September 24, 2021

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For remarkable cuisine

Joanna Gaines makes her mom’s Korean recipes for Mother’s Day

Sometimes, even Joanna Gaines needs to ask her mom for a few cooking tips.

In a new episode of her show “Magnolia Table,” the author calls her mom, Nan Stevens, on FaceTime to get some pointers and the mother-daughter moment is simply adorable.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, Gaines was inspired to recreate some of her mom’s signature dishes, including beef bulgogi. In a blurb from the author’s “Magnolia Table Cookbook,” she explains that her mom’s bulgogi is an American-Korean hybrid that’s “much sweeter than traditional bulgogi” and served on a bed of white rice.

While she’s making the marinade for the dish, the 43-year-old calls Stevens to see if she can share any tricks.

“I’ve always wondered, especially on days where I call her at 4 and I say ‘Mom, can you cook us some dinner?’ how she has it all whipped up when she only had an hour to cook it,” the mother of five explained.

Once she gets Stevens on the line, Gaines asks her how long she should let the meat soak in the sauce and asks if she’s ever marinated it overnight.

“I used to when I used the tough meat but when I buy the more expensive meat then you only use like an hour, hour and half,” Stevens said.

Mom's Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad

Ashleigh Amoroso

In an accompanying blog post, Gaines explains that her mom, who’s from Korea, often whipped up Korean dishes to stay connected to her heritage. She also used whatever ingredients were available and affordable at the time to adapt dishes into Korean delicacies.

Red Bean Mochi, a Korean dessert Gaines prepared after being inspired by her mother’s cooking.Ashleigh Amoroso

While cooking, Gaines also prepared a cucumber kimchi salad to go with the bulgogi and made mochi for dessert. The entrepreneur, who recently reflected on her Korean heritage amid the surge of anti-Asian hate incidents in the U.S., said that one of her mom’s most delightful dishes is hot dogs and rice.

It’s a recipe she made regularly when the family was on a tight budget, and one that she gave a unique Korean flair with the help of spices.

Hot Dogs and Rice

Ashleigh Amoroso

“I like how you turned hot dogs into a Korean dish that my kids now love. Do you remember when you came up with hot dogs and rice?” she asked.

“Modify, you gotta modify when you are on a budget,” Stevens said.

During their FaceTime chat, Gaines recalled how her mom used to put meat in the fireplace to get a nice smoky flavor.

“Because you can eat right then, you know, put it under the fireplace. But they told me not to do it because it caught fire,” Stevens said.

The mother of five had fun in the kitchen with her kids.Ashleigh Amoroso

The “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home” star went on to ask her mom exactly how many kitchen fires she’s caused and Stevens couldn’t help but grin.

“Many times, but it’s getting worse. That’s why I try to stay away from the kitchen as much as possible,” she told Gaines, who started laughing.

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