Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hello Ggureomi!

Daegu Green Living is proud to announce that after months and months of intense procrastination, the dream of offering convenient, safe, clean, healthy, organic, seasonal, tasty food to foreigners living in the city has finally become a reality!

Ggureomi, which in Korean means something like "basket" but also sounds like the words for "worm" and "sleepyhead," is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA for short) initiative intended to bring producers, consumers, and the earth into a sustainable relationship of mutual benefits. Consumers commit to support the farmers by purchasing a load of vegetables every week, two weeks, or month, without conditions. The farmers, thus freed from the worrying about what will sell, can give more consideration to the climate, seasons, and the needs of the crops and the land. As a result, farmers don't have to handle dangerous chemicals, the earth doesn't have to absorb them, and we don't have to eat them. Win-win-win.

Sometime in May, DGL signed up its first five customers. Here's what they received:

-Tofu (400g): made with pesticide-free Korean beans, no artificial emulsifiers or anti-foaming agents.
-Broccoli (1 stalk): organic.
-Korean cabbage (1 head): pesticide-free
-Red pepper powder (15og): made from dried organic peppers
-Soybean paste (200g): made with Korean beans, no artificial colors or preservatives
-Shiitake mushrooms (200g): organic.
-Radish (1 giant): pesticide-free
-Cherry tomatoes (400g); pesticide-free

In case you're at a loss as to what to make with all this stuff, there's a newsletter with suggestions, slightly reminiscent of Forest Gump:

Pan-fried tofu, tofu stew, tofu and kimchi stirfry, tofu and soybean paste soup, soybean paste soup, broccoli salad, curry with broccoli, broccoli dipped in vinegar and red pepper sauce, rice and meat wrapped in cabbage, lightly dressed cabbage, kimchi soup with cabbage, cabbage pancakes, broth made from shiitakes, sticky noodles with shiitakes, shiitake stew, readish cubes, radish soup, radish slices, radish in kimbap, radish rice, freeze the red pepper and use it whenever, tomatoes as a little snack.

And some recipes for sauces:
Vinegar and soy sauce: 1 part each, plus 1 part water, for a good basic sauce.
Vinegar and red pepper paste: 2 parts water, 1 part red pepper paste, 1/2 part sugar, 1/2 part vinegar, 1/3 part lemon juice, 1/3 part minced garlic. You can also add a little minced onion, wasabi, or Sprite. Refrigerate and use with seafood or as a light dressing for vegetables.
Seasoned soy sauce: 4 parts soup soy sauce (국간장), 2 parts water, 2 parts dark soy sauce (진간장), 1 part minced garlic, 1 part minced green onion, 1/2 part sesame oil, 1/2 part red pepper powder, 1/2 part crushed sesame seeds. Eat with radish rice, mushroom rice, bean sprout rice, seafood rice, "party noodles," and dried seaweed. (Personal note: also awesome to dip pancakes in...)

So far I've made an easy onion/shiitake stir-fry, some decent shiitake burgers (roast them whole with some other vegetables and put 'em o a bun), and I took a chance with the radish and attempted 무생채:

You need: radish, garlic, salt, red pepper powder, crushed sesame seeds, sesame oil, and vinegar.

Slice the radish into thinnish strips (longer and thinner than the ones pictured) and mince the garlic.

Combine with other ingredients, and season to your own taste.

Now you've got a cool, crisp, slightly spicy, low-calorie side dish.

Are any other Ggureomi recipients reading? If so, what'd you make? Next up for me: tofu and stinky bean soup, and maybe a shot at homemade vegan kimchi.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in knowing more about or receiving a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly Ggureomi boxes, have a look at the official flyers below. Feel free to send comments, questions, and requests to us at noksaeksari at gmail dot com.


  1. This is just for residents of Daegu, right? Do you know of any CSAs that would deliver to Seoul? My family would love to sign up for a weekly delivery of produce from a CSA (we live on the SNU campus in southern Seoul). Thanks!

  2. Great job on this Mike. I'm really glad I know you.

    This is the vegan option right?

  3. Kristina: Nope, it's not just for Daegu! Actually, the company that runs the operation is located in 괴산 in 충청북도, and the member farms are all around the country. I'm sure they'd be happy to sign up people in Seoul, too. Just shoot me an email at the address near the end of the post and I'll tell you what info I need to get you started.^^

    Greg: Thanks! This week was vegan just by coincidence. In the instances where they send out eggs, yogurt, snacks made with dairy, etc, they said they'd replace the non-vegan items in question with some extra fruits and veggies for us. I'm going back and forth though - knowing some people at the organization as well as some of the member farms, I'm pretty sure I'm comfortable eating their eggs. Just don't quite feel like it yet though...