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 a tour for his book, Korean American. As I read it in preparation for Kim’s talk at Now Serving, a Chinatown cookbook store, I was dying to make each recipe, each a playful twist on an American or Korean classic.

While making his salt-and-pepper pork chops with pickled scallions and gochujang-glazed zucchini with fried scallions (two recipes Kim shared with The Times), I’ve stocked my pantry with Korean staples I love, including gochujang , tteok and lots of kimchi. I plan to make more of Kim’s recipes, but I’m also marking a few dishes from the Times archives that are inspired by Korean classics.

Grilled LA Kalbi is a particular classic; I love the pear maple marinade and how those sweet ingredients help caramelize and char the short ribs on the grill. While the grill is hot, I also make these Gochujang Glazed Chicken Thighs laced with the fiery chili paste that gives the chicken immense flavor.

For a friend’s birthday party later this week, I’m making Korean Fried Chicken that stays incredibly crisp even after glazed in gochujang, thanks to the cornstarch coating that frys with a crushing crispiness. I make this with green fig kimchi, but swap out the green figs for large strawberries or cucumbers…something sweet, juicy, and a little crunchy to balance out the chilli filling.

And for an easy dinner for one after the heatwave, I make Korean corn grilled cheese, which features thick sheets of sourdough topped with a bubbly Korean corn cheese mix of mozzarella and mayo that often sizzles in a moat next to your Korean grill.

Grilled LA Kalbi

The traditional Korean marinade for kalbi is sweetened with a mixture of pear and maple syrup to caramelize on the meat. Serve the veal over steamed rice and topped with shiso leaves for wrapping and chillies and scallions for sprinkling. Potato salad goes well with it too.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 30 minutes

A plate of grilled meat over rice, with side dishes.

(Leslie Grow / For the Times)

Gochujang Glazed Grilled Chicken

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

A plate of chicken with gochujang glaze, potato salad and kimchi.

(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

Korean Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom Dak)

One of the secrets of Korean fried chicken is coating it with cornstarch. The other secret is to cook the chicken pieces twice for that extra crispy texture.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes.

Quick Green Fig Kimchi

Spicy Korean chilli flakes and tangy garlic, ginger, and fish sauce might seem like an overwhelming fig counterpart, but the fruit holds its own. Slightly underripe fruit works just as well as superripe specimens, although the latter will produce more syrup to coat the figs after being chilled in the fridge for a day.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 30 minutes plus 1 day

Figs with kimchi filling, sitting on a green plate.

(Silvia Razgova / For the Time)

Korean grilled corn cheese

The beauty of this dish is tasting the sweetcorn mixture with the super stretchy cheese. You can use low-moisture mozzarella if you like, but adding fontina or provolone provides a little more flavor without overpowering the sweetness of the corn.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 40 minutes.

A Korean corn sandwich with grilled cheese.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

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