Spring workshop: Abalone and spring greens

You can’t talk about Korean food in spring without talking about bom-namul (봄나물, spring greens), but while putting together the menu for this event, we felt like something was missing.We wanted to make this something special, and filling—and suddenly we remembered our friends over at Abalone Farmers. We had contacted them a few months ago to interview them for our radio segment. They’re one branch of an abalone-farming family, operating a store near Hapjeong Station, and they get deliveries of fresh abalone from their farm in Wando every morning. We love how they’re using great design and social media to encourage young Seoul residents (who, these days, are likely more familiar with lobster than abalone) to eat more local seafood. Also worth noting: They deliver and speak English, so it won’t be difficult to order from them if you don’t speak Korean!

Anyhow, Abalone Farmers liked the idea of working with us on this event—in Korea, people know that winter is abalone season, and also think of abalone in the summer, as one option in your samgyetang (삼계탕, ginseng chicken soup). But spring? Not as much. They graciously gave us some abalone to work with, and here’s the menu Seoyoung came up with:

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menu

abalone hwae (sashimi) with

saebal-namul salad

세발나물 샐러드를 곁들인 전복회

steamed abalone with root vegetable purée and spring herbs

뿌리 야채 퓨레와 봄나물을 곁들인 전복술찜

naengi (shepherd’s purse) abalone porridge

전복내장으로 만든 진한 냉이 전복죽

dessert

mountain yam and pear smoothie

둥근마와 배로 만든 스무디

 

Normally, our menus at bburi kitchen tend to be a little more on the traditional side, but this time Seoyoung wanted to exercise a little more of her creativity. She was trained in classic French cuisine and worked in Michelin-starred restaurants—and as crazy as that world can be, you miss it sometimes, too. However, the base recipes are still very Korean, and aren’t too difficult to follow. Here are two that you can try at home:

jeonbok sul-jjim (전복술찜, abalone steamed in wine)

jeonbok juk (전복죽, abalone porridge)

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The event started off with a display of spring greens and discussion of how you can use these in your cooking. Then it was on to a lesson on how to shuck abalone.

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After shucking their abalone, our guests sliced them up and plated their first course, the abalone hwae on a bed of saebal-namul greens in dressing of soy sauce, rice wine, plum extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and roasted black sesame seed.

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Second course: steamed abalone! This was everyone’s favorite.

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Next, abalone porridge.

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We unfortunately didn’t take photos of the dessert, a mild, creamy smoothie made with asian pear and ma (마, mountain yam). Oops.

Many thanks to our guests for coming, to Abalone Farmers for the abalone, and to our friend Sunghoon Cho for taking the gorgeous event photos you saw above!

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