10 (Sat) July 2010
at uncle’s cabin
-Hoengseong, Gangwon, Korea-
with the Family
Yusanseul is a Chinese dish. The name refers to a “light braise (溜) (liu)” of “three (三) (san)” ingredients “thinly sliced (絲) (sa).” In Korea, the dish comprises a thinly sliced meat, typically pork; a thinly sliced seafood, typically sea cucumber and/or shrimp; and a thinly sliced vegetable, typically bamboo and/or mushroom – all stir-fried, usually in oyster sauce. When done right, it’s silky and savory. When done wrong, it can be slippery and stinky. Extremely popular in the Korean-Chinese tradition.
A last-minute overnighter to my uncle’s cabin with no food prep forced us to scrounge provisions in the nearby town, which includes a small Chinese joint. I’d bet that the place makes yusanseul maybe once a year at most, leaving the ingredients not very fresh, as I should’ve anticipated.