Episode 7: Esther Choi of mokbar + The Kimchi Boom
This week Lynda and Iris share the pilot episode of Feast Meets West recorded at the HRN studio back in October 2016! They talk to Esther Choi, who is the Chef/Owner of Korean ramen joint mokbar. Check out this very special episode to find out why kimchi is so essential to the Korean people, its health benefits, and why non-Koreans are embracing it now.
For this episode, Iris was actually in town and thus, in studio! Lynda and Iris discuss how kimchi fits into their lives, including Iris' failed kimchi dreams #kimchigoals. They also talk about how kimchi became popular in the West. Aside from following the Korean people's migration, they bring up the impact of Korea's gastro-diplomacy program.
Esther provides a full definition of kimchi and why she describes it as "the soul" of her cooking. She then talks about the different types of kimchi, and how you can really "kimchify" just about any vegetable.
During South Korea's involvement in the Vietnam War its government requested American help to ensure that South Korean troops could get kimchi in the field because it was "vitally important to the morale of Korean troops". Lynda and Iris ask Esther whether if kimchi is a national obsession in Korea, and just how much kimchi she actually eats.
16:25 "The secret ingredient to kimchi, I would say, is love. That sounds so cheesy but it's so true. It requires a lot of energy, and a lot of labor, and a lot of thought in every single ingredient and process you go through with kimchi." - Esther on what makes good kimchi.
With all its amazing health benefits, Lynda poses the questions, are there any downsides to kimchi? Is there such thing as too much kimchi? Tune in and you'll learn about #kimchipoops. Esther also shares where to begin if you're new to kimchi, and finally, what she thinks is the future or kimchi.
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