| NEW YORK, July 29
NEW YORK, July 29 Riding the wave of global
popularity of Korean cuisine, chef Judy Joo travels around her
parents' homeland and adopts kimchi, pickled cabbage, and other
local dishes for home cooks on her Cooking Channel TV show
"Korean Food Made Simple."
Joo, a former Wall Street bond salesperson, will open her
first restaurant, Jinjuu, in London later this year. The
two-floor, 100-seat eatery, whose name means pearl in Korean,
will showcase Korean and American street food.
It will be a departure from the upscale tasting menus of the
Playboy Club London, where she spent nearly three years as
The 39-year-old New Jersey native spoke to Reuters about her
love of food, her career change and why Koreans have separate
refrigerators for kimchi.
Q: What can viewers learn from your show?
A: It's about me traveling throughout Korea, to the south to
the beaches, to the city to eat some street food ... gathering
inspirations and taking them back to my home kitchen and cooking
recipes that are simple and easy for the home cook.
Q: When did you know you no longer wanted to sell bonds?
A: I just realized I didn't have a passion for it. All of my
free time in the weekends I was really excited to pick up food
magazines and figure out what new restaurants opened up, what
hot chefs were doing, and keeping up with the pulse of the
restaurant world as opposed to the pulse of Wall Street.
Q: Did you have regrets about your career change?
A: I was making a fraction of what I made in the financial
world. The hours are awful. You are working Saturday night ...
I try not to glamorize it because it is a lot of hard work. But
if you work hard, the money will come.
Q: For people already familiar with kimchi, what is another
Korean ingredient you recommend to the American home cook?
A: Gochujang (a Korean chili paste) is a product of wonder.
There is no reason why it can't be the next Sriracha or ketchup.
I'm using it in all areas of my cooking. It's not just heat.
It's spiced with deep complex flavors that come from the
Q: Do you make your own kimchi?
A: I don't make my own on a regular basis because it really
smells. I don't want to make my refrigerator reek. That's why
Koreans have kimchi refrigerators.
Cucumber Kimchi (four servings)
1 pound (454 grams) small Korean, Persian or Kirby cucumbers
1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
4 scallions or spring onions, chopped into 2- to 3-inch
pieces (5- to 7 ½-centimeters)
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 small clove garlic
1-inch (2½-centimeter) piece ginger
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), or to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salted shrimp (saewoo jut)
15 chives, cut into 2-inch (5-centimeter) pieces
Using a small knife, cut each cucumber crosswise into 2-inch
(5-centimeter) pieces. Stand the pieces on their cut sides. Cut
each piece two-thirds of the way down into quarters lengthwise,
keeping them attached at the bottom. Sprinkle the cucumbers with
salt, making sure to stuff inside the cuts of the cucumbers.
Place in a single layer on their cut sides in a glass or other
non-reactive dish, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 1
hour to soften.
Meanwhile, prepare the chili paste mix. In a food processor
combine all of the remaining ingredients except for the
chives. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Stir in the chives.
Rinse the salted cucumbers very well under cold water, making
sure to evacuate the crevices, and shake dry.
Spread open the cucumbers and using plastic gloves, stuff
the chili mix into and around each piece generously. Place into
a container, packed somewhat tightly, and press in any remaining
chili paste and liquid. Seal tightly. Allow the cucumbers to
ferment at room temperature for 24 hours. Refrigerate until
ready to serve.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; editing by Patricia Reaney and