Friday, February 10, 2012

Who's buying all that random foliage?

If you've been out shopping at the organic stores recently, or if you regularly receive direct deliveries of awesome organic produce, you may have noticed lots of bags that looked like they're filled with downed leaves and twigs.  Closer  inspection proves that this is not the case!  They're actually vegetables that have been dried out  - perhaps the oldest, cheapest, and simplest preservation method of them all.  Radish slices and radish stems, leafy greens, squashes, eggplants, and more. 

The post linked to above gives some simple instructions on how to turn the old, withered farts into something scrumptious:

Dried vegetables should be soaked in lukewarm water for at least an hour.  If they're still a bit stiff, boil them slightly until they soften up. After boiling, Chinamul and Bangpungnamul should be rinsed until the rinsing water remains clear, then all liquid should be squeezed out.  Season according to taste; stew soy sauce (국간장) goes well with dried vegetables.  Add minced garlic, green onions, and perilla oil and stir-fry.  Or, do a wet stir-fry using anchovy broth.  Dried vegetables yield 2-6 times more once soaked.

 If you're curious what the result ought to look and taste like, have a peek below at these banchan assembled by a bona fide ajumma friend of mine just in time for Daeboreum (First full moon of the lunar new year) Dinner.

Baby pumpkins.  Surprisingly, though they've been soaked in water, they're much less soggy than their standard counterparts.  These are lightly stirfied with a bit of sesame oil.  They come out super rich and filling.  

Chwinamul.  A deep scent and a toothsome texture.  I've never had these fresh, but the dried ones are always a welcome addition to any meal.

Ehrm...I couldn't resist doing one more shot of the pumpkins.  So nice. 

They're also good several mornings later at breakfast time, even served cold.  Clockwise from noon: pumpkins, purple sweet potatoes, roast peanuts, and sauteed cabbage with a bit of perilla.  

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