Cycle 3 – Item 361
31 (Mon) December 2012
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
Sagol is beef shank bone. In Korean, the term refers metaphorically to the four (“sa”) bones (“gol”) comprising a cow’s limb set. Cut into cross sections, the bones are boiled for several hours in water to derive stock.
The process that I employ for sagol stock is identical to the steps involved in cooking oxtail stock (see 3.111 Ggori Tang). Whereas sagol has more marrow, broth ends milky but creamier in texture, as opposed to the gumminess of oxtail broth. Though prized for its perceived nutritional value (do bones have nutritional value?), the absence of meat leaves sagol broth relatively flavorless, making it more suitable as a base stock for soups that include other components.
Accordingly, serving the broth as a standalone soup would be somewhat unusual, as here. In fact, I made a large batch this evening for use in tomorrow’s ddeok guk, a rice cake soup traditionally eaten for breakfast on New Year’s Day. With the excess, I conceived a noodle soup similar to seolleong tang, sans the beef. But the broth was so plain, despite a generous dash of powdered beef bouillon for extra flavor, that the noodles came through tasting a bit pasty. Solus, however, seasoned with salt and pepper and garnished with sliced scallions, the broth was exquisite in its elegant austerity.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)