My Rice Bowl by Rachel Yang and Jess Thomson is the next addition to your cookbook collection!
Collecting cookbooks is an addiction of mine. And if I happen upon a cookbook written by a Korean American chef/author, there’s about 200% chance that I will buy it. My Rice Bowl, written by Rachel Yang and Jess Thomson, was released last week and I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy to check it out.
The story that she tells is very relatable and provides the back story to her inventive recipes and the dishes she serves at her and her husband’s restaurants – Joule, Revel, and Trove in Seattle, Washington; and Revelry in Portland, Oregon. The graphics and photos are fantastic, but most importantly the recipes are approachable and tasty. The subtitle to the book is ‘korean cooking outside the lines’. A lot of her recipes venture way beyond the lines, but are not completely detached from Korean cuisine.
I made her recipe for pork belly which is simply titled ‘Pork Belly with Tahini and Za’atar’. As she describes in the head note, in Korea sliced pork belly, or samgyupsal, is simply grilled without any seasoning and often served with a dipping sauce comprised of toasted sesame oil and coarse sea salt. Rachel’s recipe calls for marinating the belly in tahini, garlic and sake. The recipe is so simple and uses an ingredient not used in Korean cuisine – tahini – but at the same time it made perfect sense! When I served the grilled melt-in-your-mouth belly to my friends, I offered the sesame oil and salt dipping sauce to amplify the sesame flavor, but also served my ssamjang sauce. Excellent with either sauce.
Other recipes I’d like to try are her miso-cumin grilled eggplant, crispy cauliflower served with miso-enhanced bagna cauda, and her upside-down fig mochi cake. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I can’t pass up mochi!
This cookbook is certainly for those who like to be more experimental and adventuresome in the kitchen. I love her spin on Korean cuisine and will be visiting her restaurants the next time I am out in the Pacific Northwest.
You can try the pork belly recipe for yourself below! You can also purchase the My Rice Bowl here or scroll down to the end of the post to enter for a chance to win a copy of this cookbook!
- 1⁄2 cup sake
- 1⁄2 cup tahini
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 pound pork belly, skin removed, cut into 8 slices a little thinner than 1⁄2 inch
- 1⁄2 cup Za’atar
- MARINATE THE MEAT. In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, combine the sake, tahini, and garlic, and whirl until completely smooth. Transfer the mixture to a sealable container, add the pork, and turn to coat the pork evenly on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
- GRILL THE PORK. When you’re ready to grill, preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat, about 400 degrees F. (It’s best to cook over indirect heat, so the pork doesn’t are up—set your grill up accordingly.) Transfer the pork to a platter, wiping o the excess marinade as you do, and sprinkle each side of each slice of pork with a heaping 1⁄2 teaspoon of the za’atar.
- PLACE THE PORK pieces at an angle on the grill. Cook for 2 minutes, covered, and then rotate the pork 90 degrees. Cook for another 2 minutes, covered, then flip the pork and cook for another 4 minutes total, turning the pork 90 degrees again after 2 minutes. (The pork should be nicely browned but not charred.) Serve immediately.
Many thanks to the publisher, Sasquatch Books, who is sponsoring one copy of this wonderful cookbook for a giveaway, open to US residents only. No purchase necessary to enter. The winner will be notified by email. If the winner does not respond in 24 hours, an alternate winner will be selected. Good luck!
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Disclaimer: We received a copy of the cookbook, My Rice Bowl. No other compensation was received from the publisher. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.