It’s about time I share this menu project with you! This menu was an assignment for school and I had a really great time making all the recipes and photographing them. It brought back some good memories from my first restaurant job at Green Sprout – a Korean restaurant in West Lafayette, IN. Since working there, Korean food has become one of my favorite cuisines. If you haven’t tried Korean food before – you must! Go do it, right now! I’ve eaten some amazing Korean food since I moved to New York, but nothing will compare to that first time my boss, Rachel Yoon, made BiBimBop for me. If you don’t know much about Korean food, here is part of the essay I wrote for the project:
Kimchi would not exist without the fermentation process. In its basic form, kimchi is simply a combination of Chinese cabbage and/or radish, seasonings and marine products like fish juice left to ferment together. Kimchi is certainly valued for flavor, but also nutritional value; low in sugar and fat content, kimchi contains many essential vitamins like C, lots of fiber and protein, few calories and allicin. I remember my boss at the restaurant, would often say, “I am so tired. I need to eat some kimchi.” Her statement makes sense now that I know that the high allicin content, found in garlic contained in kimchi, is highly regarded as an energy-boosting agent. Allicin also exhibits antibacterial properties, which is why Koreans believe kimchi to be a medicinal food as well as an enjoyable one.
This menu is intended to warm and comfort the sick. A group of friends who are all battling colds could get together and share these dishes, huddled in flannel pajamas with red noses and holsters full of tissues. This menu is also a celebration of many Korean foods that are very dear to me and that give me great joy and comfort when I eat them, whether or not I am ill. I have given many of the dishes in this menu a bit of a cultural twist. In the first course, French and Korean cuisine unite with the Ginseng Chicken Consomme. Sam Gye Tang, or Chicken Ginseng Soup, is a popular dish during the summer months in Korea. Koreas believe that eating something hot to encourage perspiration is very vital to one’s health. It is also a popular dish to serve to those who are ill because of its warming properties. During the second course, a smaller version of BiBimBop is served with a fried quail egg. Traditionally, BiBimBop is served with a raw egg on top and as it is mixed into the hot rice and vegetables, the egg cooks a bit and creates a kind of creamy sauce. However, raw eggs aren’t necessarily the best item to eat when sick. As a palate cleanser, a cold, soothing Korean Fruit Soup is served. Filled with lots of fruits and nuts, this soup will help clean and cool the palate a bit before the spiciest dish is served. Next, classic American grilled cheese makes an appearance as Kimchi Ham and Cheese served with spicy Kimchi Stew. The stew is paired with a New World Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc balances the heat and spice of the stew with its crisp sharpness and grassy, herbaceous tendency. I chose this wine because I wanted something that would have enough assertiveness to cut through the acidity and hold its own against the kimchi and salt. And finally, hot and cold unite for dessert with a twist on the Italian affogato. Enjoy the comfort of Korea!
 Sook-ja Yoon. Good Morning, Kimchi! Second Edition. Elizabeth, NJ and Korea: Hollym International Corporation, 2006, p 12.
First Course : Ginseng Chicken Consomme
Second Course : Mini BiBimBop with Quail Egg
Palate Cleanser : Korean Fruit Soup
Third Course : Kimchi Stew with Kimchi Ham & Cheese
Fourth Course : Korean Affogato (Ginger Lemon Frozen Yogurt with Warm Green Tea Simple Syrup)