Cycle 12 – Cycle 205
29 (Thu) July 2021
Mul Oi Sobagi
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
In its standard form, oi sobagi is cucumber kimchi (see for example 11.278 Truly a Felicitous Combination), stuffed with punchy ingredients (gochugaru, garlic, fish sauce) and dry fermented.
The non-standard version here was pickled in a brine bath with minimal aromatics (chives, onions, carrots). My mother saw the dish for the first time on a cooking program and was so intrigued by the simplicity of it that she made a batch and shared some with us. I haven’t been able to determine if the recipe is an obscure regional variation or a newfangled one. Technically, maybe it’s more like mul kimchi with cucumbers, rather than oi sobagi in water.
In any case, it was amazing. The pickling intensified the pure essence of cucumber, with the aromatics providing delicate points of enhancement. Except the quartering, nothing about the dish was uniquely Korean, but the overall impression was somehow very Korean.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)