4.043 Tangpyeongchae [with recipe]

-Cycle 4, Item 43-
17 (Sun) February 2013



by me

at home

-Oksu, Seoul-

with Wife and Dominic

In preparation of my mother's birthday this coming Friday, when my wife will be preparing a feast for the occasion, we thought that experimenting with a couple dishes in advance would be wise to ensure that they'd work.  This tangpyeongchae was one such dish (see generally 2.271 Tangpyeongchae).  Freestyling without a recipe, from scratch, I managed to pull off a reasonably respectable  representation.  That's one less thing to worry about on d-day.

In doing so, I developed the recipe below by taking notes/photos and retested the measurements in subsequent batches.  


Recipe for Tangpyeongchae
(serves 2-4)

If working with premade muk, which is fine (except for whatever chemicals that may have been added at the factory), skip steps 1-4 below; but making the muk by hand is ridiculously easy and cheap--this packet cost 3,000 won, enough to make 10 batches of this recipe.

2 cups water 
1/4 cup cheongpo (green lentil) powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 cup (about 35 g) minari (see comments under Step 5 below)
3 cups (about 150 g) sukju (see comments under Step 5 below)
1 egg
1 pinch salt
1/2 tbs canola oil (any light vegetable oil will suffice)
1 tbsp light soy sauce (if using regular soy sauce, use just 2 tsp)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar (if using regular distilled vinegar, use just 1 tsp)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pinch sugar
1 sheet (about 1/2 cup crumbled) seasoned dried laver (if using unseasoned dried laver, add an extra pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp of sesame oil)
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

The initial attempt involved 1 cup of powder as indicated on the package, but it turned out to be way too much.

1.  In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, stir the cheongpo powder, salt, and sugar in the water to thoroughly dissolve.

It turned to paste within seconds.

2.  Once thickened, cook the paste for 10 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid the formation of lumps; add more water as necessary to maintain a smooth viscous consistency.

Having an abundance of paste, I experimented with various molds.

3.  Pour the paste flat into a large wide pan/tray and set aside for about 20 minutes until the paste has cooled and set into a jelly. 

Even without any oil, the muk easily separated from the molds.

4.  Remove the jelly cake ("muk (묵)") from the pan/tray and slice into thin strips.

Above: the traditional rectangular strips; 
below: I might try the modernist half-moon shapes in a future plating.

5.  Meanwhile, trim and cut the minari into 4-cm lengths.

Sukju are mung bean sprouts--not kongnamul (콩나물), the soy bean sprouts more common in Korean cuisine.

Minari is a native Korean reed (see generally 3.292 Stir-Fried Minari in Oyster Sauce)--if unavailable, substitute with a stringy green vegetable, such as spinach.

6.  Parboil the minari and sukju in a large pot of water for about 20 seconds until limp, drain and rinse under cold water, and gently squeeze out the remaining moisture. 

7.  Beat the egg with the salt.

8.  Heat the oil in a medium pan over low heat, pour the egg mix into the pan in a thin layer, cook for about 10 seconds until the bottom has set, turn off the heat, and flip the egg sheet over and let it sit for another 10 seconds to cook through.

 The yolks and whites are traditionally separated and cooked separately; here, I scrambled the whole egg together; the pan was too hot when I added the egg, making it bubble upon contact and turn into this rough mess.

9.  Remove the egg sheet onto a cutting board, allow it to cool, then cut it into thin ribbons.

 But once sliced into ribbons, no big deal.

10.  Place the dried laver in a plastic bag and crumble the sheet by hand into flakes.

11.   In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and black pepper to make a dressing.

12.   To the bowl, add the muk, minari, sukju, egg, and laver, along with the sesame seeds, and toss gently.

 Everything can be prepared far in advance, kept separate (especially the dressing), and tossed just prior to serving.

13.  Serve.

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