Friday, June 1, 2007

Doenjang Ghuk and Misosiru

Fermented soybean paste takes important place in East Asian cuisine.

Here are two of my favorites.

Doenjang is Korean fermented bean paste which has very sharp and salty taste.

It has many uses. Here it is used in soup with spinach. (Ghuk)
Doenjang Ghuk is a ghuk which Doenjang is used to flavor the soup. The base and main ingredients of this soup varies depending on the season and preference. Doenjang Ghuk with various bitter-tasting leafy greens is a rustic but welcomed delicacy of spring. I love to have small clam based Doenjang ghuk during the winter.

I remember my grandmother used to make Doenjang at home. My grandmother steamed soybeans and pounded it into paste. I loved to munch on steamed beans and to play with the paste while she formed block called mea-joo, the pre-from of Doenjang. I was quite happy to see my small mea-joo next to my granma’s well-formed big ones.

Miso is Japanese bean paste which has milder and sweeter taste compare to Doenjang.

Good miso soup makes great light supper. I flavored broth with ginger, shitaki, and sea weed.
It is a great disappointment to taste tasteless miso soup in the restaurant. It means to me that the restaurant doesn’t care about the basics.

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