I first encountered with cooking when I attended college with a culinary major as suggested by my high school teacher. When I entered the kitchen as an apprentice for the first time, I just liked how the movement was in such perfect order and how the customers were satisfied with the food that was created. On top of that, I became fond of the fact that I was part of all that process.
It is based on traditional Korean cuisine. In Korean history, during the Chosun Dynasty (the last dynasty before modern Korea), surasang (a royal court cuisine) was served to the most important person in the nation, the king. I reinterpret this surasang throughout ‘A King’s Day’ on what he consumed from the moment of waking up till going to sleep. As the best ingredients were selected for the most important person in the nation, I also discover the best ingredients from the Korean nature and unfold their true flavours.
One of the most important factors when choosing an ingredient is the balance of the flavours of the ingredient. In other words, the natural flavour of the ingredient has to be in its best state. For example, the fruit has to be ripe and harvested at the right time in order to produce the best flavour. In addition, I add different types of spices or sauces to bring out the best flavour or create a whole new flavour of the ingredient.
Regardless of what types of ingredients I use, I believe taking the full responsibility of the ingredient itself is the most essential task of a chef. When I emphasize on the basic and fundamental elements of an ingredient, I can generate the most natural and mature flavours that anyone can enjoy.
What professions surround you and what would you like to pass on to them?
I would like to tell my team that ‘keeping tradition’ does not mean ‘staying behind’, but that it means ‘moving forward while not losing its essences’. Respecting other cultures, styles, and differences while strongly holding on to your philosophy will eventually lead you to become the epitome of your goal and culture. Instead of seeking for something trendy or special, you should work on making your own tradition special.
I would like to tell my team that ‘keeping tradition’ does not mean ‘staying behind’, but that it means ‘moving forward while not losing its essences’. Respecting other cultures, styles, and differences while strongly holding on to your philosophy will eventually lead you to become the epitome of your goal and culture. Instead of seeking for something trendy, you should work on making your own tradition special.
I will share with you my recipe of glass noodles: burdock tofu japchae
You will need 70 g of konjac noodles, 40 g of burdock, 60 g of tofu, 3 g of oyster mushrooms, 5 g of green pepper, 15 ml of bulgogi sauce and sesame seed oil.
First, cut konjac noodles in length. Chop burdock and green peppers in strips. Tear oyster mushrooms with hands. Cut tofu into sheets as thick as 0.5 mm and sprinkle salt, then grill. Chop the grilled sheets of tofu into strips of 0.5 cm. Add oil to a heated pan and stir-fry konjac and burdock until konjac noodles become clear. Add oyster mushrooms, tofu strips, and bulgogi sauce and keep stir-frying. After the sauce becomes absorbed into the ingredients, add green peppers and sesame seed oil and stir-fry once more.
Eat! You have your light Sunday meal. Enjoy!