Bburi Kitchen is a site that chef Seoyoung Jung and I created to document our travels around Korea in search of local, seasonal ingredients and share recipes and cooking tips.
When Korean food is talked about in English, you hear a lot about the spice, the sweetness, the pungent flavors, the meat, and the modern-era wheat-based street foods. But there’s so much more—traditionally, Korean food was based on the roots and vegetables and fresh seafood and fermented things. We wanted to learn about our food heritage from the people growing, harvesting and selling the incredible, beautiful variety of ingredients produced here for centuries, and share what we learn with readers worldwide.
As a Korean diaspora writer, one of my goals is to normalize the way we talk about Korean food: That means getting rid of words like “10 weirdest” and “gag” and “stench.” It means I don’t assume that readers didn’t grow up eating chicken gizzards and salted shrimp paste. And it means that (at least for this project) I believe in using transliterations of the original hangeul as much as possible to broaden our vocabulary in English: “Doenjang” captures so much more than “fermented soybean paste.” With more vocabulary in wider use, we can take the stories further.