Today’s recipe is a sweet, sour, and spicy mushroom dish with water dropwort, called Beoseot minari chomuchim. It’s a variation of a popular traditional Korean dish that’s prepared the same way but uses squid instead of mushrooms (called ojingeo minari chomuchim), and something I came up with in my hotel room in Sydney, Australia during my Gapshida tour. I was making the squid version to bring to the Sydney readers’ meetup & potluck, and quickly whipped up this vegetarian alternative in case some people didn’t like squid.
To my surprise, most of the people at the party preferred my mushroom version to the original! I promised them I would post the recipe someday, and here it is!
I use king oyster mushrooms in this version, but you could use other mushrooms, too. Blanched mushrooms go well with water dropwort, the textures of each play off each other and both are awesome with this Korean-style sweet, sour, and spicy sauce. Water dropwort (called minari in Korean) can be hard to find, so you can substitute it with parsley leaves, or even basil leaves.
Enjoy the recipe and hello Australia! This is for you!
Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6):
- 1/3 an English cucumber, sliced in 3 to 3 1/2 inch long and thin strips
- ½ medium carrot, peeled, and sliced in 3 to 3 1/2 inch long and thin strips
- ½ a medium-sized onion, sliced thinly
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ pound king oyster mushrooms (5 to 6 large king oyster mushrooms), cut into thin strips lengthwise
- 1 bunch of water dropwort (minari): about 2 ounces, with the tough stems and leaves trimmed off
- ¼ cup hot pepper paste (gochujang)
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 green chili pepper (or jalapeno), stemmed, and chopped
- Combine cucumber, carrot, and onion in a bowl and mix with ½ teaspoon salt.
- Bring water to a boil in a pot. Blanch the mushrooms for 1 minute, then strain them with a strainer or a slotted spoon. Rinse them in cold water. Drain and squeeze to remove excess water. Put them in a mixing bowl.
- Reheat the water and blanch minari (water dropwort) for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Strain and rinse in cold water a couple of times, changing the water to clean them and to stop them from cooking. Squeeze out the excess water. Chop them into bite size pieces. Add to the mixing bowl.
- Squeeze out the excess water from the cucumber, carrot, and onion mixture and put it into the mixing bowl.
Make seasoning sauce
- Combine hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, and green onion in a bowl. Mix well and add to the vegetables in the mixing bowl.
- Add green chili pepper and mix well by hand or a wooden spoon.
Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve right away with rice. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.