Thursday, February 17, 2011

Seoul Cooking: Moo Mu Jorim

Okay, so maybe the title of this recipe is a bit too clever. It's a crosslinguistic description of the main ingredients in this dish: pork (using the Thai word) and Korean radish (which is like a chubby Japanese daikon). While it might evoke blousy Hawaiian beachware, it's intended to reflect the main inspirations for this dish: a meatball recipe from a popular Korean blogger, a Chinese-Thai dish that my friend A. taught me how to make in Chiang Mai this past December called "puh-loh,"  and a soy-simmered Korean pickle of cucumbers, hot peppers and the aforementioned radish that I watched the early stages of making but unfortunately was unable to sample at Cheonjangsa and still need to research, called, simply, "지" (ji) (some of the monks had never heard of it).

I intended this as a banchan that you eat with rice and other side dishes. It's pretty strongly flavored. The meatballs were extra delicious with the addition of some tangerine gochujang that I got from my host on Jeju. 

Moo Mo Jorim
Makes approximately 6-8 servings as a banchan

-Ground pork approx. 1/2 pound or 300 grams
-Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) 1-2 teaspoons
-Soy sauce, generous splash
-1 clove garlic, minced

-One large mu, peeled and cut into 1" chunks

Seasoning (to your taste):
-1-2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
-1 teaspoon brown sugar
-Several splashes apple cider vinegar

1. Mix the meatball ingredients thoroughly. Roll the meatballs into approx. 1" balls. Steam for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, in a large wok pan or pot, heat up a bit of oil over medium heat. Add the radish pieces and stirfry for a few minutes, then add the soy sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar, plus 1-2 cups of water (just enough to cook the radish and make a broth). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the radish is cooked.

3. When the meatballs are finished steaming, add them to the pot containing the radishes, stirring carefully to coat them in sauce. Add water if needed, then cover again and simmer to incorporate the meatballs (as long as you want but just a few minutes is probably enough).

4. Serve with rice as part of a Korean-style meal with other side dishes. Cucumbers are nice.

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