Mom’s Cooking


Remember mom’s cooking when you were growing up?  Remember your favorite dishes that she created?  I sure do.  And I wish I learned how to make such ono dishes like she did.

One that immediately comes to mind was mom’s bul-go-gi.  Man, that was the best!  Mom would pound the meat to tenderize it, then marinate it in a sauce that my halmuni taught her to make.  The meat was so soft and tender and full of flavor.  And as a bonus – after mom finished cooking all the meat, she’d take some freshly cooked rice, throw it in the hot pan and make some bul-go-gi fried rice.  Little bit of kim chee on the side and I was a happy camper.

Then there was mom’s fried chicken.  It was so simple – just salt and pepper.  But it was so good.  Ever had KJ’s fried chicken?  It was like that.  When mom used to bring the big bowl to the table filled with the golden pieces of fried chicken, we’d gather around and reserve our two pieces.  Of course when it came time to eat, it was every man for himself.

Speaking of chicken, mom used to make the best drumettes and wings.  I think she used the Trader Vic’s ribs marinade because there was pineapple juice used.  My mom used to open a small can of pineapple rings and use the syrup from it, and put the rings in a Tupperware container for me to eat later.  She would broil the little pieces of chicken on a huge baking pan lined with tin foil and it would be place on the highest rack in the oven.  I remember because the oven door would be ajar and I’d be sticking my face right there to check it out.  And burn my eyebrows.  The drumettes and wings had this glaze on each piece with just enough burnt areas to create a little crunch.  Broke da mout’!

We weren’t big vegetable eaters in our house, so mom’s attempt to make chopped steak consisted of the pieces of chopped steak, onions, and that’s it.  No celery.  No carrots.  No bell peppers.  Just onion and meat in a sato-shoyu gravy.  So simple, yet so ono.  Only drawback was that all the onions made for some mean killah-whiffahs.

Such great memories of mom’s cooking.  What are some of your favorites that you remember from your mom’s cooking?

18 Responses to “Mom’s Cooking”

  1. Walter says:

    How about the worst. Boiled tough beef tongue and lime jello with cottage cheese inside–like green barf with hanabattah bits mixed in. Double yuck. Actually beef tongue done correctly is ono and the lime jello is not that bad to an adult. I’ll eat it but as a kid….Starve!! Hallelujah!

  2. Walter says:

    My mom made ono shrimp and vegie tempura and good beef sukiyaki and also Japanese style beef curry but that was easy as the sauce is just those blocks in the box. My favorite was the tamago donburi (oyako just with out the chicken). What made it ono was how she very slowly simmered the egg till it set but it was really soft. Now on occasion she will make the sukiyaki but the tempura is too much work for her. Rodney sounds like you should publish a kind of recipe book for all of the midlifers–you know like those recipe booklets from all them politicians. We got a lot of them from decades ago. Seems like many of the contributors used canned soup and vegetables, Yuck.

  3. mows says:

    One that I didn’t learn was this stewed wingettes and drummettes dish that she would make with ketchup. It was really tasty with rice and corn. She said it was just a barbecue sauce with ketchup, mustard and sugar. Never tried to make it but wish she had shown me how she did it. I called it ketchup chicken but it really didn’t have a name. She would also make this cole slaw like salad with shredded cabbage and sliced kamaboko, shoyu and mayonnaise dressing. Just made it last week and it was good. Brought back some fond memories.

  4. mows says:

    My Mom’s beef stew and roast turkey with stuffing for thanksgiving. Had my Mom teach me how to make it before she died. Does not come out exactly the same though as usual. Must be the Motherly Love that is missing.

  5. James says:

    My mom used to make this dessert called Bavarian Tart – a shortbread (with walnuts) crust, topped with a thin cream cheese (cheesecake-like) filling and sliced canned pears. I love it to this day. I found the recipe a few years ago at my folks’ house and made it – it was OK but wasn’t as good as my mom’s version.

  6. Mark Shelby says:

    For me, my most fun Mom cooking was always around the special Holiday’s. Everything was so special!

    So many to list but I’ll start with this simple one.

    At Christmas we would all sit in the dining room with the lights off. We would light a Christmas candle. Then Mom would bring in the cheese fondue. This may be a Danish tradition, as that’s my Mom’s Heritage. My Grandmother did this too.

