Jang: The Soul of Korean Cooking (More than 60 Recipes Featuring Gochujang, Doenjang, and Ganjang)
In the first book on the subject in English, South Korea’s best chef shows readers how to cook with jangs—the sauces that are the essential building blocks of all Korean cuisine. In the 60 home-cook-friendly dishes, he demystifies jangs while showing how they can be used to make both Korean and Western dishes more delicious.
Like butter in French cooking or olive oil in Italian, jangs are the soul of Korean cuisine. These umami sauces are found in every meal, from soups and stews, to salads, marinades, and even desserts, adding depth and complexity to every dish. The foundation of the three main jangs—gochujang, doenjang, or ganjang—is simple. Soybeans, water, and salt are dried, aged, and fermented in earthenware pots, extracting flavor from their environment and slowly blossoming into intensely flavored jangs. Few understand these ingredients better than chef Mingoo Kang, who has dedicated his Seoul restaurant to the exploration of jangs. In his first cookbook, Kang expertly weaves jangs’ history and methods into 60 accessible recipes to bring the sauces to life. Dishes like Fish Dumplings and Gang-Doenjang Bibimbap showcase the sauces’ traditional Korean roots, while Western-inspired recipes like Doenjang Crème Brulee and Ssamjang Cacio e Pepe reinvent favorite meals. Through artisan profiles, sidebars, and step-by-step photographs, Jang uncovers one of the culinary world’s best-hidden secrets.
Mingoo Kang is the chef and owner of Mingles, located in Seoul, which has been named one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and holds two Michelin stars. Kang’s approach at Mingles of presenting innovative hansik has earned him both domestic and international acclaim, and he frequently collaborates with chefs around the world. Most recently, in 2021, he was awarded the Inedit Damm Chefs’ Choice Award—the only accolade voted for by the other chefs on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. In addition to Mingles, Chef Kang runs a retail market in Seoul called MamaLee Market; Hansik Goo, which offers creative Korean cuisine in Hong Kong; and the popular fried chicken brand Hyodo Chicken.
Joshua David Stein is a writer based in New York City. He is the author of Cooking for Your Kids: At Home with the World’s Greatest Chefs and the coauthor of Notes from a Young Black Chef and My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef, both with Kwame Onwuachi; The Nom Wah Cookbook, with Wilson Tang; Il Buco: Stories and Recipes, with Donna Lennard; Vino: An Essential Guide to Real Italian Wine, with Joe Campanale; and Food & Beer, with Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø and Daniel Burns. He is also the author of To Me He Was Just Dad: Stories of Growing Up with Famous Fathers and a number of award-winning children’s books, including Can I Eat That?, What’s Cooking?, and Solitary Animals.
Nadia Cho is the founder of Jeong Culture and Communication, which is dedicated to promoting Korean food in the United States. She has been a liaison for chefs and journalists to Korean food and has worked with Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, and the New York Times and T Magazine to bring chefs and journalists to Korea. She was the producer of the “Jeong Kwan” episode of Chef’s Table and helped produce episodes for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and other shows on the Cooking Channel, NBC, ABC, and many others. She has produced and directed Korean food content on Eater.com.