15 (Mon) August 2011
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
This technique accomplishes 3 essential objectives. First, the steady and low heat tenderizes the meat without compromising its integrity, resulting in broken crumbling meat (a problem that I’ve experienced with boiling). Second, the constant release of juices from the daepa (large scallion) infuses moisture into the meat and prevents it from drying out during the long cooking process (a problem that I’ve experienced with steaming). And third, the aroma of the daepa, as well as the garlic and ginger, permeates the meat to add a subtle dimension of flavor and mask any off-flavors if present (a problem that I’ve experienced with frozen and/or lesser quality pork). Foolproof.
The mumalaengi (무말랭이) (spicy dried radish), a time- and labor-intensive side dish that is way beyond my skill level, was purchased pre-made from E-Mart.
The wraps were the inner yellow leaves of a napa cabbage, parboiled in salty water, drained and cooled.
600 grams (about 4 full stalks) of daepa (large scallions)
20 cloves of garlic
1 knob of ginger
1 tbsp of coarse sea salt
1 tbsp of cracked black pepper
1. Slice the pork belly fillet in half (or thirds, depending on the size of the cooking vessel) and coat the meat with the salt and pepper.
2. Slice the daepa cross-sectionally into 10-cm lengths, roughly crush the garlic, peel and slice the ginger.
3. At the bottom of a large dutch oven, arrange a base of daepa stems (more moisture, won’t scorch), scatter the garlic and ginger evenly on top, followed by a layer of daepa scapes.
4. Place the meat on the bed of aromatics and add the remaining daepa in between and on top until the meat is completely surrounded/covered.
5. Cover the pot, turn the heat on low – after about 30 minutes, the daepa will release moisture, which should simmer very gently and create steam within the dutch oven – and cook untouched for 1.5 hours.
6. After 1.5 hours, remove the meat from the pot and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
7. Slice the meat cross-sectionally into pieces a bit less than 1-cm thick.
8. Serve with dipping sauces (e.g., shrimp paste), toppings (e.g., mumalaengi or kimchi), and wraps (e.g., parboiled Napa cabbage leafs).
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)