Monday, June 18, 2012

Don't Drop the Deulkkae


A short post this time. Above is my recent second attempt on Gamjatang, literally "Potato Soup" in Korean, but which is a pork (neck) bone soup with potatoes (it'd look pretty badass if I had one of those Korean stoneware pots to serve it in). Clearly, the bones have much more to do with its flavor and deliciousness than do the potatoes.

I'd previously made a very loose interpretation of gamjatang a long while ago; it was very loose because I was missing a lot of the ingredients. This time, however, I had many more of the ingredients Maangchi's recipe asks for, including: perilla seeds (deulkkae) though not powdered, pork neck bones (which seemed to release more of that delicous, thickening gelatin than thigh bones do, hmm), and korean hot sauce (gochujang).

The results were much more Korean tasting. I also found the deulkkae to provide an essential nuance to the flavor that really made it smell and taste like what you find in restaurants. Don't drop deulkkae from recipes that call for it! But damn, it was hard to find. Still haven't come across fresh leaves of the Korean perilla plant, though the Japanese shiso (a closely related plant) can be found.

An aside: as I'm still looking for work, I've had a lot of time for making food. As a result, I've had a profusion of things I want to post about. We may be in for a series of shorter, more frequent posts.

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