Welcome to “More Ketchup, Please,” our newest series that’s spilling the beans on all the different ways we cook for, and with, our kids. We've got some great guests stopping by, to get schooled by their little ones on how to perfect family favorites. The more (cooks) the merrier? We think so.
Anyone who has eaten at The Good Fork in Brooklyn, knows that chef and owner Sohui Kim has a way of making even the simplest foods delicious: her Korean-style steak and eggs and roasted chicken are enduring favorites. And watching her cook with her two kids underlines that accessible approach to cooking. “I don't know, there's something about playing with food that is so very special,” she says, “right guys?”
They’re making Chicken Cutlet à la Donkatsu, a recipe from her latest cookbook Korean Home Cooking that’s a nod to both her Korean roots and elemental American palates. Oliver (9) and Jasper (11) call the dish “Mom’s Chicken Fingers," and help her make it at least once a week. Served with a side of white rice or a tangle of kimchi, it’s a tiny part of Kim’s attempts to bring her cultural traditions into her kitchen.
Exploring Korean cuisine wasn’t always a priority for her. "I used to watch my grandmother and my mother make a ton of dumplings, a lot of Korean staples, and I always loved to eat," she says, "But it wasn't until later in my life that I wanted to cook it professionally.”
If opening her second restaurant Insa marked Kim’s return to her Korean heritage, bringing it home to her two toughest critics has reinforced it. Oliver is a ketchup purist who schools his mom on macaroni and cheese, and Jasper doesn’t love her broccoli, but adores her Ramen Bolognese. "I used to be just as picky,” says Kim, “They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Still, they are skilled helpers in the kitchen. You only have to watch Jasper dice the cabbage, or Oliver eyeball his version of a condiment—a spicy, sticky sauce for the cutlet’s crispy shell—to know. "Actually, they’re far more adventurous than I ever was,” says Kim, "You could not get me to eat kimchi unless my grandmother washed off all the spices first. And now all I ever want is doenjang-jjigae, kimchi, and a little egg roll.”
What is your favorite recipe to cook with your kids? Let us know in the comments below.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.