Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Korean Food Story: Korean Spring Greens!

Boseong Green Tea Fields Korea
Now that spring is right around the corner, I thought I would talk to you all about bom namul or Korean Spring Greens. These are greens are very seasonal and only last for a few weeks out of the year. You know how some times you just crave something fresh like a vegetable or fruit and you just eat a whole plate of them? I think that’s how many Koreans feel when winter is finishing. There is just something necessary in the spring greens that their body is telling them they just need to eat. In spring, when my Korean mother and I go for a mountain hike, for her it is a shopping excursion. She always has a basket to take with her because she’ll pick certain leaves and vegetables and then she’ll make a spring greens bibimbap. The vegetables that she picks are fresh shoots and leaves for if they are old, they taste bitter. My mother told me that the spring greens have a lot of panax, you know the same stuff in ginseng, so by eating it, I will be healthy.

On our walks she’ll usually pick chui-namul which is a a fuzzy leaf that is a light green. She also finds some cham-namul which looks like cilantro. She’ll blanch these and make vegetable side dishes with them.
Different Korean Spring Vegetables from http://lady.khan.co.kr
There are lots of other bom namul. For example, one of my favorites is bomdong which looks like a green chrysanthemum flower except its like large cabbage that is about 15 centimeters across. You can use this fresh tasting cabbage to make geotjeori or a fresh kimchi salad. The crunchy and green flavor is a delicious in a garlic and chili dressing.

Also at spring, I love naengi or shepherd’s purse. It’s got a herbaceous and sharp green, almost turnip-like flavor. It’s wonderful in a soy bean paste stew because the strong flavor accentuates the bean paste broth.

Another favorite is dol-namul which looks like rosemary herb but with a crisp, juicy bite. The flavor is like green sunshine and you just drizzle some vinegared red chili sauce on it. This particular vegetable is amazing as a side with raw sashimi.



One of the more unusual ones is saebal-namul which is a spring green that looks like a stick  person. The name, saebal, means bird’s feet and it is a sturdy little green that has a subdued crunch. This spring green is great in saebal pajeon, or spring greens pancake. It tastes great with a cup of makgeolli, a cold rice beer.

Other great photos are on the Korea Blog written by Suzy Chung at http://blog.korea.net/?p=8235

Spring Greens Restaurant Recommendation

picture by ji6668
In Seoul it looks like places with some Spring Green Menus now Oyull. Looks like a fancy upscale sorta place and it uses all organic vegetables and stuff.

http://gangnam.oyull.co.kr
Seoul Gangnam-gu Gangnam Daero 406 Gulras Tower 9th Floor
02-554-0511. Information and picture from ji6668





Namsan Sanchae Bibimbap by sophyasophya
Another great place is at Namsan Sanchae Bibimbap. This place I have gone quite often and I am a fan of their green onion pancakes and their bibimbap. See more at Sophya's Blog

Directions: Go up Namsan Mountain on the cable car side and look for this building:
Namsan Sanchae bibimbap photo by sophyasophya
Barley Rice and Pork Cutlets photo by rla756

This looks like a decent homestyle place if you are over by Junghwadong. They serve barley rice and cutlets. See more at rla756's blog

*중화동 동촌* 주소 : 서울시 중랑구 중화동 303-16 2층

Tel : 02) 436 - 7643
[출처] 중화동맛집 동촌。|작성자 큰돌


Gunwei Gas Station Check out this great post with pictures http://apollon7057.blog.me/220306943492 It's sorta far away...but I'd drive there 경북 군위군 군위읍 정리 687번지..
photo from buzlight
Here is a great place called Geolgujaengine It's in Yeoju...I know far, but great to see the pics. Check out this great Korean blogger post from buzlight: http://blog.naver.com/buzlight1/30189769984: [걸구쟁이네 여행정보] 주소: 여주군 강천면 강문로 707 전화: 031-885-9875 / 영업시간 11:00~19:00, 연중무휴 메뉴: 사찰정식 13,000원 [출처] 그 나물에 그 밥' 서울 근교 소문난 산채 식당 세 곳|작성자 buzlight1

Well that is it for now...as I find more stuff, I will try and add to this list.

Dan