Chuseok is Korea’s autumn harvest celebration, but it is also a time to pay respects to one’s ancestors. Koreans pay visits to ancestral villages and prepare a table of favorite foods for deceased ancestors. Banchan Story’s Chef Shin Kim taught a group of students in New York how to prepare the holiday’s delectable traditional dishes, including the notoriously difficult-to-make rice cakes called songpyeon. Together, the students feasted on the delicious fruits of their labor.
Dakota Kim is Paste’s Food Editor. Tweet her @dakotakim1.
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The menu for Banchan Story's Chuseok cooking class included braised short ribs, tri-colored and glass noodles.
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The class was held in Basement Kitchen Studio in Midtown West, in an unusally large space for New York City. All students were able to sit when not cooking, and Chef Shin Kim projected a slideshow about the history of Chuseok.
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The history of Chuseok is detailed, with an exploration into fall holidays that preceded it.
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Chef Kim talked about the danhobak, also known as kabocha. The danhobak is at its peak in the fall, when Chuseok is celebrated.
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For the stovetop rice with danhobak squash, a pot was filled with rice and water, and the squash was layered on top to be cooked together.
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A colorful medley of kimchi, chive and yellow zucchini pajun (savory pancakes) are fried on the stovetop.
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Class participants marvel at the magic of pajun.
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A student cooks pajun pancakes while songpyeon rice cakes steam on the back burner.
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Chef Kim demonstrates the tricky process of forming songpyeon from rice flour.
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Appetizing pajun pancakes and japchae glass noodles.