Before it broke the internet, my big brother Kevin made avocado toast for us all the time. This was in the late ’90s, before he moved to California and restaurants would, years later, use it as a crutch on their menus like beet salad with goat cheese. His had lemon and red pepper flakes, maybe a little salt.
I remember wanting to update it even then, not because my brother was a terrible cook (he was), but because those sharp tastes weren’t what I craved after a hard day at
the office band camp. When you’re a latchkey kid left to fend for himself in the summer while the parents are at work, there’s something elementally necessary about coming home to foods that don’t bite back. For me, what I craved most was something deep and savory, what the Koreans call gosohae.