Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mushroom-radish "Dumplings"

Korean Temple Food Center located near Anguk Station regularly holds cooking classes for Buddhist "slow food" cuisine. Seems odd to use the French word 'cuisine' for the earthy simplicity of Korean Buddhist food, but that's how the temple markets their food cooking experience. 

Some friends and I signed up for a "white radish and mushroom dumpling" cooking experience. Afterwards I posted pictures on Facebook of my tasty experience and some of my Korean friends hit the picts and asked for recipes. And like them, I had never seen this food before either. Very tasty. Very simple. Will be made again.

Maybe about 30 expats were in the guest kitchen space, and everyone was grouped in 4-person work stations. Each station was equipped with sink, counter space, burners, pots and pans, cooking utensils, and along the wall were shelf insets filled with Korean ceramic ware in earthy tones and not made to match like in Western society. The earthy experience of "down-to-earth" food was even reflected in the serving dishes!

So each group was given a plate of ingredients and a recipe in English which we were told to follow. We cracked up, but since we were given such explicit directions, we just went along and did indeed "Feel the radish and cut thinly". 

White Radish and Mushroom Dumplings


1/3 white radish, 10 shitake mushrooms, dumpling wrappers, perilla and sesame oils, salt and pepper with roasted sesame sprinkled on top and vinegar and other sauce ingredients if desired

  1. Feel the radish and cut thinly (hahahaha!)
  2. Toss the radish with sprinklings of salt and let sit for 5 minutes, then stir-fry lightly with perilla oil
  3. Chop the shitake mushrooms and stir-fry lightly with salt and pepper
  4. In a bowl, toss the stir-fried radish and mushrooms and season more if necessary, then fill dumpling wrappers with this filling and press the edges closed.
  5. Steam the dumplings until the edges begin to look somewhat transparent (10-15 minutes)
  6. Serve immediately with dipping sauce

The monk who specializes in teaching Korean temple cuisine prepared our dipping sauce. She gave us the directions but I'll never make it again because, frankly, I'm lazy and would have to cook it. She also used a special home-preserved fruit syrup which almost no one has access to. Absolutely delicious though! I'm quite satisfied with mixing a quick combination of soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil with a pinch of sugar, and whoo-hoo, it takes less than 2 minutes without cooking. 

Taste testing our yummy dumplings before taking them to the table to eat properly!

Served with lightly marinated tomatoes, which I'd never seen before but which were absolutely scrumptious and the perfect compliment!

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