It’s been very busy here, and temperatures have been climbing. I am more of a cool weather person, so coming up with nourishing and healthy, satisfying food that doesn’t make me melt away into a puddle, has been a challenge.
Dr. Tae Yun Kim shared a very old, traditional Korean recipe with me. It’s one of her very favorite summer foods and I love it. This is also very light, and won’t weigh your stomach down, so it’s ideal both before and after a heavy-duty workout in the heat.
Once you have the ingredients, the rest is very very easy to make. I start making the acorn “jelly” in the morning, when cooking is still ok, and then it’s all set and cool come lunch and dinner. I also boil the eggs, at that time, and have them ready.
So, here is how you make Korean mook, or acorn jelly, according to Dr. Tae Yun Kim. The description is long, but it is really a very simple and quick process. Trust me, if you can make pudding, you can do this! He can do, she can do, why not me!
This is what you start out with:
This acorn starch. If you are gluten-free, make sure there are no glutenous additions in the flour – acorns themselves do not contain gluten.
You will need:
5 cups water
1 cup acorn starch
a few drops of sesame oil
a sprinkle of salt
Bring 4 cups of water to a gentle boil. Meanwhile mix the acorn starch with the remaining cup of water,
and slowly add, while constantly stirring, to the boiling water.
Stir vigorously the entire time it’s cooking. Boil until the bubbles look like this:
quickly add a sprinkle of salt and a couple drops of sesame oil and make sure it’s all mixed in well.
Then pour into a pan, and smooth out top:
Time to let it cool off – this might take several hours in the refrigerator, until it is solid, and chilled through.
Then cut into strips, like this:
Then, cut a pickling cucumber, or any cucumber, into thin strips, and put onto the jelly:
You can get creative now and add things, like thin strips of beef, cut up, hard-boiled egg, cut up tomatoes, even strawberries or thin melon slices, small young lettuce leaves, watercress, cut up kim chi – it’ll all taste fantastic!
Now, take some raw seaweed, a sheet that hasn’t been toasted yet, and toast, like this (if you don’t have any, it’s fine to serve without, just adds more authenticity)
Crumble the seaweed and put over the acorn jelly.
Serve with some of this sauce:
And some chilled kim chi juice, and a bowl of ice water.
To eat, mix with the sauce ice, and kim chi juice, to your taste.
Dr. Tae Yun Kim told me that after the war, in her teen years, she would get this as a very special treat, once in a very long while, and she still enjoys this simple, healthy treat now.
I love this a lot, especially on a hot summer day, and if you are lucky enough to live near a Korean store or restaurant, you might be able to find ready made acorn jelly, and all you have to do is to add the sauce!