A guide to Korean cooking, in comic book form


Read this cookbook: “Cook Korean! A Comic Book With Recipes.” By Robin Ha. (Ten Speed Press, $19.99).

  Robin Ha has done a huge favor for anyone intimidated by the exotic ingredients and techniques of Korean cuisine. She’s created a comic book that lays out the fundamentals of kimchi, bibimbap and Korean barbecue in the form of recipe-cartoons.

One of the most delightful cookbooks I’ve seen all year, “Cook Korean!” makes me want to drive to Buford Highway and fill a buggy with soybean paste, dried anchovies, green onions and tofu.

Heck, I might even use it as a crib sheet the next time I visit a Korean restaurant. Dengki — Ha’s cartoon alter ego and recipe narrator, a pert young woman in a traditional dress called a hanbok — is likely to have the answers to my every Korean conundrum. I can tell you now she’s much handier than Siri.

Don’t let the happy-faced daikon radishes and dancing shrimp fool you: “Cook Korean!” is as useful as it is cute.

How come I’ve never pan-fried tofu or fermented green-onion kimchi? The seafood and green onion pancake calls for just six ingredients, most of which I have on hand.

The expression on Dengki’s face alone (marvelous!) is enough to make me want to mix up a batch of Watermelon Soju next time I have a party. A frothy chilled cocktail of watermelon, soju (Korean rice liquor) and Sprite, served in a punch bowl made from half a watermelon rind, it’s a brilliant summer thirst-buster.

Quick! How do you say “cheers” in Korean?

Check out more cookbooks you should read

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