though the weather doesn't show it this week, my body feels like summer is here and only wants chilled food with minimal prep. the perfect solution is dotorimuk, a savoury jelly made from acorns and the ultimate chopsticks challenge. if you can pick up a slice without dropping/breaking it, you've proven your 'chops.' badum-chh~
the acorn starch is made from only pounded acorns (hopefully). it needs water and a bit of boiling, then setting in a mold as if you were making a wiggly dessert. but as soon as i turned my back on the bubbling pot, the mixture congealed! i did my best to whisk it smooth but it didn't get very far...
the recipe i found online is probably not the best to follow, or maybe the electric stove is too hard for me to control. in any case the texture came out very differently than the kind i usually buy from the store. more like a firm-ish chunky pudding than a jelly. i doubt my mom could offer any help via email since she buys blocks of ready-made dotorimuk from the korean supermarket for as little as $2. why would you need to make it yourself with prices like that? however, my abomination tasted just as nice so i got my salad after all.
acorn jelly salad (dotorimuk muchim)
serves 2 as a meal, 6 as banchan
1.5 cups prepared acorn jelly
3 'leaves' of kimchi
½ big cucumber
3 tbsp soya
1 tbsp sesame oil
slice the jelly into cubes, paralellograms, whatever your heart desires. thinly slice the cucumber and leaves of cabbage kimchi. toss the solids with the liquids and serve on a bed of romaine with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
my absolute favourite muk (pictured center) comes from morangak in garden grove. this version is made from mung beans instead of acorns, so the taste is even milder. they mix it with bean sprouts, julienned cucumber, and bits of pepper. not only is the crunchy-to-soft ratio perfect, but the seasoning is heavier on the sesame oil than most restaurants serve. if only i could place an order of just that muk as my whole dinner. some recipes for dotorimuk add garlic and ginger, but since i added kimchi i'm already covered as it contains both. of course this chilled salad is all up to you. add apples, asian pear, toasted seaweed, eel sauce... wait, did i say that out loud?