26 (Mon) March 2012
Chicken & Potato Sujebi
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
Sujebi (수제비) is a Korean dish. Flour-based dough that’s shaped into flat bite-sized pieces and cooked in broth. Although it may be added to any soup dish, the broth for sujebi at its most basic is made from dried anchovy stock. Likewise, the additional components in the soup may vary but are typically modest, such as sliced potatoes and/or onions. Historically, when flour and the other ingredients weren’t easy to come by, sujebi was once reserved for special occasions. Due to the cheap availability of flour these days, as well as the other ingredients, it’s now regarded as a humble food for the masses.
Pros stand over a boiling pot of broth while holding a lump of dough, pull-pinch pieces with their fingers, and flick them into the broth in rapid succession, all within a few seconds; speed is essential because the dough cooks in a couple minutes.
For the broth, I started out by making baeksuk. I would ordinarily use the broth for either rice porridge (juk) or noodles (kal guksu), but sujebi works just as well.
Starting with the chicken more-or-less submerged in cold water plus a teaspoon of salt, I simmered it half-covered for about 30 minutes, removed the aromatics, turned the chicken over, then cook it covered for another 1.5 hours.
After 2 hours, when the meat was fall-off-the bone tender, I removed the chicken. I separated the big pieces, seasoned them with salt + pepper + sesame seeds + scallions, and served them first, like an appetizer. Not letting anything go to waste, I picked the bits of flesh off the bones and set aside.
To the broth, I added sliced potatoes and boiled them for about 15 minutes until they were fall-apart tender, at which point I added the chicken bits + sliced onions + sliced zucchini + sujebi, cooking for another 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
What a great way to get the most out of a whole chicken.
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