That Time I Went To The White House!!!

By some miracle, I was invited to preview the State Dinner with President Biden and the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden as hosts of President Yoon and First Lady Keon-Hee Kim of South Korea. We got to hear from Chef Edward Lee (@chefedwardlee), as well as Dr. Biden, and it was incredibly heartwarming to hear both of them describe just how much work, attention, and thought went into making their guests feel welcome. As I’ve often said, food is one of the most effective vehicles for diplomacy. The act of breaking bread requires disarmament of heart, a vulnerability that can serve to promote a fusion of so much more than cuisines and flavors. Whether drizzling some doenjang caramel over a scoop of ice cream or binding batons with a gochujang vinaigrette, innovation that challenges our palate can serve as a template for overcoming all sorts of bias.
It was an incredible honor to participate in this event! As an homage to the State Dinner happening, like, right now, I wanted to “veganize” one of Chef Lee’s dishes—the Maryland crabcake. I’ve never made vegan crabcake before, but it turned out delicious. Recipe below!
4 sticks hearts of palm3 artichokes1/4 cup chickpeas2 stalks celery, chopped1 shallot, chopped1 tbsp dijon mustard1 tbsp hummus2 tbsp TKV Fishy Seasoning (can sub in furikake for now)1/4 cup bread crumbs1/4 cup sweet white rice flour1 tsp salt1 tbsp oil2 tbsp gochujang1 tbsp fruit vinegar (I used persimmon)1 tbsp sweetener (I used plum syrup)
1 tsp perilla oil (can sub in toasted sesame oil)1 strawberry, diced2 tbsp diced cucumber
Place hearts of palm, artichokes, chickpeas, shallot, celery, mustard, hummus, Fishy Seasoning, and bread crumbs into food processor and pulse a few times until the consistency of crabmeat. Shape into balls and coat with rice flour. Cook in oil for about 3 minutes, until both sides are golden brown, while also browning the sides. For the sauce, mix together gochujang, vinegar, sweetener, perilla oil. Create garnish by mixing strawberries and cucumber with a couple drops of perilla oil. Place over a bed made of kohlrabi, cucumber, and cabbage. #vegancrabcakes

Joanne Lee Molinaro is a Korean American trial lawyer, New York Times best-selling author, James Beard Award-winner, and host of the Are You Ready podcast. With nearly 5 million fans spread across her social media platforms, Joanne has appeared on The Food Network, CBS Saturday Morning, ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Today Show, PBS, and The Rich Roll Podcast. She’s been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR, and CNN; and her debut cookbook was selected as one of “The Best Cookbooks of 2021” by The New York Times and The New Yorker among others.

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