Sometimes when you’re busy, you just don’t have time to boil up a new batch of soup stock. So Korean ajummas (that’s “middle aged ladies” if you don’t already know this very useful term) have a few tricks up their sleeve for especially busy days. I recently started attending a gathering of ajummas who like to cook and chit chat together. I’m the youngest in the group, and it is nice to be with elders, since there is always something that you can learn from their wisdom of life.
Anyhow, one of the ladies started to mention this brilliant stock and the teacher (전명배) pulled out this jar of soup stock from her fridge and it reminded me of a recipe that I’d used a long time ago for just the same purpose. I took a tip from the teacher and added radish to mine as well. The great thing about this stock? No pots, no boiling, no mess. Just throw your ingredients and water into a jar and stick it into the fridge.
One tip from the teacher: After you pour out the first infusion, save the veggies and add more water for a second batch. When using the second batch, throw in everything: the stock and the solids. (I used to throw out the solid parts. 😛 Yay! Let’s be economical!)
As the name suggests, I didn’t even bother to measure out all the ingredients, but the following list is based on my best guess. You can’t really mess this one up anyhow!
two pieces of dried dashima* (다시마, 4×6 cm) or a small handful of shredded, dried dashima
two very small dried pyogo (표고, shiitake) mushrooms
about 10 dried anchovies (멸치, larger anchovies for soup stock)
one small handful of dried radish (무말랭이)
500ml water, room temperature or even cold water is fine
Put everything into a jar together and let it sit in your fridge overnight and up to 3 days (if you’re in a hurry, leave it at room temperature, and it will still be good to go a couple of hours later). Sometimes the water gets a slightly viscous texture from the dashima (it’s a kind of seaweed after all) but don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal and will go away as soon as you boil your stock for soup.
You can use this stock as a base for doenjang soups, fish braising liquid, or really anything that you’d use stock for. Try using it for cooking pasta and let us know how it goes!
*dashima (다시마) is a kind of seaweed that adds depth of flavor. In English-speaking countries, it’s often called by its Japanese name, kombu.