In the Kitchen with Maryland’s First Lady

When Maryland’s governor and first lady throw a party, it’s not often Mrs. Guv will be doing the cooking.
    First Lady Yumi Hogan proves the exception to that rule. This week, for the eighth Annual Buy Local Cookout, she prepares and serves her own adaptation of pork bulgogyi, which she calls “a classic household dish for a Korean family.”
    She is one of 14 chefs from Maryland preparing specially created dishes for the cookout. Each pairs with local producers; in Hogan’s case, Hannah Cawley provided her Caroline County pickling cucumbers. Five of the chefs and seven producers work and grow in Anne Arundel or Calvert counties.
    Cooking, first lady Hogan told Bay Weekly in written answers to questions, is “intricately tied to my Korean heritage.
    “Many of my Korean dishes are foods I grew up on since I was a child living in my rural hometown in South Korea. I am proud to say I learned a lot of cooking skills and special recipes from my mother. Pork bulgogyi is one of the dishes my mother would make for me. She was an amazing cook and very generous.
    “I bring out those memories from my childhood when I cook these dishes. I also enjoy sharing my Korean heritage and traditional foods with my family and friends. To me, Korean food and cooking incorporates ideals of family, relationships, sharing and love.
    “My daughters and my husband also enjoy my cooking. Sometimes, they crave it more than I do. Both pork bulgogyi and cucumber salad have become popular dishes for my three daughters and their husbands. The recipes may have changed just a little, but recipes tend to differ for each person. Now, my daughters use my recipes to cook for their friends and family.”
    As well as recipes, Hogan learned a tradition of hospitality from her mother.
    “You would never let a guest leave without feeding him or her food,” she explains. “This is something I believe in, too. I always make sure our guests have something to eat. It is a joy to see people satiated and in comfort.”
    True to her words, Hogan has cooked “both pork bulgogyi and cucumber salad for the Government House staff and troopers. They really enjoyed it.
    “So when this event came about, I knew these recipes would be a perfect way to share my Korean heritage and my ideals of sharing and caring to the community.
    “Additionally, our chefs are making some tasty desserts. The chefs and I are working together to represent today’s diverse community with a very diverse menu. I enjoy cooking with them, as they enjoy learning about my Korean heritage and cooking Korean dishes.
    “Food brings everyone together in a special way.”
    Try Yumi Hogan’s special way.

First Lady Yumi Hogan’s Pork Bulgogyi and Cucumber Salad

Pork Bulgogyi

2 pounds thinly sliced pork shoulder or pork collar butts
4 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes
½ cup sugar (organic or brown)
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
½ cup green onion, chopped
1 large onion, sliced
1⁄3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

    Place thinly sliced pork in a large mixing bowl; combine with all other ingredients except chopped green onions. Marinate for 30 minutes to one hour. Add marinated pork mixture to large skillet over high heat. Sauté until thoroughly cooked and liquid reduced. Add green onions and cook for an additional one minute to slightly soften. Remove from heat, and serve with rice. Serves four to six.

Cucumber Salad

3 large English cucumbers, 1/4″ thick slices
½ cup vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chives, chopped
½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1-3 teaspoons Korean red pepper flakes, depending on desired spiciness

    Mix vinegar, sugar and salt with sliced cucumbers. Sit for 30 minutes. Add rest of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Place in a serving bowl and serve chilled.

Buy local, eat local every week not only July 18 to 26 but every week of the year. Find Governor’s Buy Local Cookout Cookbooks and recipes from 2009 to 2015 at