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Min Young Lee Issue: Section:

“Now, after cooking for years, I am proud to say that I am able to just cook with feeling”

I came to the States when I was 14 by myself to attend school.  I was living in the Midwest and had a tough time adjusting to American food….  After one year of attending school, my mom came to see me. I was very underweight and she was concerned for my health.  I missed the food and cooking of my home terribly.  Until then I had never cooked and in my first year in the U.S. I survived on mostly dry cereal and yogurt, those were the few things that did not make me sick.

Since then, on my annual visit with my family, I always stay in the kitchen when my mom cooks and watch her closely. It’s impossible to get exact instructions from her- she never measures when she cooks. It is all about feeling. Now, after cooking for years, I am proud to say that I am able to just cook with feeling….

Once I came to New York City when I was 18, I could eat out at Korean restaurants as much as my heart desired and go Korean grocery shopping to cook authentic Korean meals. It was bliss.   
I have grown up and become American in so many ways in the past 20 years but when it comes to food and my love of Korean food, that will never change!  I love cooking and feeding people I love.  It is a truly joyous part of my life.
Since my recent move to LA, I have found some spectacular Korean grocery stores, which carry the most amazing quality of meat, fish, and vegetables.  I am enjoying cooking in my spacious, sunnier California kitchen.

1 package of FIRM tofu
2 green onion
4 cloves garlic ( I know it is a lot but, I do like spicy)
1 1/2 cup water
pinch of black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon korean pepper flake
1/4 cup of soysauce
little bit less than 1 tablespoon brownsugar

1. rinse tofu
2. dry tofu with paper towel as much as you can.
3. cut tofu into halves and slice them 3/4" each - making them into about 1 3/4" X 3/4"
4. heat non sticky pan medium high, put in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
5. when it is hot, place tofu without touching each other.
6. when they are golden brown turn over, do same on the other side.
7. mix water, garlic, korean red pepper flake, sesame oil, black pepper, brown sugar, soy sauce and pour over the tofu. it should almost cover the tofu
8. when it comes to boil turn down the heat cover, but, not all the way. keep it half open with lid and let it cook for 10-15 minutes
9. sauce should be now half, cut green onions into thin slice and put them in.
10. make sure green onion is part of sauce, bring the heat down to low and cook for another 5-10 minutes until sauce gets thick.
11. serve and enjoy this dish with steamed rice!

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