The Love of Korean Cooking I Share With My White Mother
In her illness, Korean food was all my Polish-American mom from Jersey wanted to eat. It was all that she could bear.
This is Bad Kimchi, a monthly column by Noah Cho about how food and cooking can inform our identities and shape our most important relationships.
Noah Cho teaches middle-school English in the San Francisco Bay Area. His writing has appeared on NPR's CodeSwitch, Shondaland, The Atlantic, and The Toast. He spends most of his free time going on hikes with and taking photos of his doggo, Porkchop. Find him on Twitter @noahreservation and Instagram @noahreservations
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“Dealing with someone else’s culture, someone else’s media, and trying to Americanize it is something I can’t understand.”
“I found myself dwelling on these parts of Korean culture as a way to reconnect with my identity and also the memory of my mom.”
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Ramen is comfort food, a thing to soak up your regrets and get you through a rough day. But my favorite way to enjoy it has courted great controversy among my friends and family.