in an instant!
Move over Popeyes! Welcome Korean Popcorn chicken!
Korean Food Blog #5:
A former software engineer with a PHD in computer engineering, Jinjoo, started her Korean food blog in 2011 as a way to address her daughter and her own dietary need to avoid all gluten. And I’m so glad that she did!
Since I developed a gluten sensitivity in 2010, Korean food has become something of a staple in my household.
Thanks to her blog, and other Korean cooking sites like hers, I’ve been able to try my hand at some Korean recipes I’d have never had the nerve to try on my own.
Her Easy Instant Pot Galbitang recipe, for instance, has saved me multiple times in getting dinner on the table easily and quickly.
Even better, her recipes often don’t require weird or exotic ingredients that you can only find at the Korean grocery stores; Which makes these recipes all that more accessible to those living here, in the States, and abroad.
If you’re avoiding gluten like I am, or you happen to be vegetarian, this is the perfect site for you!
It’s my firm conviction that nothing brings people and families together better than a good old fashioned home cooked meal: That’s true for Americans, Koreans, or even for Korean-Americans.
Cooking is one of the ways I’ve found to be helpful in appreciating Korean culture and for me to pass on my family’s traditions to the next generation.
Suffice it to say that it was my cooking and not so much my educational or musical accomplishments, that has helped make my home more cohesive and given my family something we can all enjoy together.
I’m hoping that these Top 5 Korean Food Blogs will help you in creating lasting traditions for your home for the ones you love.