We have a weekly radio segment on the morning program Koreascape called “Local Eats,” and this week we have a special show.
Tbs eFM is celebrating its 7th anniversary, so a couple of weeks ago, our producer called us up: “We’re going to have a live audience,” she told us. “And we’d like to include some foods they can easily and quickly make.” Live? In the studio? “Yes. And something seasonal, of course. And something… celebratory. Oh, and no cooking with heat,” she added. It was a bit of a puzzle, but we finally figured it out: Got-gam hodu mari (곶감호두말이, walnuts rolled in dried persimmon) is made with ingredients perfectly in season, is a beautiful dessert that was served to Joseon-era royalty, and on top of it all, is surprisingly simple to make. “Mari” means “roll” (it’s essentially a roulade), so the only equipment you’ll need is a knife, cutting board, bamboo rolling mat, and some cling wrap. In the absence of a rolling mat, a kitchen towel will help in a pinch (your roll won’t turn out quite as even).
You can listen to us make this dessert (and talk about other celebratory foods as well) on 101.3 FM in Seoul tomorrow from 9 to 10am. We’ll post the link later when it’s up, but in the meantime, enjoy this sneak preview and recipe.
Ingredients (per roll)
3 got-gam (dried persimmons)
6 whole walnut halves
a few dabs of honey
1. Cut off the top and bottom of the persimmon, then slice the fruit down one side lengthwise (don’t cut all the way through, just to the center!) so it opens up into a nice, flat piece. Repeat for each fruit.
Make sure to remove any seeds.
2. Take two halves of walnut and stick them together with honey. Repeat.
3. Get a bamboo rolling mat, place a layer of cling wrap over the top, and layer your three pieces of got-gam on it so their edges overlap.
4. Place your walnut pieces, one in the center of each piece of fruit, and start rolling.
As you roll, press down tightly and evenly.
5. Once you’ve made a nice tight roll, you can slice each piece with the cling wrap still on, making each piece a little less than 1cm thick.
6. Remove the pieces of cling wrap and arrange on a plate.
p.s. A few tips: When choosing your got-gam, try to get geonsi (건시, fully-dried persimmon) instead of bansi (반시, half-dried persimmon). Bansi will be too soft and sticky. Also, to make your roll easier to slice, stick it in the freezer for around 30 minutes before cutting.