To be honest, I wasn’t cooking much for the longest time because of my work schedule (and now there’s a kid!). I travel a lot, so I go with takeout more often than not. I think cooking is a skill you have to patiently build and practice. Thus, for me right now, it’s all about quick and easy.
I probably rotate between the same 20 recipes that are tried and true. However, it’s almost always Korean food. I think Korean recipes are very forgiving. As long as you have the staples of a Korean pantry, such as the three essential jangs: gochujang (chile paste), ganjang (soy sauce), and doenjang (soybean paste), you’ll be able to whip something up relatively quickly and easily.
I think Korean recipes are very forgiving. As long as you have the staples of a Korean pantry, such as the three essential jangs: gochujang (chile paste), ganjang (soy sauce), and doenjang (soybean paste), you’ll be able to whip something up relatively quickly and easily.
My husband and I live near an H Mart, so we also have easy access to finding the ingredients we need for a Korean recipe. And, if you know you know: Maangchi has the best recipes and easiest tutorials.
My husband and I are polar opposites in the kitchen. I like to see what we have in the fridge and build the recipe around what we’ve got. He, on the other hand, likes to think up fun recipes and then go source the ingredients he’ll need. I might take 20 minutes to make something that he’d take two hours to make!
I’m the founder and CEO of Màkku, and we’re on a mission to globalize Korean alcohol in an accessible and inclusive way. Màkku is an unfiltered rice beer based on Korea’s oldest alcoholic beverage made with rice: makgeolli.
My journey to Màkku wasn’t a simple one — I studied psychology in college, intending to take the law school track. I ended up as the Director of Operations at Plum Alley, a venture firm that is still actively investing in tech and healthcare start-ups with at least one woman founder. I became passionate about women-founded companies, and my boss approached me one day to let me know she felt I was more suited for business, not law. I ended up taking both the GMAT and LSAT, and with my GMAT score being higher, I went to Columbia Business School.
I became passionate about women-founded companies, and my boss approached me one day to let me know she felt I was more suited for business, not law.
In school, I interned at a number of start-ups and VC firms and ended up getting headhunted by Anheuser-Busch (owner of Budweiser, Stella Artois, and a number of other notable beer brands). Knowing that tech wasn’t the field for me, I was intrigued by the world of consumer packaged goods and direct-to-consumer retail. I was tasked with launching a new beverage in China, in charge of everything from operations to branding. During this season of working in the APAC zone and keeping track of industry trends, I stumbled upon the growing popularity of makgeolli while on a visit to Korea.
I noticed that the makgeolli in Korea tasted so different from what I had tasted in the U.S. and learned that the ones imported to the US were not made traditionally. They weren’t even using steamed rice! It was a risky decision, but I had always wanted to start my own company one day, and something about the timing just felt right. Americans were becoming more open-minded about Korean culture via media and food, so I seized the opportunity to slot Korean alcohol into the picture as well.
It was a risky decision, but I had always wanted to start my own company one day, and something about the timing just felt right.
My mom is a phenomenal cook — and so is my grandmother, whom I lived with while growing up — so I would help around the kitchen here and there when I was younger. I reached out to my mom immediately when I needed to brainstorm a Chuseok recipe.
I reached out to my mom immediately when I needed to brainstorm a Chuseok recipe.
My parents immigrated to America when they were both quite young, so I actually didn’t celebrate Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) growing up. I really became familiar with Chuseok once I founded Màkku and wanted to be more vocal about Korean culture and traditions. I’ve asked friends and family what a Chuseok dinner table entails. Most of my knowledge of Chuseok is from research, not my own life — but this is probably a common experience among Korean Americans. The one important commonality I learned while researching was that makgeolli was always on the Chuseok table, and jeon is makgeolli's most popular food pairing — so jeon it was!
Most of my knowledge of Chuseok is from research, not my own life — but this is probably a common experience among Korean Americans.
I chose to make kimchi jeon, a classic, as well as a vegetable jeon and shrimp jeon. My husband and I love the Large Fry. It was so nonstick that each jeon could move swiftly around the pan and slide right off! I didn't realize I wasn't using enough oil because of that, though, so my jeon didn't turn out crispy enough. It's best glistening with a good amount of oil!
I loved using Beyond Measure for this — they are simply art. Full Steam was very convenient as well; I tried using it as a splatter guard while frying the jeon, and it worked perfectly.