A spicy Parisian mix: Kimchi a la FrancaiseIt’s difficult not to be tempted by the cover of a book, especially when it features a photo of stuffed chicken wrapped in kimchi and slathered in a sauce of rich melted butter.
O.K., the combination of kimchi and butter might not stimulate everyone’s appetite, but at least it’s a new twist to fusion food ― often reputed as the name for contrived ingredients and unnecessary pretentiousness.
“Korean Kimchi and Le Cordon Bleu,” a collaboration between the Agricultural and Fishery Marketing Corporation and Le Cordon Bleu, a French culinary school that has branches all over the world and in Seoul, is the first book on French cooking using kimchi as a main ingredient, a bold experiment.
The book starts with an introduction to cabbage kimchi, followed by fusion recipes by the head chefs of Le Cordon Bleu in French and English.
Just the titles of some of these creations are bound to provoke curiosity ― “Macaroni and Kimchi Gratin,” “Caramelized Pork Belly and Kimchi Turnip” and “Rice Pudding with Orange Flavored Kimchi.”
Or how about a chocolate cake topped with kimchi leaves dipped in syrup then baked in an oven? Photo instructions for this show French chefs draining cabbage leaves and soaking them in syrup. Indeed the image of chili powder floating on syrup says pretty much everything about the book’s artful combination of kimchi and French cookery.
Despite some recipes that present extreme contrasts of ingredients from east and west, there are items like kimchi and oyster bressane, which is exactly like the Korean kimchi pancake served with clam meat and onions.
In the book there is also a treat from the French chefs for Koreans who are big on “hangover food.” A bouillabaisse of cod, scorpion fish and jumbo shrimp with kimchi and stuffed lettuce ― “Calm Morning” ― is a French version of a spicy seafood soup made out of pureed tomatoes blended with coconut milk, lemon juice and kimchi on top of seafood and lettuce stuffed with sliced daikon radishes.
Most of the recipes in the book require some basic knowledge of French cooking. But the photo instructions are thorough and broken into detailed steps.
The book is interesting in how it creatively blends kimchi with French cooking, a meeting of flavors and cultures.
“Korean Kimchi and Le Cordon Bleu”
French and English
Senior Chefs of Le Cordon Bleu
Published by Cookand
by Park Soo-mee
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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