Wednesday, September 18, 2019

a fascinating Korean-food challenge

Over at the Bon Appétit channel on YouTube, chef Chris Morocco is a supertaster, i.e., he has far more taste buds per square centimeter on his tongue than the average person does. This has made him a prime candidate for a series of quirky "reverse-engineering" food challenges. The idea is that Chris gets blindfolded, but he's otherwise allowed to experience a certain dish via smell, taste, and touch. Once he thinks he has a lock on what the dish is, what its ingredients are, and in what proportion they appear in the dish, he must go shopping for ingredients and attempt to reconstruct the dish based on his sightless experience of it. Despite being a supertaster, Chris isn't infallible, and in every challenge, he messes something up. Yet, incredibly, he also tends to get each dish mostly right. Supertasting is indeed a superpower.

In the challenge below, Chris has been tasked with the reverse-engineering of a Korean dish called dakbokkeumtang (닭볶음탕). As host Christina Chaey explains, this particular version of the dish (which might go by other names like dakdoritang (닭도리탕) is made by Maangchi, YouTube's "Korean Julia Child." (I've blogged about Maangchi before.)

Chris doesn't normally cook Korean food, but he's an educated chef with experience in many food cultures and styles. Will he get Maangchi's recipe right, or will he create a monstrous, foul-tasting travesty of Maangchi's dish? The only way to find out is to watch!

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