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After every thing that’s occurred over the previous 15 months, Alice Choi is selecting to take a look at the positives — and cooking at dwelling has been one of them. For purely sensible causes, it is sensible! Alice is the blogger behind Hip Foodie Mom, which noticed a growth in readers this previous yr when extra folks had been discovering their means round their dwelling kitchens than ever earlier than. (She’s additionally a member of the (*5*), a workforce of meals writers and oldsters.)
Alice and her household additionally lately moved into a brand new home in Pennsylvania exterior of Philadelphia, the place she acquired to design her dream kitchen — it’s the place she spends a majority of her time creating recipes and cooking for her household. On prime of all of it, Alice acquired to spend extra time at dwelling together with her two daughters and husband, making viral TikTok recipes and the Korean meals that she grew up consuming. In an unsure time, cooking was each a necessity but additionally an outlet.
We caught up with Alice in her brand-new kitchen to speak about her yr caught inside, the thrill of H-Mart, and the recipes that acquired her and her household by way of this yr.
Weeknight Cooking Questions for Alice
What have the previous 15 months been like for you and your loved ones?
It was robust however so far as the optimistic goes, it was been good being dwelling with the youngsters. My husband and I’ve two ladies: a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old. We’re all linked extra and having meals collectively, making do. That was the intense spot. Oh, and we lately moved into a brand new home in Pennsylvania! I used to be capable of construct a beautiful kitchen that I really like with an island that we congregate round. We actually are spending so much of time within the kitchen.
More than traditional?
It’s humorous as a result of I usually cook dinner so much — cooking and testing recipes is my job. But I used to be undoubtedly baking much more and cooking consolation meals like bread, pizza, pasta, and so much of sweets. Also, as a result of the youngsters had been dwelling, we wanted to maintain ourselves busy. They acquired me into TikTok, so we did all of the viral recipes — Dalgona coffee, feta pasta, “nature’s cereal” (berries and pom seeds in coconut water that Lizzo posted about). We additionally made that King Arthur Flour skillet pizza about 20 occasions. (I believe that can stick.)
What do you do while you’re in a cooking funk?
I undoubtedly nonetheless have these days (or weeks!). We’d order takeout, which is nice now and again. For households with youngsters, on a standard college day all you’d have to fret about is breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner. Now it’s breakfast, snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner. It takes a toll. My 13-year-old took a category in school the place she discovered to cook dinner, which was useful on days once I simply didn’t wish to do it!
How do you usually grocery store?
I cooked far more pantry meals this yr, as a result of I didn’t wish to go away the home as a lot. But I additionally actually began to care extra about supporting native companies and farmers markets. One vibrant factor about transferring to Pennsylvania is that there’s an H-Mart right here. I like to recommend that every time anybody cooks Asian meals, that they go to an Asian grocery retailer. Check out an H-Mart or a smaller mom-and-pop retailer. Even in case you don’t have one, now you should buy so much of Asian pantry staples online.
Has something main modified about the best way you cook dinner?
I’ve taken a step again to take a look at myself within the meals running a blog world and the way I establish myself. Hip Foodie Mom is all about simple, approachable weeknight recipes for you and your loved ones, however I wish to embrace extra Asian meals as nicely.
As a Korean American mom, I do actually really feel strongly about instructing my youngsters how one can cook dinner Korean dishes. Over the final yr, I’ve been cooking far more Korean meals. Especially now with every thing occurring throughout the AAPI group, I really feel strongly that I wish to educate my youngsters extra about their heritage and background. I need my youngsters to be proud about who they’re.
A Week of Dinners from Alice Choi
Lemony Pesto Pasta with Asparagus
I really like this recipe as a result of it’s tremendous simple. It incorporates pesto (which I like to make when I’ve leftover greens which might be about to go unhealthy), and asparagus. I roast the asparagus, chop it up, and add it in. I’ve additionally taken it to a different degree and made asparagus pesto. It’s not the prettiest factor on the planet, as you may think about, however we like it. It’s a good way to provide my youngsters greens. Plus, the cheese and the nuts are at all times interchangeable; I’ve used almonds and walnuts as an alternative of pine nuts, and Pecorino as an alternative of Parmesan. I attempt to maintain it meatless, however you may add protein too.
My youngsters and I’ve made this at the very least 5 or 6 occasions over this previous yr. It’s a enjoyable exercise for us as a result of it truly is a labor of love. I really like getting my youngsters concerned as a result of I need them to know how one can make it. When they’re older and out on their very own, they will make it for themselves and educate their buddies how, and cross it on to their youngsters.
The conventional protein for Kimbap is bulgogi. (You also can use tofu or egg.) I like to purchase the pre-seasoned veggies already made at H-Mart or a Korean grocery retailer if I wish to save a while. Because it’s so time-intensive, I make so much so I’ve leftovers and I could make bibimbap the following day. It’s like having two meals in a single.
I really feel like we now have salmon at the very least each different week as a result of it’s good for you. I really like this recipe as a result of of the spicy citrus dressing. It has a bit of gochujang, which provides it a bit of kick. The dressing can be nice on salads — tremendous versatile.
Air Fryer Chicken Katsu with Rice
I’ve had an air fryer for just a few years now, however I undoubtedly used it greater than ever this previous yr. This recipe happened as a result of so many readers requested that I submit extra air fryer recipes. The magnificence of the air fryer is that you simply use little to no oil, but it surely will get your meals crispy with out deep-frying.
I believe my favourite factor to do in spring and summer time is cook dinner rice noodles, a easy sauce, and throw on uncooked veggies. You get this freshness, crunch, and texture. I attempt to incorporate in-season greens, toss it along with a super-simple and lightweight dressing, and add a bit of warmth. I’m a sauce fanatic — generally all you actually need is a scrumptious sauce.