Saturday, October 21, 2017

Korean Temple Food Center - Deodeok Salad

Korean Temple Food Center near Anguk station, Seoul, regularly hosts cooking classes on Saturdays. Classes usually are limited from 20 - 30 people and cost from W10,000 - W20,000. Sign-up is necessary as the classes are becoming more and more well-known, and therefore, finding vacancy is getting more difficult. So a few weeks ago I took a mandoo-making class, and even won a participation prize, which the teaching monk remembered and introduced me as First Prize Winner from a previous cooking class. Haha, I just participated. Everyone who participated won a prize. (Big smile!)

Anyway, today's class wasn't anything traditional but one of our friends thought it would be informative as she is a vegetarian. Team spirit - we signed up together.

Root Vegetable Salad with Deodeok

deodeok (a starchy root, vague astringent) - 3 pieces
carrot - 20 grams
beet - 20 grams
sweet potato - 1/2
spring greens - handful


Korean pear - 1/4
walnut - 1
peanuts - 1 T
olive oil - 1 T
pine nuts - 1 T
rice syrup - 2 T
lemon juice - 1 T
salt - 1/2 t (wow, that's a lot!)
Again our instructions in English were hilarious: "Feel the skin!" 
  1. "Feel" the skin of the deodeok
  2. Cut all root vegetables into 6-7cm long pieces, then soak in water to soften
  3. Transfer the sauce ingredients to the mixer, and grind to a coarse paste
  4. Wash the spring greens, and shake off excess water
  5. Drain the softened root veggies, and lay them decoratively in a dish
  6. Drizzle sauce on top and serve
(right to left) the monk who gives cooking directions, the translator since this is a export-Korean-culture-activity for foreigners, and the cooking assistant who makes sure the monk has everything she needs at all times
chop chop chop chop chop chop
then beat the deodeok with a rolling pin to tenderize it ... very labor intensive way of cooking
after the chop chop chop chop chop
it's chew chew chew chew
And then after preparing everything all participants sat down in their cooking groups of four to eat together. It was rather interesting to look around and see the food with the same ingredients and chopping methods presented in various ways. Our team's effort (not pictured) wouldn't have won any presentation prizes, but the flavor was pretty good. I found the light meal satisfying so didn't want to put more food on top, but eating the vegetarian Buddhist way isn't for everyone and two of our group went out for gogi mandoo (meat) afterwards. 

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