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Wednesday, 22 April 2020

The Absolute Best Way to Make White Rice, According to My Korean Mom

The Absolute Best Way to Make White Rice, According to My Korean Mom

Growing up in the suburbs, my family and I would go to steakhouses often, our Friday night ritual at the end of the workweek. Think: ABC's Fresh Off the Boat, Louis Huang's Cattleman's Ranch Steakhouse. As soon as we'd come home from dinner, even after that huge meal, my dad would head straight to the kitchen and eat a spoonful or two of cold leftover white rice (the gonggi bap) straight out of the rice cooker. Maybe with some ice-cold kimchi from the fridge, a sheet or two of gim (roasted seaweed snack). Dinner was never dinner unless there was white rice to round everything out. It was as if he couldn't feel fully satiated without it.

I wonder if other Koreans can identify with this longing for rice to complete a meal. It signifies for me a long-lasting lore I've always felt that white rice is food, and food is white rice.

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