We are massive fans of Korean food and since you've clicked on this article, we're guessing you are too! Whether you're a kimchi queen, a bibimbap beginner or somewhere in between, in this article we share tips on how to find the best Korean cookbooks for your home kitchen.
Below you'll discover the top ten Korean cookbooks in the UK; from authentic flavours to contemporary treats, these books are packed with delicious Korean recipes and are all available on Amazon and eBay. We've found vegetarian Korean food, mouthwatering paleo picks and even the perfect guide to a tasty Korean bbq. Bab meokja!
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Table of Contents
This guide is dedicated to breaking down your decision into simple steps. We'll help you carefully consider your purchase, rather than making a snap decision, and hopefully inspire you with Korean cookery books and cuisine to try at home.
Make sure you know the types of dishes and ingredients the cookbook you've chosen includes, so you can realistically plan out the kinds of things you will be learning to prepare. The staples of Korean cooking are soups, stews, kimchi and other pickles, meat, seafood, noodles and rice.
However, you might want to check whether the book you're considering also contains dessert recipes, ideas for snacks, cocktails and banchan (side dishes). That way, you can create a more comprehensive Korean spread or host a dinner party that ticks every possible box. Some books even have a special barbecue chapter with pastes and sauces too!
Specialised books can be ideal for catering to specific diets and tastes. If you're all about the Korean barbecue, forget the single chapter and choose a tome which focuses wholeheartedly on this mainstay of Korean eating. These books talk you through the whole process from prep, to pepper sauce, to presentation.
You may have a more serious dietary aim, like avoiding meat and fish or cutting out grains, gluten and dairy. For such cases we've pinpointed the most inspiring, educational books on veggie options in Korea and even handpicked our favourite paleo book, which reinvents Korean classics using only ingredients that would have been available in the Palaeolithic era.
Few are budding chefs capable of spotting a new recipe to try, without a photograph to help decide. A picture speaks quite a few words, or so we've heard, so you'll likely want to pick one that contains glorious images to illustrate how the final product should ideally look.
Top-quality, full colour photographs clearly present the recipes and get you licking your lips before you've so much as opened the cutlery draw. Others have more trendy, artsy images and hand-drawn illustrations, providing a quirky twist that feels sweetly nostalgic - and could serve as a thoughtful gift!
Hardcover or paperback? While paperbacks are cheaper, lighter and more flexible, a hardcover is often the best way to go when buying a cookbook. You can open it out flat more easily, or prop it up for reference when cooking without the need for a stand as paperbacks have a tendency to suddenly ping shut.
Another handy option is choosing the Kindle edition of a cookbook, saving space on your shelves. Digital cookbooks have shot up in popularity as they are convenient to store and much cheaper on average than buying the book itself. Just be careful not to get doenjang on your screen as you swipe!
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Maangchi With Martha Rose Shulman
Maangchi's Big Book of Korean Cooking
Award-Winning Bestseller With Top Quality Images and a Broad Array of Treats
Cook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes
A Joyful Blend of Graphic and Culinary Art
Hooni Kim and Aki Kamozawa
My Korea: Tradition
High Class Korean Cooking From a Seasoned Chef
Seoul Food Korean Cookbook: Korean Cooking from Kimchi and Bibimbap to Fried Chicken and Bingsoo
Korean Flavour Sensations Passed Down From Grandma
Korean Home Cooking: Classic Modern Recipes
Super Straightforward Homely Korean Recipes
Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard
Koreatown: A Cookbook
Bestselling Cookbook Sharing Korean Recipes Through an American Lens
Jordan Bourke and Rejina Pyo
Our Korean Kitchen
Award-Winning Celebration of Culture, Etiquette and Feasting
Bill Kim with Chandra Ram
Seven Sumptuous Sauces Adding a Dash of Korea to Your Barbie
Korean Paleo: 80 Bold-Flavored, Gluten- and Grain-Free Recipes
Tasty Dairy, Grain and Gluten Free Versions of Korean Classics
Vegetarian Dishes from My Korean Home
A Straightforward Guide to Veggie Feasting, Korean Style!
Maangchi, whose real name is Emily Kim, is a Korean YouTuber and influencer renowned for her accessible and lip-smacking cooking tutorials. This book brings her tips directly into your kitchen, leading you by the hand, away from your screen and into the pots and pans cupboard.
The whopping range of dishes are both inspiring and exciting, and you'll find something here for every course, occasion and time of day. This book has been featured in the New York Times, Eater magazine, Forbes and Bon Apetit, so you know you're onto a winner here!
We adore this boldly hand-illustrated comic book, which is brimming with tasty recipes you will definitely want to try. The little comics are between one and three pages long, directing you through simple cooking steps with humour and charming graphics.
A great advantage of this book is the fact the instructions are made clearer thanks to the step-by-step drawings. The range of dishes is vast and there are some great additions to the contents page that you won't find in other books, such as porridges, cocktails, street food and fusion recipes.
