Why our editors are loving Maangchi's new cookbook this month

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Maangchi's Big Book of Korean Cooking cover
Photography by Peter Ardito
| Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito

I was adopted from South Korea as a baby, so I never learned how to cook my culture's cuisine—until I discovered Maangchi. The YouTube superstar's videos taught me how to master crispy pajeon, savory pancakes with scallions and seafood; kimchi jjigae, a hearty and spicy bubbling stew; and hotteok, a fried dough stuffed with sugar and pumpkin and sunflower seeds. 

Now you can get all of this master's essential recipes in one place: her latest cookbook, Maangchi's Big Book of Korean Cooking. What makes it special isn't just its incredible variety of well-known and under-the-radar Korean dishes, but also how Maangchi teaches you. She knows most people won't debone their own mackerel, so she gives specific instructions to tell the fishmonger. Cooking rice on the stove can be tricky, so she provides step-by-step photos. How many whole chives do you add to those pancakes? As many as "you can grasp between your thumb and index finger." It feels as if she's right beside you in the kitchen sharing her secrets. 

Whether you start simple with a bowl of bibimbap or jump right into fermenting a big batch of fiery-red kimchi, you'll be in the hands of a quirky, down-to-earth master who is passionate about Korean cuisine. For the ultimate multimedia experience, watch her cook a recipe on YouTube while following along with the book.