Cycle 13 – Item 95
10 (Sun) April 2022
Smörgås Jordnötssmör och Sylt
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea-
Korean-Swedish Culinary Exchange (24) (see all posts on KSCX)
In continuation of our previous exchange, GK again used various items from my care package to make doenjang jjigae.
For my part, I’d planned on making a fresh vegetable salad/medley, but a spur-of-the-moment idea resulted in a dish that I’ll present here instead.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, aka PB&J, is an American dish. Typically involves a pair of sandwich bread slices, with a layer of peanut butter and a layer of jelly (e.g., grape) or jam (e.g., strawberry) in between. Especially popular with kids.
Turns out that peanut butter, and PB&J by extension, is distinctly American. The internet is replete with websites lamenting the unavailability of PB across the world, even in “advanced” countries, including Sweden, where supposedly they prefer leverpastej instead (see “10 Countries Where It’s Nearly Impossible to Get Peanut Butter“). While imported American peanut butter is sold in Korea, I’m not sure what locals do with it, since I’ve never seen Koreans eat PB&J.
Though never a huge fan of peanut butter, I keep a jar in the fridge – force of habit from growing up in suburban California, where PB&J was the standard after-school snack for latchkey kids. These days, I’ve begun appreciating PB&J as an easy meat-free sandwich option, since I don’t eat cold cuts anymore (e.g., ham), also experimenting with PB as a spread with fruit (e.g., apples).
Though well aware of the theory for layering PB on both pieces of bread, with jelly/jam in between (i.e., to prevent the bread from getting soggy), I never do so because (a) I prefer keeping the PB to a minimum, and (b) I always eat the sandwich immediately.
On a whim, I substituted lingonberry jam for the standard strawberry jam.
I loved it. The tanginess of the lingonberry jam provided a better counterpoint to the richness of the peanut butter. This is now how I will always do it.
[The comments below are GK’s own words, with minor typographical edits from me.]
I did the doenjang jjigae today, and it turned out wonderful. I followed this recipe, although in the future I might try some other recipes in the numerous Korean cookbooks I already own.
1. I started by making some anchovy broth from the packets I got from you (this was the first time that I used them).
2. I cut up the various veggies + the tofu + the pork according to the recipe.
3. I started by sautéeing the meat + doenjang (된장) + gochugaru (고추가루).
4. I added the anchovy stock + radish. In hindsight, I could have added less to fit in more veggies in the pot.
5. I added the rest of the veggies sans the scallions (these were added just at the end of the cooking process).
6. I served the finished stew with rice + cucumber namul (오이나물).
7. To drink, I had some “Easter ale” (Påsk ale), or more generally “Easter beer” (Påsköl). I have mentioned this before, but in Sweden we often drink special beers around Easter and Christmas that traditionally are heavier/darker, in order to fit better with the traditional fare eaten during these holidays. The slightly bitter taste fit well with the heavy + slightly spicy taste of the doenjang.
I had some leftovers which I will finish with some more broth + veggies tomorrow.
I will definitely cook it again!
On my effort:
- I’m assuming that Smörgås Jordnötssmör och Sylt is not really a Swedish thing, but I’d like to think that it’s how a Swede would make a PB&J.
- Thanks to KSCX, I’ve found a way to upgrade a classic that had seemed impervious to improvement.
On GK’s effort:
- I am so pleased that GK is continuing to put the stuff that I sent him to good use.
- The doenjang jjigae, at least in the photos, looks the most authentic of all the dishes that he’s made thus far. Great job!!
- I appreciate the addition of gochugaru, which made the broth look beautifully red – though I’m wondering how spicy the broth must’ve been, as that brand of doenjang is already quite spicy.
- With the chunks of pork, the jjigae is a fully realized meal in itself.
- I’m beginning to like pairing bold ales with Asian food (see for example 13.011 Yam Wun Sen), which I’ll explore more in future posts.
- Nice try, but big heads of foam on beer don’t bother me per se, just the idea of paying for it (see 12.305 Fried Mushrooms).
I am still looking for a fresh vegetable salad/medley that I can add to my Swedish table d’hôte, preferably something that doesn’t involve cream and/or potatoes. Suggestions would be welcome.
Now that GK has used the ddukbaegi to make gyeran jjim, bibimbab, and doenjang jjigae, I would be keen to see it used to make a brothy bulgogi (e.g., Maangchi’s bulgogi stew in an earthenware pot).
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
2 thoughts on “13.095 Smörgås Jordnötssmör och Sylt”
Great post as always!
Some notes below:
1. I would still say that the “dish” you created could be labeled “Swedish” due to the lingonberry jam. A swede wanting to make PB&J would probably often use lingonberry jam, since it would be present in most fridges…. The milk is a perfect finishing touch!
2. Considering the unavailability of peanut butter here, I call bullshit. Even the smaller supermarkets on the corner would at least have one brand of peanut butter. I would guess my local one has at least 2 different brand. But compared to the selection in the us (I imagine for my inner eye rows and rows of different brands) it’s probably pretty limited…
I myself never eat peanut butter, probably because I didn’t grow up eating it and find it kinda gross/too fatty. I remember seeing my parents having peanut butter in their fridge and frowningly asking “why did you buy this???”
But since they sell it in stores, there are definitively Swedes who do like it… (maybe it’s an acquired taste..)
I HAVE however on two occassions however boughtpeanut butter to make a gambian peanut stew…
3. The stew WAS pretty spicy. I didn’t know the doenjang would be spicy in itself.. In the future I will not add any additional spices to it.
4. I will definitively make some bulgogi for the next exchange!
Considering sallads: as communicated before, I have found it hard to find a sallad that would fullfill all the criteria below:
1) “tradtionally” swedish
2) no cream
3) no potatoes
So, going for a more “modern” salad, I suggest this one:
I would say it’s a type of sallad similar to what a lot of Swedes would make to get some greens to a normal meal.
Curious what your parents did with the PB, if not to make PB&Js for little Gustaf.
Looking at all your suggestions for Swedish-style salads, which all look/feel kinda similar, I suppose it’s like how most Korean stir-fries are kinda similar (soy sauce + gochujang + sesame oil). Anyway, I’m going to try your suggestions in the comments under the spinach soup post.