Korean food is having a major moment, and Anthony Bourdain perfectly explained why in a new interview with AdWeek.
“It’s so delicious and exciting,” the host of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” told AdWeek’s Lisa Granatstein. “[It’s] what the cool kids want — spicy, funky, fermented, that whole spectrum of flavours.”
It was that exact flavour overload that kept Korean food relatively insulated for so long, Bourdain said. It’s also why the Korean food you get in the US is relatively authentic, especially compared to other cuisines (Japanese, Chinese) that have become “Americanized.”
“The Koreans kind of learned quickly that nobody wanted their food, and so when they made it in restaurants, it was for other Koreans and they really didn’t dumb it down,” Bourdain said. “Even their mutant Korean-American cuisine that goes back to wartime Korea was for Koreans only.”
Bourdain’s particularly fond of budae jjigae, a stew that originated during the Korean War when people didn’t have much to eat. Today, it’s made with instant noodles, slices of American cheese, meat, onions, and other vegetables.
Bourdain’s version of the recipe is one of the dishes in his new cookbook, “Appetites,” out in October.
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