MICHELIN STAR CHEF,internationally acclaimed restaurateur and now Olympic food correspondent, David Chang—the man behind the Momofuku culinary empire—will share his insight into Korean cuisine throughout NBC's coverage of the PyeongChang Games next month. Here he discusses his new assignment, being yelled at by coaches and what makes the best stadium food.
On the events he's most excited to follow
I'll be rooting for fellow Korean-American [snowboarder] Chloe Kim, who is on fire right now. But the sport that I actually want to follow is biathlon because I tried it once, and it is so goddam hard. Last year, in Vancouver, we did a cross-country ski and then practiced shooting—it was obviously a shortened version—but it gave me insight into how ludicrously impossible the biathlon is.
On his mission as a food correspondent
A lot of America probably thinks Korean cuisine is a lot like Chinese and Japanese food; maybe they lump it all into this pan-Asian category. And what I hope to show is that it's distinctly different, that it has its own history. Food is often the best way to understand a culture, and now more people care about food than ever before.
On his greatest athletic achievement
I was a pretty good golfer, good enough to flame out by the time I was 13. But my greatest athletic moment was being named all-league at right tackle my senior year of high school. I mean, let's put this into context. This was limited to private school kids around Washington D.C., not exactly top talent. And the only reason I say that is because I never thought it would happen—mostly because my coaches always yelled at me about how bad I was.
On the state of stadium food
It has never been as good as it is now. It's so diverse, from sushi to concoctions ramming as many calories and fat into a single dish as possible. But I think the benchmark for stadium food is something that is handheld. And you want to make sure it's really good by the time you get it to your seat. That's one of the reasons why we did the chicken sandwich [at Fuku restaurants in New York's Citi Field and Madison Square Garden and Miami's Hard Rock Stadium] because it travels really well. And ... I'm a big fan of anything that's a fried chicken product in a stadium.
MOM'S SHORT RIB MARINADE
1½ cups pear or apple juice
1 cup sake (or white wine)
1 cup mirin
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
4 Tbsp. chopped garlic
10 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
4 to 5 lbs. short ribs (or chicken or beef)
In a saucepan, combine the juice, sake, mirin, brown sugar, soy sauce, about 20 grinds of pepper, both forms of garlic, sesame oil and 1½ cups of water. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and set aside to let cool. Place short ribs in air-tight container and pour cooled marinade over ribs. The longer it marinates, the more intense the flavor. The marinade can also be used as a glaze.
Recipe courtesy of David Chang of Momofuku. For an extended version of this recipe, visitSI.COM/EATS.