BY DAVID CHANG AND PETER MEEHAN
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307451958 030745195X
David Chang provides recipes from his East Village, New York City restaurants, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar and Momofuku Ko. Momofuku means 'lucky peach' in Japanese.
The Momofuku recipes in this 303-page cookbook are innovative Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese-influenced American and French dishes, such as miso butterscotch and kimchi consommé.
Momofuku restaurant menu dishes
Three chapters focus on the food specialties of three Momofuku restaurants — noodles, ssam (lettuce wraps) and ko (perfectly cooked food).
David Chang introduces each chapter with the evolution and philosophy behind each Momofuku restaurant. The Asian-fusion recipes begin with Chang's comments on ingredients, cooking and serving techniques.
If you can ignore David Chang's offensive x-rated language, his comments are informative. For example, before his ssam sauce recipe, David Chang explains that ssamjang (a spicy Korean bean paste used on grilled meats) is a combination of denjang (a Korean version of miso) and kochujang (a spicy Korean chili paste). Momofuku chefs add sherry vinegar to the sauce to increase acidity.
Recipes use both Imperial and metric measurements. Instructions are numbered and detailed. Many recipes, such as pig's head torchon, are complex. A few Momofuku recipes, like grilled rice, are very simple. Some recipes, such as steamed buns, make large quantities.
Beautiful color photos by Gabriele Stabile depict Momofuku restaurants, David Chang, his chefs, cooking techniques and dishes. Illustrations depict menus at Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Ssam Bar.
David Chang's pickle recipes
A comprehensive chapter on pickles features recipes for quick salt and sugar pickled cucumbers, radishes and daikon. Vinegar pickle recipes use traditional beets and more unusual crosnes (a corkscrew-shaped tuber), sunchokes and ramps.
Momofuku makes soy sauce pickled shiitakes and a variety of kimchi (fermented pickles), ranging from radish to cucumber kimchi.
The Sources page identifies stores and Internet suppliers of ingredients used by Momofuku, such as alkaline salts, Kewpie mayonnaise and Activa-brand transglutaminase (meat glue).
How to make ramen noodles
Sections of Momofuku are devoted to the preparation of ingredients, like ramen noodles. David Chang explains that ramen noodles are made with flour, water and alkaline salts (kansui), which create an oxidized yellow color, even though ramen noodles contain no eggs.
In the foie gras section, David Chang describes how foie gras is made at Hudson Valley Foie Gras farm. Photos and captions depict the humane raising and feeding of the ducks.
Sample Momofuku restaurant recipes
Momofuku Noodle Bar recipes: ramen broth, bacon dashi, ramen toppings (nori, bamboo shoots, fish cakes, seasonal vegetables), kimchi stew and Momofuku pork buns.
Momofuku Ssam Bar recipes: oyster garnishes, red-eye mayonnaise, fried or roasted brussels sprouts with fish sauce vinaigrette and chicken liver terrine.
Momofuku Ko recipes: frozen, shaved foie gras with lychees, riesling gelée and pine nut brittle, bay leaf butter, smoked eggs, caramelized cornflakes, fried apple pie and sour cream ice cream.
- Noodle bar
- Ssäm bar
David Chang is a James Beard-award winning chef and owner of Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Momofuku Ko and Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar.
Peter Meehan collaborated with David Chang to create the Momofuku cookbook.