Cooking with the CrunchBros: Casual and Fun Korean- and Japanese-Inspired Recipes from Our Kitchen to Yours, written by Jeff and Jordan Kim, features a delicious collection of 65 dishes with flavors for the whole family. A few highlights include Kimchi Mac Salad, Korean Breakfast Burrito, Spicy Tteok Skewers, Tuna Mayo Mini Rice Balls, and Quick and Easy Nikujaga. I will also be sharing their recipe for Mochi Pizza following the review.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Harvard Common Press in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Jeff and Jordan Kim
Jeff and Jordan Kim are a father-son duo known as The CrunchBros on various online channels. Their cooking is inspired by dad Jeff’s Korean background and behind-the-scenes CrunchMom’s Japanese background. They have been featured on Buzzfeed, Rachael Ray, Tasty, Food Network, and more.
The family is currently based in Orange County, California with little sister Kaiya and CrunchMom. This is their first cookbook.
Cooking with the CrunchBros
Cooking with the CrunchBros begins with a short introduction of the CrunchBros family and the inspiration behind the recipes in the book.
They have developed the dishes with both adults and kids in mind. The instructions are easy to follow and paired with inviting, vivid photos.
For those new to Japanese and Korean cooking, they have also included a glossary of notable ingredients with descriptions at the end of the book.
The chapters are divided according to the following: Easy Peasy Side, Snacks, and Sauces; In the Kitchen with CrunchDad; Jordan’s Favorite Things to Cook and Eat; and In the Kitchen with CrunchMom. The contents have a list of the included recipes with page number for easy reference.
The photography is provided by David K. Peng with food styling by Christiane Hur. Most of the recipes are paired with a full-page photo of the finished dish. Along with all the food, the book is packed with fun family photos.
Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. Titles are written in English or the original language (romanized). Each recipe has a headnote with background information, yield, and helpful tips.
My kids were excited to try the Mochi Pizza! This incredibly easy pizza uses a blend of all-purpose flour and mochiko for a crust requiring no rise times and minimal effort in shaping.
Simply bring together the dough ingredients in a bowl until smooth, divide into two balls, and press each into a 9 inch (23 centimeter) crust.
Form the dough into a circle, oval, or even into a heart. Thin sheets will be more crispy, while thicker doughs will be more chewy.
Press the dough directly onto the prepared pizza tray or cookie sheet. It will be more fragile with the use of the mochiko. If any of it tears, gently press the pieces back together.
Before adding the toppings, bake the dough for 5 minutes in the preheated oven.
Add an assortment of sauces and toppings as desired. We went simple with pizza sauce, freshly shredded mozzarella, and pepperoni.
After topping, bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is crisp on the bottom and the cheese is bubbly. This Mochi Pizza is best shortly after baking.
Mochiko is a Japanese glutinous rice flour made from sweet sticky rice.
I have been able to find Mochiko in the international or gluten-free section of larger grocery stores and in markets with Japanese ingredients.
For those in Northern Virginia, I usually get it at Wegmans or Lotte Plaza Market in Chantilly. It is also available on Amazon: Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour.
I also made the Quick Sweet and Spicy Cucumber, Macbokki, Miso Yaki Onigiri, Wafu-Style Bacon and Mushroom Pasta.
The Quick Sweet and Spicy Cucumber was such a delicious way to use up some leftover cucumbers I had in the refrigerator. Cucumber slices are first salted, then tossed in a combination of Korean chili flakes, sugar, garlic, sesame, and rice vinegar. The flavors were fantastic.
The Macbokki brings together two of my favorite things- Mac and Cheese and Tteok! Thick Korean rice cakes are baked in a creamy cheese sauce until tender and bubbly.
The Miso Yaki Onigiri was another favorite. Freshly cooked rice is formed into triangles, grilled briefly on each side, then brushed with a sweet and savory miso mirin mixture before grilling again until crisp and golden.
The Wafu-Style Bacon and Mushroom Pasta was wonderful for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Spaghetti is cooked until tender, then tossed with crispy bacon, onion, mushrooms, and a light sauce. To serve, it is garnished with green onion and nori.
Cooking with the CrunchBros is a great pick for those interested in Korean and Japanese-style recipes for all ages. Many of the recipes come together easily in as little as 30 minutes. Others require a little more prep or resting times.
Having an East Asian market nearby will be helpful in locating items such as Korean chili flakes, kimchi, Japanese mayonnaise, gochujang, daikon, miso, black bean paste, pork belly, tteok, takuwan, miyeok, bonito flakes, and more.
Mochi Pizza Recipe
Excerpt from Cooking with the CrunchBros
- 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (160 grams) mochiko
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) olive oil
- 3/4 cup (175 milliliters) water
- 6 tablespoons (90 grams) pizza sauce, (90 grams) marinara sauce, (90 grams) ketchup, or (90 grams) BBQ sauce
- 1 1/2 cups (175 grams) shredded mozzarella cheese or your favorite cheese blend
- Any additional desired toppings such as vegetables or cooked meats
- Add all the ingredients for the dough to a large mixing bowl and mix until fully combined, about 5 minutes or until smooth.
- Shape into 2 even balls.
- Oil a pizza tray or cookie sheet.
- Flatten out the dough on the cookie sheet. Try to make it as thin as possible for a crispier crust. The thicker it is, the more chewy it will be.
- Prebake the dough at 450˚F (230˚C, or gas mark 8) for 5 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the oven and add the sauce, mozzarella cheese, and desired toppings.
- Bake again at 450˚F (230˚C, or gas mark 8) for 10 minutes or until the bottom is crispy.
- Note that after baking, the center of the pizza dough will look almost translucent. Don't worry, it's not raw- it's mochi.