2.305 Gyeran Jjim


6 (Sun) November 2011

Gyeran Jjim


by CJH

at their home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with DJ, CJH, KKH, KIT + J

Gyeran jjim (계란찜) is a Korean dish.  Consists of eggs beaten and mixed with water and lightly seasoned, usually with salt and pepper, but sometimes with soy sauce or even shrimp paste, maybe a touch of sesame oil, as well as some diced scallions or carrots or onions, more for garnish than substance.  While “gyeran” means “egg,” the spectacularly overbroad term “jjim” means “steamed” by default but can just as easily refer to food that’s been boiled/braised/baked/sautéed.  Traditionally, the dish is made in a bowl or cup within a larger steamer over low heat to achieve a smooth custard-like consistency.  Nowadays, it’s most commonly served as a free side dish at restaurants, where the eggs are quickly boiled in a hot pot, resulting in a spongy texture.  It’s also baked in deep trays and cut into dense single-serving squares at buffet-style cafeterias.

The Japanese outdoor company Snow Peak produces the IGT (Iron Grill Table), a system of interchangeable/interlocking table components designed for camping; CJH and KKH use the IGT as their living room coffee table, enabling them to make gyeran jjim and other goodies while watching TV at home.

Come to think of it, subsequent to the tonsillectomy that I’d undergone for sleep apnea a few months into our marriage, which required me to drink nothing but water for a week afterward, followed by a gradual introduction of juices then semi-solid foods for two more weeks, W made me gyeran jjim via the steaming method.  It was the only thing that I ate for several days.  I hadn’t forgotten about that when proclaiming, somewhat mockingly, her first “from scratch” dish a couple weeks ago (see 2.292 Beef & Bell Pepper Stir-Fry).  In my defense, the gyeran jjim didn’t really seem like food at the time; I lost 20 pounds.  My father, ordinarily a reticent man when it comes to personal matters, once advised that the ideal spouse is one who can and will and wants to support me in times of difficulty, the good times being no measure of consequence.  Based on that standard, W is the ideal spouse.

They have an amazing view of the Han River at a unique angle where the North Expressway curves as it crosses under Dongho Bridge and passes by Oksu Station, which includes both Line 3 and the National Rail – all visible from their living room.

(See also FOODS)

(See also PLACES)

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