1 (Fri) February 2013
Siraegi Naengi Doenjang Jjigae
-Oksu, Seongsu, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
For an improvised dish, this turned out way beyond expectation.
It started with a beef bone stock, simmered with a chunk of brisket for an additional hour to augment the beef flavor.
Later, the beautifully tender meat was thinly sliced before serving.
The broth was seasoned primarily with doenjang.
The piece de resistance was siraegi (시래기) (dried radish stems) (above). (Initially, the idea had been to get some ugeoji (우거지) (napa cabbage outer leaves), but the supermarket didn’t have any.) Before adding the stems to the broth, I cooked them separately for 30 minutes in boiling water, which turned dark brown and exuded an aroma reminiscent of burnt black tea, both to eliminate the bitterness and soften them up.
I also added some naengi (냉이) (shepherd’s purse) (below), also a bitter vegetable (or perhaps a medley of vegetables?), essentially mountain weeds.
The result was a well-balanced, multi-layered dish comprising a foundation of rich/hearty beef broth, sweet/savory doenjang in the middle, and traces of bitter/medicinal siraegi and naengi on top – one of the most satisfying Korean dishes that I’ve ever prepared.