    She has a Fondue pot that used a small candle underneath to keep it warm. We normally just dipped cut sourdough bread.

    I just found this great idea to also dip veggies. This is how you make it at the link.

    So simple, yet so fun for the family at a special time.

  7. sally says:

    The cooking gene skipped a generation. Went past me and on to my daughter. But I can make a mean pot of Beanie Weenies!

  8. sally says:

    I have come to realize my mom was an insomniac. We always woke up in the morning and, magically, there’d be a big ole pot of beef stew on the stove or a strawberry cream cheese cake in the refrig. We had (it’s still there) a strawberry guava tree and we always had homemade jelly. I never understood why people had that jar stuff… until I had to buy it for myself 🙁

  9. Bruddah Sam says:

    Pork and Bean sandwiches.

    My mom was not a good cook.

  10. Seawalker says:

    Hey good looking’, what you got cookie’? That’s way better than the cheesy line, what’s up buttercup? Hehehe

    Dad was the cook around our house. Mess with him on that and you asking for lickins’. You guys were lucky your mom’s lead the charge in the kitchen. Liked what was said about baking. Anyone can cook, but it takes talent to bake. Why? Mess up on the stove and you can adjust it. Mess up in the oven, too bad, so sad.

    But my mom could also cook. She could clean, she could sew, she could do it all. Not only was she a smart cookie, she was tough as nails. I’m lucky to have my mother around still yet. She has more ailments than you can imagine. Each and everyone of us–we can only claim to have one birth mother. One of nature’s true blessings!

  11. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    As good a cook as she was, mom was a great baker. She made great pies and cookies.

  12. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    Mom’s beef stew was wicked! Never got tired of it.

    I thought her potato mac salad was the best. She’d add canned crab meat (the kind with actual legs and not just bits and pieces) in the days before that artificial stuff. My nose always picked up the smell of a just opened can and I’d come running, as she always handed me a crab leg.

  13. hemajang says:

    yeah, mom’s cooking, what memories, mostly good but also the bad, haha…like liver! I dunno why we always had liver, maybe the notion that it was good for you but then we usually had it with bacon. Loved mom’s beef stew which was done in a pressure cooker. I made beef stew over the weekend with a slow cooker…not as good as mom’s. Think I’ll ask my sisters if they have mom’s recipe.

    We also had a lot of eggplant and bittermelon dishes because my farmer dad and ojisan grew them.

    But my favorite memories are mom’s chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies…so ono and the smell coming from the oven made me drool.

    • Rodney says:

      Yes, liver. My mom tried to sneak it in every once in awhile. No bacon or onions or gravy. We tried to drench it in ketchup but the chalky texture was too much to handle. But it was either eat it or starve.

  14. 4G says:

    The simple ones are what come to mind, for me.

    Corned beef hash patties are one example. For the life of me, I still cannot consistently get them fried up without falling apart. 🙁

    I remember my mom made a pretty good shoyu chicken. There was also a mayonnaise/cornflake baked chicken that I really liked. I know I had the recipe when I first got married. It was left with my ex. I don’t really feel like going down the path to retrieve the recipe – there are actually a lot of recipes like that . . . . 🙁

    Another of the lost recipes is Sloppy Joes

    My mom used to also make a really good beef stew. I never had the patience to actually make a stew. I guess that’s what slow cookers are for, yeah? LOL

    I noticed that her cooking changed as she got older. Stuff didn’t taste quite the same. I don’t know if this is because of a conscious effort on her part due something like lowering sodium or it was because stuff like sense of smell (and taste) get different.

    My mom also used to do a lot of baking, desserts, etc. I used to love her peanut butter cookies. Hey – that’s another “lost” recipe!

  15. jaydee11 says:

    My mom made these short ribs that was the best! It was sweet but not overly sweet. The ribs were cut into small 2-3″ size. The only ingredient I remember is her using pineapple cut up into small bits. I asked her about it recently and she couldn’t remember… she’s 85 and suffering from early dementia 🙁

  16. Kage says:

    I miss my Mom’s cooking.
    Her fried chicken was so ono, especially at the beach with the ume musubi.

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