Add Korean Flavors to Your Chicken Dishes
In her cookbook Everyday Korean (co-written with Kim Sunée), Seung Hee Lee inspires the reader to incorporate Korean flavors in everyday cooking. In the recipe collection and cooking techniques, there is a little something for everyone, whether you grew up eating Korean or are new to the cuisine.
Lee, whose day job is Epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blends family culture and learned techniques. Born in Korea, she has a PhD in Human Nutrition and learned Korean Royal Court cuisine at the Taste of Korea Research Institute in Seoul. More than 35,000 followers on Instagram (@koreanfusion) keep up with her love of natural wine, oysters, and caviar. She parlays these experiences into pop-ups in Atlanta and around the world, showcasing the “fusion” in the evolving food scene.
We talked with her about chicken and she shared some favorite recipes from her book.
SMF: What is one of your favorite ways to cook chicken?
Seung Hee Lee: “I love double frying my chicken. I think it ensures that the chicken is fully cooked, remains crispy even after brushed with sauces. I always air-dry the chicken overnight and exclusively dredge in cornstarch seasoned lightly with salt and pepper (onion powder and garlic powder, too, if I feel a little sassy).”
SMF: At your pop-ups, regulars know and love your special sauces. Can you share one with us?
Seung Hee Lee: “My spicy Korean Fried Chicken sauce is my mom’s recipe, available in my cookbook Everyday Korean. It is an incredible balance between spicy, tangy, sweet, and savory -- a complex mixture of ketchup, gochugaru, gochujang, soy sauce, and sugar with few more ingredients, a solid crowd pleaser. If spicy is not your thing, definitely try soy garlic sauce that is simply an umami bomb. It is made with low-sodium soy sauce, oyster sauce, a ton of garlic, and sweetening agent of your choice, that can be sugar, maple syrup, agave….”
SMF: While we think of bold flavors when discussing Korean food, it is really a cuisine about balance. Salty, spicy and tangy flavors are often tempered and balanced with sweet ones.
Seung Hee Lee: “I like to serve fried chicken half and half -- one half very full on flavor and the other half brushed with honey using rosemary sprigs and sprinkle a ton of toasted black and white sesame seeds. The rationale is simple - you eat one spicy, then you crave one sweet, then you crave another spicy…., repeat.”
Meet Seung Hee Lee and taste her cooking at these upcoming pop-ups:
April 25, 2019
Stems, Seeds, and Everythang pop-up at Brush Sushi Izakaya. 10 PM-1 AM. No reservations/pre-payment required.
Brush Sushi Izakaya. 316 Church St., Decatur. 678-949-9412, brushatl.com.
April 28, 2019
Sandwiches + Supper at a mano, highlighting the flavors of spring.
A mano. 587 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE, Atlanta. 404-549-7727, amanoatl.com.
May 14, 2019
All Star Pop-Up Chefs Unite at Lazy Betty with Chef Ronald Hsu, Kamayan Atl, Chicomecoatl, The Plate Sale, and Sandwiches + Supper.
Lazy Betty. 1530 Dekalb Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-975-3692, lazybettyatl.com.
Copies of Everyday Korean are available to purchase at her pop-ups or via this link.
Try this other great recipe from Everyday Korean. [All recipes are reprinted with permission.]