Thursday, December 17, 2009

Remembering Some of Our Roots Through Food

I have been meaning to record some more of our Korean meals for quite some time now. But lately time’s been going by so quickly it seems, and it’s been really difficult for me to take pictures and write down recipes (Korean or otherwise). However, I have been taking more pictures of our Korean meals over the past few weeks. Some of the meals were cooked by me, some by my mother-in-law, and some of them we cooked together. So the plan for the next year is to recreate them, experiment a bit, and post about them (and other Korean meals) one by one. In the meantime, I’m posting myself a “reminder” here.

First up is kimchi (fermented cabbage). I have honestly never made kimchi myself, but I will in 2010!

Oxtail soup with rice cakes, seaweed, & egg.

Hubby’s plate of food prepared by his mom.

The toddler eating a dumpling filled with meat & vegetables. The dumplings were actually purchased in a Korean store.

More soup with meat.

Marinated mushrooms. I’ll have to get the recipe from my mother-in-law.

Marinated radishes and greens. This is also on my “must make” list for 2010.

Marinated “leaves.” Hubby loves them, but I have never made them. These are also going on my “must make” list for 2010.

Marinated meat.

Bean sprout soup with radishes.

Side dishes: bean sprouts, cucumbers, radishes, some sort of root. I have never made the root.

Fried fish.

Dessert rice cakes.

Questions: What are some of your “heritage meals” that you want to preserve?

Be well,



  1. Hmm....I don't really have any! I wish I knew more about my heritage and foods like this.

    I do know that I'm 1/32 American Indian and I would love to know more about that side of my family.

  2. I definitely embrace the "get back to your roots" philosophy - my heritage is German, Austrian, Russian, and Native American.

  3. I love all of your cultural foods pictured here. They look amazing. My "heritage meals" would be matzo ball soup and noodle kugel. I can't seem to think of any others right now.

  4. Marinated radishes and greens look fabulous! And I love that rice cake dessert!

  5. I can't wait to see your recreation of these meals! My "heritage meals" would be gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, boiled crawfish, shrimp etouffee, and beignets!

  6. OH I love how you can embrace your heritage through food! It opens up a whole new door of cuisine and variation. I'm not spanish, but my family certainly acts like we are, so we love to embrace their cuisine.

  7. oh boy...I am half mexican/spanish half dutch/Norwegian and this and that.

    My mom learned to cook the mexican foods from my Pop's relatives and actually Christmas always was mexican foods but that ended years ago.

    This is going to require some thought...I left my heritage foods for what I chase after now...clean healthy plant based foods. Once in a while I crave a taco though! hehe

    I love that some of your 2010 goals include learning to make some of your favorite dishes.

    good for you!

  8. oh that is so fun to see! everything looks wonderful! minestrone soup and cheesecake were my childhood favorites of my grandma, however my other grandma used to handmake all her own pasta, and I've sadly only recently really begun to appreciate that!

  9. Anonymous12/17/2009

    Oh my, your mother-in-law is quite a cook! I know for a fact that Korean food is pretty labor intensive, and I also know how much Korean ladies love too cook for their loved ones :) Everything looks deeelicious!

    I need to make kimchi myself, although I've helped my mom make it before. All those things you have are some of my favorite Korean meals (japchae, rice cakes, kimbap, dumplings, pan-fried goodies, kimchi...)

  10. All that food looks fabulous, except the fish *blush*. I've been seeing kimchi all over blogland, but haven't ever tried it.

    My parents both orignate from Italy, so naturally I grew up eating (only) Italian. My favourite is most likely chicken cacciatore served over a base of polenta.

  11. WOW - that food looks so awesomely authentic! We don't really have heritage recipes, but we do have favorites, including, potoato/egg breakfast and chicken fried rice! :)

  12. love this post! my grandparents are russian and my father is israli so we always embrace all the israeli type foods, like falafel, hummus, taboleh and I am so happy that I LOVE it all!!! some of russian food I am not such a fan of like borscht but I do always try some when my grandparents serve it!

  13. AH that photo of the tod cracks me up! so cute! totally frame worthy :) that food looks awesome. i always wish i had the knack for authentic dishes such as these. Yym!!!

  14. There's definitely quite a bit of Filipino food that I want to continue to make and eat. It what I grew up eating and hopefully I can pass that along for when I have kids.

    Love Korean food. I especially love the bean sprout side dish. I've been trying to find a decent recipe for one. Have had any success as of yet.

  15. Anonymous12/17/2009

    Oh Andrea! This post was dear to my heart....Haha, I don't really like Korean food, but these are just so warmingly familiar to me!
    I LOVE that oxtail soup with rice dumplings, though...COMFORT food to the max in the wintry days!

    ARe you really gonna make your own kimchi! Hot dog!

  16. How amazing!! I love Korean foods, and reading many of the blogs I follow makes me want to eat some Korean foods everyday. My heritage is based off of southern cooking (mom's side) and Italian cooking (dad's side) neither of which I do too much. Although I'm going to make my grandma's lasagna one of these days. It's the best lasagna in the world!

  17. My husband's aunt makes homemade tortellini every year and he DESPERATELY wants me to learn how to make them. They are such a huge part of their Italian heritage, and I can't wait to learn. I bet he'd do dishes for a month or two for some homemade tortellinis! ;)

    Those Korean dishes all look wonderful! Especially the greens!

  18. love all the food in this post! i can't wait to get home to my momma's home chinese cooking in a few days....

  19. My "heritage meals" are more basic. Honestly? I use the recipes from my great grandparents diner that they ran during the Great Depression. They are pretty cheap meals, and fairly basic. (Chili Soup, "Runza" sandwhiches, Sloppy Joes.) Lately I've been trying to make them healthier.

  20. Andrea, I'd love to see more posts related to Korean food. I grew up on several stir-fried greens, and vegetable fish soups.

  21. Anonymous12/17/2009

    Wow, all these dishes look amazing! I've been making a lot of dishes that are my family recipes lately - in fact my post tomorrow says exactly that and features one recipe I would definitely like to preserve.

  22. I've never had Korean food that was prepared so well! Like Tae Kwon Do and all the great instructors I've had :-)
    Great photos! Maybe this year, I'll be able to try some, since they just opened a Korean restaurant in town.

  23. Our heritage food looks quite a bit different from this (although all of this looks really interesting!) And it is more a heritage from the high concentration of Polish and Ukranian immigrants who came to our neck of the woods many years ago. Christmas would not be Christmas at our house without perogies and cabbage rolls. In fact, we're making them on Sunday - three generations working together to make everyone's favourites.

  24. I want to try making kimchi in the new year, too. I'm already leafing through the Momofuku cookbook to see which one catches my eye first.

  25. Mmmm, I love Korean food! My husband lived there for 2 years and he has exposed me to some authentic fare. If you make the kimchi, I would love to know how it turns out and what recipe you use.

    As for my own heritage food. family has been in the US for a long time and anything from the Old World countries has been lost to the ages. I think the best I can do is claim Southern food as my own since 3/4 of my family is from the South and we all love the food even thought it's so bad for you. Also may account for the weight problems in my family.

    I make my great-grandma's pumpkin bread several times every Fall.