Cooking to me is like therapy. I started cooking as a nostalgic attempt to recreate dishes I missed in NYC, and then I got hooked when I realized how cathartic it was to bring ingredients together to create something completely new, completely edible (which, eventually went from edible to delicious!).
These days as I am trying out and learning different Korean dishes, it’s been amazing to be able to make things I grew up eating. As a kid, I’d pull up at the dining table, and day after day I’d see something like this- soup, rice, banchan, collectively called a “sang”(상) —and one day, when I finally made Miyukguk, a Korean seaweed soup, it was an embodiment of all the ordinary dinners lunches and even breakfasts that at one point was all I knew growing up in our apartment in Korea. I suddenly realized that I’m moving on from being on the receiving end, and am starting to build tools to give back to the next generation. I am realizing that I am a turning point in my line of the family since we moved and now have settled down here in the States. From here on, the next to come will look so much more different than what my parents went through, or their parents had gone through. Sometimes I fear so deeply that I’d forget things that I used to identify with, and that memories that I’ve held onto will fade. But cooking at home like this and tackling one dish after the other is giving me some kind of confidence to move on like I’m building something concrete to connect with, and to give back.