Curry & Kimchi: Flavor Secrets for Creating 70 Asian-Inspired Recipes at Home, written by Unmi Abkin and Roger Taylor, features a variety of delicious sauces and fun ways to use them to create amazing foundations and a balance of flavors in the home kitchen. A few highlights include Honey Miso Dressing, Broccoli Salad, Hoisin-Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Lime Shallot Crème Fraîche, and Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms. I will also be sharing their recipe for Scallion Ginger Jam following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Storey Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and statements 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.
Unmi Abkin and Roger Taylor
Unmi Abkin was born in South Korea, then adopted at the age of six or seven by a Jewish American man and a Mexican woman. She states, “My families, then and now, gave me the strength and will to follow my passion, food, wherever it led me- from California to France, Morocco, and Massachusetts.”
Unmi attended the California Culinary Academy and is a four-time semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast.
Roger Taylor grew up surrounded by professional kitchens. His father his a baker, his cousin is a chef, and he started working in restaurants at the age of 15. He is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
They owned the restaurant, Coco and the Cellar Bar in Easthampton, Massachusetts, but unfortunately the restaurant suddenly closed as I was writing this review.
Curry & Kimchi
Curry & Kimchi begins with an introduction into Unmi and Roger’s lives and how they developed their passions for cooking. They also include a few basic principles to help get started. I particularly love the notes on balancing flavors, planning the dish, and even presentation to really showcase the best of the ingredients.
The book is divided into three parts: Dressings and Salads; Sauces and Salsas with Main Dishes; and Condiments, Pickles, and Infused Oils. In the contents, you will find a list of the included recipes along with a handful that use an instant pot.
Following the recipes, the authors have put together sections on everyday equipment and everyday ingredients to help create the dishes.
The photography is provided by Keller + Keller. Every single recipe is accompanied by at least one photo, usually of the finished dish. There are also a few smaller step-by-step photos to demonstrate specific layering and techniques for presentation.
Measurements are listed in US Customary. There is a metric conversion chart in the back of the book. Titles are written in English. Each recipe includes a headnote with background information, pairing ideas, yield, and helpful tips.
Scallion Ginger Jam
I originally made the Scallion Ginger Jam to pair with the Korean-style Spaghetti, but absolutely love how versatile it is and have started adding the sauce to so many meals. It also comes together in just a few minutes with no cooking!
Finely chopped scallions are combined with minced ginger, salt, sherry vinegar, and oil, then set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. That’s all! Roughly 2 bunches of scallions (white and light green parts only) will yield about 1/2 cup of the sauce.
Store the Scallion Ginger Jam in an airtight container for up to four days. In addition to the Korean Spaghetti, this jam is also recommended for pairing with the Clay Pot Miso Chicken, spreading across sandwiches, on a bagel, or simply over rice.
I also made the Thai Peanut Sauce, Thai Chicken Rice Bowl, Korean Spaghetti, and Macaroni and Cheese.
The Thai Peanut Sauce is another fairly easy recipe, yet packed with flavor. Peanut butter and red curry paste are simmered in coconut milk with other seasonings to create a creamy sauce perfect for accompanying a variety of dishes.
After making the Thai Peanut Sauce, I paired it with the Thai Chicken Rice Bowl. I absolutely love the layering of textures and flavors in this meal. Rice is topped with cubed chicken, the peanut sauce, seasoned cabbage, lettuce, red onion, and mint. The balance was perfect.
The Korean Spaghetti was my personal favorite. Spaghetti noodles are tossed in the Scallion Ginger Jam, then topped with a Korean-style Bolognese (also recommended for Korean Sloppy Joes). This meat sauce is filled with gochujang, a Korean hot pepper sauce, spicy miso paste, and so much more flavor.
The Macaroni and Cheese was a particular hit with the kids. Elbow macaroni is folded into a Morney (French cheese sauce) base, then topped with buttered panko and baked until golden and bubbly. Unmi and Roger recommend pairing the macaroni and cheese with a Zesty Jalapeño Cabbage Slaw.
Curry & Kimchi is a great pick for those interested in a delicious and bold range of sauces and condiments. Many of the recipes comes together fairly easily, but a few do require multiple parts or flipping back and forth to different sections to build and layer the flavors. The step-by-step photos are perfect for building techniques in presentation.
Having a specialty market nearby will be helpful in locating some ingredients such as gochugaru, Asian pear, miso, Napa cabbage, Szechuan peppercorns, mirin, kombu, bonito flakes, wakame, sambal oelek, wide rice noodles, and kaffir lime leaves.
Scallion Ginger Jam Recipe
Excerpt from Curry & Kimchi
Scallion Ginger Jam
- 2 bunches scallions light green and white parts only, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
- In a medium bowl, combine the finely chopped scallions, minced ginger, salt, sherry vinegar, and cooking oil.
- Set jam aside for at least 30 minutes before using.
- This jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.