Where food and family come together

the pantryyobodish_the_pantry.html


in the kitchenyobodish_in_the_kitchen.html

reading roomyobodish_reading_room.html

let’s dishyobodish_blog_letsdish.html



welcome to yobodish

goodbye joeyobodish_reading_room.html


Welcome to yobodish! I hope you’ll try the Korean recipes that have been in the family for generations. I also throw in some all-American dishes with a dash of Lebanese,Irish and German traditional foods as well. If you like the recipes, take a peak at my biographical cookbook I’m currently writing titled, Goodbye Joe. It’s a collection of stories about a Korean immigrant family adjusting to life in 1970s Oklahoma peppered with family recipes that helped make warm memories and create lifelong traditions.

This is my online working journal, a time capsule containing my family’s memories and milestones. The F5 tornado that hit May 3, 1999, left a trail of destruction from Oklahoma to Tennessee and destroyed our childhood home. It was a brutal reminder of how things can be taken away in a blink of an eye. While things can get destroyed or lost, shared stories and memories will always stay with us. I’m hoping to preserve those stories and memories through this website and my blog.

Our house before and after the F5 tornado. Before the tornado, mom won Best Yard of the Year three years in a row and was featured in the community newsletter. After the tornado, Mom spent four days in the 100+ degree weather trying to salvage pieces of our family keepsakes.

What Does Yobo Mean?

I’ve always been confused by the Korean word “yobo.” It's what my parents used to call each other but people also answer the phone, "Yobo seh yo." I've also heard people calling out "yobo seh yo" to get attention. The Urban Dictionary provides three definitions. 1) A casual address to ones wife, husband or sweetheart. 2) A yuppie hobo. 3) A stunning specimen of a human being.  While I don’t have anything against yuppie hobos or stunning specimen of humans, in this case, yobo means spouse or sweetheart. As my mom always says, you can always tell the mood of the cook by the taste of the dish. One of the best things about cooking is watching family and friends sitting together and enjoying the meal. Without my family’s support and prodding, I wouldn’t have started this frustrating-at-times, challenging-at-best project. This project has forced me to exercise a part of my brain that’s been dormant for  13 years.

Recipes and photos: I made every dish on this site. I “prettied them up”, took the photos with my Canon PowerShot SD500 and set them out to be devoured by whoever was around, usually my sisters and brother-in-law were the hungry munchers.

Pronunciations and spellings: Most Korean dishes have multiple spelling variations. For example, I’ve seen bi bim bop spelled bee ben bop, be been bap, etc. Bi bim bap is the most common spelling but it’s not the right pronunciation. Bap is not pronounced like “rap”. It should be spelled bop or bahp with an “ah” sound. Similarly, the jang in dang jang jigeh does not sound like rang. It’s pronounced with an “ah” sound. It should be spelled jahng. The same applies to tahng su yuk. The most common spelling is tang su yuk but tang is not pronounced like the orange stuff astronauts drink in space. It’s pronounced with an “ah” sound. Regardless of how you spell these dishes, I hope you enjoy the recipes and they become a part of your family tradition.

Serving size: For most of the recipes on yobodish, I suggest serving size, but I don’t mean it. I know it’s customary to put how many a recipe serves, but if most families are like mine, the serving size recommendation goes out the window. If and when we follow a recipe, which is rare, the serving size is always off by at least two people, meaning two of us would go hungry if we went by what was listed.


HJ’s Veggies and Tofu with Vermicelli Extravaganza is a light, flavorful fare.

Lettuce Wraps for Al is a fun dish that’s heavy on veggies and low in fat.

Grandma’s Rainy Day Kimchi (Kimchee) Noodle Soup will clear away the clouds and make you feel whole again.

The aroma of Umma’s Famous Bul Go Gi & Gooey Fingers Kalbi grilling will have all the neighbors come knocking.

Chapter 1: How to Convince a Runaway Son Who Didn't Want to Marry a One-Legged Woman to Come Back Home

Grandma’s Old Country Dang Jahng Jigeh (Dang Jang Jigae)

First Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Kimchi Jigeh (Kimchi Jigae)

Grandma’s Souped Up Ramen

Noodle Soup

Grandma’s After School Kimchi (Kimchee) Noodles

Grandma’s Rainy Day Kimchi

(Kimchee) Noodle Soup

Grandma’s Famous Spinach

(She-gum-chee Namul)

Chapter 2: Kun Jip

Umma’s “We’re Coming Home”

Bi Bim Bop (bi bim bap)

Umma’s Mul Naeng Myeon (Nang Myun)

with the Works

Umma’s Set Your Lips on Fire

Bi Bim Naeng Myeon (Nang Myun)

Umma’s Spicy Bean Sprouts

(Khong Namul)

Fall Harvest Courtyard Kimchi (kimchee)

