Cycle 4 – Item 43
17 (Sun) February 2013
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
In preparation of my mother’s birthday on Friday, when W will be preparing a feast for the occasion, we are experimenting with a couple dishes in advance to ensure that they’ll work on D-Day. This tangpyeongchae is one such dish. Free-styling without a recipe, trying to emulate the dish from Seolmaene (see generally 2.271 Tangpyeongchae) from scratch, I managed to pull off a reasonably respectable representation.
NOTE: If working with pre-made muk, which is fine (except for whatever chemicals that may have been added at the factory), skip steps 1-4 below; but making the muk by hand is ridiculously easy and cheap – this packet cost 3,000 won, enough to make 10 batches of this recipe.
For the muk:
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup cheongpo (green lentil) powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
For the toppings:
- 1 cup (about 35 g) minari
- 3 cups (about 150 g) sukju (mung bean sprouts)
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 tbs canola oil (any light vegetable oil will suffice)
- 1 sheet (about 1/2 cup crumbled) seasoned dried laver
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce (if using regular soy sauce, use just 2 tsp)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar (if using regular distilled vinegar, use just 1 tsp)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 pinch sugar
1. In a medium pot over low-medium heat, whisk the water + cheongpo powder + salt + sugar until thoroughly mixed.
NOTE: the mixture will turn to paste within seconds.
2. Continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid the formation of lumps; add more water as necessary to maintain a smooth viscous consistency.
3. Pour the paste flat into a large wide pan/tray and set aside for about 20 minutes until the paste has cooled and set into a jelly.
4. Remove the jelly cake (muk) (묵) from the pan/tray and slice into thin strips.
5. Meanwhile, trim and cut the minari into 4-cm lengths.
TIP: If minari is unavailable, any sturdy bitter green would suffice as a substitute (e.g., water cress, morning glory).
6. Parboil the minari and sukju in a large pot of boiling water for about 20 seconds until limp, drain and rinse under cold water, and gently squeeze out the remaining moisture.
NOTE: Both minari and sukju can be eaten raw, so a brief parboiling just softens them to facilitate mixing.
7. Beat the egg with the salt.
NOTE: The yolks and whites are traditionally separated and cooked separately to create yellow and white ribbons.
8. Heat the oil in a medium pan over low heat, pour the egg mix into the pan in a thin even layer, cook for about 10 seconds until the bottom has set, turn off the heat, flip the egg sheet over, and let it sit for another 10 seconds to cook through.
NOTE: If the pan is too hot, the egg will blister and fail to cook evenly (as here).
9. Transfer the egg sheet onto a cutting board, allow it to cool, then cut it into thin ribbons.
10. Place the dried laver in a plastic bag and crumble the sheet by hand into flakes.
NOTE: This requires Korean-style roasted and seasoned laver, not the unroasted and unseasoned laver used to make sushi rolls.
11. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and black pepper to make the dressing.
TIP: Everything up through Step 11 can be prepared in advance, then move on to Step 12 just prior to serving.
12. Add the muk + minari + sukju + egg + laver + sesame seeds, and toss gently.
13. Serve immediately.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)