Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book 32 – Momofuku

By David Chang and Peter Meehan

As the lifestyle editor of a well-known fashion magazine, Olman’s sister gets a fair share of freebies, especially cookbooks, and Momofuku was thoughtfully passed onto us. It has been on our dining table for a few months as I slowly leaf through it over tea or breakfast.

Thanks to the Globe and Mail’s fascination over all things New York, I’ve heard of Chang’s success, but not soon enough to have actually gone to Momofuku when we were last in NYC (we probably wouldn’t have been able to get in anyway!). I’m not exactly a foodie, but I do love Asian food, be it Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. My favourite appliance is our Zojirushi rice cooker; I can make sushi, a decent Thai curry, any type of fried rice and I have almost perfected the art of making a killer okonomyaki. So it’s not surprising that someone like Chang would do something amazing and inventive with Asian comfort food. And I love my noodles. I have instant ramen every week because it’s like a treat. But instead of having it plain, I like to dress it up with vegetables, chicken broth and a fried egg. And now Chang has provided a recipe for his famous pork ramen dish. Not all of the recipes are exactly easy and straightforward to make, but there are a few that are doable in a layman’s kitchen. I’d definitely have to enlist the help of Olman to roast that pork belly!

But Momofuku isn’t just a recipe book, it’s also part autobiography and part homage to his favourite foods, and lots of neat stuff about noodle-making. There's probably lots of media gossip about Chang being a difficult person, but in the book he comes across as genuinely humble and appreciative of his success, and he makes a point of paying credit where it’s due. My new year’s resolution is to either visit NYC in the spring and check out a David Chang establishment, or make one of his goddam recipes or die trying!

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