"That One Dish" No. 1: Eric Kim

An interview with Eric Kim on what one dish acts a culmination of his life and experiences as a Korean American.

"That One Dish" No. 1: Eric Kim

An interview with Eric Kim on what one dish acts a culmination of his life and experiences as a Korean American.

by Shayne Chammavanijakul

Everybody’s got “that one dish.” It might provoke a certain emotion, remain a staple that they can lean on in times of turbulence, or even immediately transport them to a time back in childhood, Anton Ego-style. Here, I got to speak with food writer Eric Kim about “that one dish”—specifically, what best encapsulates his Korean-American identity.

What's one dish that captures who you are as a Korean-American? Something that best encompasses your life, your experiences, your existence—without thinking of what's authentic, what dish is the most "you?"

I love this detail: "without thinking of what's authentic." Thank you for asking that question so thoughtfully. Writing my cookbook (which happens to be called “Korean American”), I have, of course, spent many nights thinking about what it means to be just that and what it might look like on a plate. Each time I felt that I had landed on some semblance of a definition for it, something would contradict it completely. I think this is because a) no culture is a monolith, obviously; and b) even if there were a collective understanding of what it means to be "Korean American," that hive mind would mutate into something else entirely next week.

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