Chapter 3: KP Duty

Dad’s Kahl Guk Su (Kal Guk Su) with Homemade Noodles

Dad’s On Top of Spaghetti Covered with Cheese Spaghetti

Dad’s Non-Commissioned U.S. Military Meatloaf

Dad’s Mammoth Submarine Sandwich

Dad’s Version of Fried Bologna and Egg Sandwich

Chapter 4: Streets of Gold

Umma’s Beddy Eejee to Make Pah Jun

Umma’s Comforting Omu Rice

Umma’s Unpronounceable Kahdee Lice (Kare Rice - Japanese Curry)

Umma’s 10-hour Shift Gehran Jjhim

Umma’s Spicy Grilled Pork Loin (Deji Gui)

Chapter 5: Americans Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving

Dad’s Famous Turkey and Stuffing

Dad’s Perfected Pineapple Ham

Yang’s Stuffed Mushrooms

HJ’s Must Have Green Bean Casserole

Chapter 6: Paper Dolls and Airplanes

Spicy Korean Midnight Noodles

Tree House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Late Night Fiery Rice Cakes (Tteok Bokki)

Umma’s Spicy Squid Stir Fry (Nakji Bokum)

Spicy Scallops Stir Fry

Chapter 7: Summer Fun

Umma’s Famous Bul Go Gi/

Chicken Version

Umma’s Gooey Fingers Kalbi

Umma’s Spicy Grilled Chicken (Dahk Gui or Dak Gui)

Umma’s Refreshing Oi Naeng Guk

(Nang Guk)

Cools as Cucumber Soba Noodles

Summer Time Shrimp and Veggie Medley with Ginger Soy Sauce

Kickin’ Mac Daddy Salad

Dad’s Double-Fisted Burgers

Chapter 8: How Do You Spell Kitchen?


Umma’s Party Mandu

Umma’s Soothing Mandu Guk

Umma’s Picnic-Ready Kim Bop

Umma’s Picnic-Ready Kim Bop, Kimchi Version

Chapter 9: Burglar with Red Socks

Pho Ga but Not the Veggies

Boomer Sooner Chicken Quesadillas

That Ain’t a Quesadilla Veggie Quesadilla

Pitman Deviled Eggs

Chapter 10: My One Tooth Aunt

Umma’s Special Occasion Jahp Che

Umma’s Celebration Shrimp Tempura

Umma’s Sweet and Sour Pork

(Tahng Su Yuk or Tang Su Yuk)

Chapter 11: Not It

Lettuce Wraps for Al

Hay’s Bati Bati Blueberry Muffins

Special Seaweed Soup for New Moms (Meyeok Guk)

Haes’ Mac n Cheese for Grown Ups

Umma’s Unfermented Kimchi

(Kimchee) Guh Jori

Goes with Anything Soy Sauce Condiment

Umma’s Grilled Tofu with Soy Sauce

Umma’s Grilled Zucchini with Soy Sauce

Umma’s Gehran Gogi Rounds

Chapter 12: Batman v. Superman

Ready-for-a-Cook-Off Turkey Chili

Team CHARLIE Carrot Cupcakes

Snowy Monday Morning Quiche

Wicked Easy Hummus (Hommous)

NYC Days of Fried Chicken with Yellow Rice and Black Beans

Chapter 13: The Road Trip Test

Nadya’s Sunday Lentils and Swiss Chard Soup

Nadya’s Processor-Free Tabbouleh (Tabouleh)

Nadya’s Addictive Loubia B’Zeit

(Beans with Oil)

Nadya’s Lips Puckering Lemon/

Garlic Salad

Nana’s Guilt-Free Baba Ghanoush

Nana’s Hidden Gem Emshudera

Aunt Joyce’s Orzo with Roasted Veggies

HJ’s Version of Tangy German Potato Salad

Grandma Higgins’ Apples Bird's Nest Cobbler

Grandma Higgins’ Kolachkies

Untraditional Turkey Sausage with Fennel Sauerkraut

Chapter 14: Sisters

Haem’s Chopped Salad, Korean Style

Haem’s Cabbage with Rice Stuffing

Haem’s Favorite Yuk Geh Jahng

(Yuk Gae Jang)

HJ’s Veggies and Tofu Vermicelli Extravaganza

Haes’ Crazy Hot Guacamole

Haes’ Super Bowl Hot Wings

Haes’ Super Soba Salad

Sunday Night Penne with Italian Turkey Sausage

Last Minute Shrimp with Vermicelli Noodles

popular korean dishes

popular lebanese dishes


what’s cookin’ in the kitchen

good bye joe chapters


chapters & recipes

This is the perfect summer dish for me. It’s light, tangy and oh so easy to make, requires very little stovetop action. 

What’s for dinner?
August 24, 2014
Summer Soba Noodles

My Summer Soba Noodles is my favorite, goes-with-everything side, like my crystal-studded Stuart Weitzman slingbacks. 

I love the vibrant green of the snow peas, coolness of the noodles and the fresh zing of the sesame seed dressing. Pair this up with bul go gi and get the spring fest started. 

Happy eating!