In Korea, a cold winter wind is a sign of many things, but one thing is for sure: Mu (무, Korean radishes) are getting sweeter and tastier, and it’s finally the right season for oysters again.
There’s a reason why ganjang gaejang (간장게장) is one of the side dishes we call 밥도둑 (bap doduk), or “rice thief” in Korean.
Smack dab in the middle of spring, we find huge bundles of beautiful bright green garlic scapes in the markets. You can pickle them in soy sauce but if you want to enjoy some right away, sautée and serve them as a banchan.
Nogak (노각), or old cucumber, is a cucumber that is aged on the vine until it develops a thick, golden skin and crunchy flesh.
Gae-tteok (개떡) is an easy rice cake made with fragrant green herbs.
It’s not a well-known fact that tangpyeongchae (탕평채, mung bean jelly salad) is a traditional food for Ipchun (입춘), the first day of spring.
Seomcho (섬초, also called pohangcho, 포항초) is a wonderfully sweet, delicious winter spinach.
Pyeonsu (편수) are a kind of mandu (만두, dumpling) made with square wrappers and filled with either cucumber or ae-hobak (애호박, summer squash).
When I was working for Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City, I used to slice and deep fry lotus roots to be used as garnishes. Whenever I made these I couldn’t stop thinking about the salty and sweet soy sauce braised lotus root banchan in Korea.