For a quick meal or crowd-pleasing snack, chef Hooni Kim offers a streamlined version of the crisp-fried seafood scallion pancake he serves at Hanjan in Manhattan

February 11, 2015 4:27 PM

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For a quick meal or crowd-pleasing snack, chef Hooni Kim offers a streamlined version of the crisp-fried seafood scallion pancake he serves at Hanjan in Manhattan

NOT EVERYONE returns to his roots via Michelin-starred kitchens. But that’s how it happened for Hooni Kim. The Korean-born chef came to New York City in 1982, at the age of 10, but didn’t start cooking his native cuisine until he had already graduated from culinary school and worked under some of the city’s pre-eminent chefs.

By age 32, Mr. Kim was at Masa, the celebrated Japanese restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. “The chef loved Korean food, so I made it for [the staff] meal three times a day,” he said. “Some of the dishes on my menus still come from back then.” Cooking Korean on the fly for discerning chefs, Mr. Kim app...

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