Perhaps the top selling point of this graphically glamorous cookbook is that it combines the expertise of a top chef with fascinating facts and down-to-earth advice on buying, storing and preparing classic Korean meals. Cook up a sumptuous storm of seafood, soups, stews and side dishes, as well as 'muchim' tossing sauces that can add bags of flavour to dumplings, rice and meats.
There's somewhat of an autobiographical feel, which brings the dishes to life. Just be warned, the pictures will have your tummy rumbling, so make sure you check out the store cupboard staples list first thing!
Growing up in an American suburb, author Naomi Imatome-Yun was introduced to the magic of Korean ingredients by her grandmother. This book artfully combines the joy of tradition with the thrill of evolution and change, including interviews with Korean Americans and other Korean food aficionados peppered throughout.
This book contains a vast range of recipes including every possible course, ingredient and side dish, as well as fusion food. Blending Korean script throughout, Imatome-Yun introduces non-Korean speakers to the Korean name and pronunciation of every dish, a lovely touch we think.
Korean Home Cooking by Sohui Kim has bags of five star reviews and we can see why! Blending traditional and contemporary takes on the best dishes Korea has to offer, its layout is fantastically simple, meaning you'll feel inspired rather than intimidated as you browse its pages.
Including clear breakdowns of the basics of Korean cookery, such as cutting vegetables Julienne, and preparing seaweed and rice, this lovely guide embraces the essentials with a moreish twist. With noodles, bibimbap, marinated meats and sesame sprinkled chicken, readers can sense the author's authenticity and passion on every page.
This cookbook is something a little bit different, introducing its readers to the glory of Korean food through the cafe culture of the USA's Koreatowns; home to various Korean communities living in North America. Within are bold, inviting photographs and heartening recipes you'll be desperate to try!
Evoking not just the vibrant array of flavours Korean cooking offers, but also the very atmosphere of Koreatown restaurants and meeting spots in all corners of the USA, this book is a truly sensory read and brings a feel for the way Korean cuisine has made its mark on America.
This book is a labour of love, written by fashion designer and food lover Rejina Pyo and her husband, Irish chef Jordan Bourke, who fell for his wife and then her country's cuisine and culture. The book celebrates not only the brilliant recipes of Korea, but also the couple's relationship and how it can be told through food.
It's the Irish author's perspective that perhaps makes this book so well-suited to UK readers, especially those sharing in his excitement at discovering a new cuisine. It even won Observer Food Monthly's best New Cookbook award in 2016
and continues to delight readers today!
Friends will be BBQ-ing up to taste your Korean style meat this summer! This to-the-point cooking guide cleverly lays out recipes that help make the most of your leftovers with simple and clear photographs.
This book posits that the knack to a good Korean barbecue is the right seasoning. Through this all-encompassing guide, you'll get to know the essential spices, herbs and flavours that give Korean cookery its bold, unique and memorable taste. Add to that the importance of texture, and you'll find your barbecue transformed into a party no guest will forget!
Jean Choi is a nutritional therapist bringing the flavour and flair of Korean cookery to those following gluten-free and paleo diets. All the best bits of Korean cuisine are here, including bibimbap, bulgogi, kimchi and dumplings, just re-imagined without the dairy, grains and gluten.
The recipes, which have all been developed from dishes Jean Choi ate during childhood, are clearly laid out and simple to follow. We especially love that every single recipe in this book is accompanied by a mouth-watering photograph!
With a broad range of chapters that will allow you to cook up a storm from starter to pudding, and a few cheeky pickles and snacks on the side, this book will arm you with some classic recipes to impress family and friends with a taste of real Korea.
Every recipe is meat-free and many of the options are accidentally vegan too. But the best bit about this book is the totally accessible and straight-talking recipe style. It's easy to follow and laid out with gorgeous photographs that make it inspiring and exciting to browse.
Now that we've tempted you with our Korean cooking suggestions, we bet you're hungry for more additions to your kitchen shelf. Below you'll find links to some of our other informative articles on recipe books ranging from different countries' cuisines to those championing different diets. Take a peek to find more of the very best books available from Amazon, eBay and more!
Whether you've spent time in Korea and want to recreate some of your favourite feasts here in the UK, or are testing out Korean cuisine for the very first time, we hope you've worked up an appetite reading about our top-rated Korean cookbooks. Here's to a proper feast. Ready, steady, bul - GO - gi!
Author: Annie Hopkins
No. 1: Maangchi With Martha Rose Shulman｜Maangchi's Big Book of Korean Cooking
No. 2: Robin Ha｜Cook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes
No. 3: Hooni Kim and Aki Kamozawa｜My Korea: Tradition
No. 4: Naomi Imatome-Yun｜Seoul Food Korean Cookbook: Korean Cooking from Kimchi and Bibimbap to Fried Chicken and Bingsoo
No. 5: Sohui Kim｜Korean Home Cooking: Classic Modern Recipes
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