Korean cooking forum topics:
My children are half-Korean (on my hubbie’s side) and so far, my son LOVES LOVES LOVES everything Korean. However, my daughter, unfortunately, has extreme allergies and cannot ingest anything containing soy (including soya sauce and tofu) and seeds (including sesame oil, sesame seeds and nori/kim).
Can you recommend or modify any existing recipes so that she may at least have something Korean? Her grandma (my hubbie’s mom) is at a loss and doesn’t know what she can cook for my daughter.
Every time she brings any banchan or Korean food over, we have to “hide” them from my daughter. Please help.
Hello NKMummy, I’m not Maangchi of course, but I read your message and thought I’d let you know that there is a soy free “soy” sauce! It’s made from coconut and apparently it’s available at whole foods :D
I think you could make recipes the normal way, but leave out the sesame oil and seeds. You could even just set aside a portion for your daughter and put the seeds and oil only in the portions of food for other family members.
I would need to check with her allergist first regarding the coconut alternative…she may not be able to take coconut either.
I did try to make a lot of the recipes by substituting soya sauce with kosher salt, and adding sesame oil and sesame seeds to separate portions, or simply omitting sesame oil and sesame seeds altogether. However, we realized that once we omitted the sesame and soy, the whole dish tastes different.
So I was just wondering if there are any Korean dishes out there that does not contain soy or sesame, yet still tastes authentic.
So far the only thing my daughter can have and likes is cold noodle.
We’ll keep looking. :o)
Sesame oil, if you can get it pure, is not allergenic – it is the proteinaceous part of sesame seeds that causes allergies. If you are certain you have 100% pure sesame oil you should be able to give it to your daughter without any ill effects.
Have you considered trying to find someone living in Korea to ask them what they do when someone is allergic to all of the base constituents of Korean food?
As for foods containing none of those vital ingredients, you could make your daughter dasik which is a pressed cookie. Also Maangchi’s recipe for hoedok (sweet pancakes) can be made without the walnuts. You could also make the incredibly delicious chicken porridge as that has none of those ingredients – it is so tasty. Maangchi’s fried chicken is one of the yummiest things you will ever eat – that has none of the ingredients you mentioned.
Here are the links to some recipes that should be safe.
http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/hoddeok – sweet pancakes – omit the walnuts
http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/dakjuk – don’t need to omit anything
http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/yangnyeom-tongdak – no need to omit anything
Those are three amazing recipes that your daughter should be able to eat. They were found quite easily just by looking through some of the recipes on the site – I recommend looking at each recipe and seeing if they contain those problem ingredients – many don’t.
Thanks JamieF for pointing me to those recipes. I’d been concentrating mostly on recipes for barbeques, stews and soups thus far, that I haven’t even encountered the recipes you mentioned.
My daughter is one of those special little ones that is allergic to almost everything, but I am going to check with her allergist and try to find the 100% Pure Sesame Oil you mentioned as well, and see if she’s alright with it.
She’s also allergic to wheat, but I think that I can substitute the wheat flour and still be successful with the yangnyeom tongdak…(hopefully)?!?!
I just wanted to be able to cook something authentic for her and as a way to remind her of her heritage … :)
You could also prepare a bowl of bibimbap with veggies and meat arranged atop the rice. Cook the veggies like the recipe says but without the soy or sesame; find some seasoning she does like and can have for her special bowl. Add the egg, teach her how to stir it all up, and at least she has the experience of a genuine Korean dish!
NKMummy, your note really touched me on so many levels, especially the part of your mother in law feeling at such a loss. My mom is all about loving my kids with her korean cooking.
My son has a gluten sensitivity and had suffered from really serious eczema as a result. Whole Foods here where I am in Oakville, Ontario has a concierge service that really helped my mom understand how to help Brennan and help my mom cook modifying and introducing her to other ways to use gluten free ingredients. Take your mother in law shopping. Show her what she needs to know to cook for your daughter. She might surprise you.
Good luck and happy cooking.
Thank you Jierui and Jimin!
To Jierui ~ that is an awesome idea…we’re going to try that…at least she won’t feel like she has to eat something different! Hopefully JamieF’s suggestion works and she can take pure sesame oil…her pediatrician said something similar, but our allergist (who is my allergist as well) is very protective of her…so he may say otherwise…hopefully not…
To Jimin ~ I know what you mean…I can see the helplessness in my mother-in-law’s face sometimes. My in-laws barely speak English, so my mother-in-law always feel uncomfortable with me…totally understandable…she tried to have me help her prepare the New Year celebratory food once…but she kept saying….”no…too big…not hamburger…smaller…” I was trying to roll some tofu/meat mixture something to be dipped and fried in eggs later. I know she tried to teach me, but she always says that she learnt by tasting, not by measurement, so it’s hard for her to teach me since I don’t know how dishes “should” taste…
I truly believe that children should always celebrate their heritage…and when you’re half/half…even better…that means you have the best of both worlds. :o)
We’re just the opposite – I’m Korean and my husband is not. You still, using Maangchi’s recipes must impress your mother in law quite a bit.
Up until I discovered Maangchi’s methods to Korean cooking, trying to learn from my own mother was just exasperating. But don’t you find that after a while of cooking, you learn to measure using taste just like our mothers do?
All the best, it sounds like you have a very lovely family.
hi, NKMummy, I have read this….
I feel really touched on how you tried your best to make your kid happy….
I am a half korean too….
umm, I only want to tell you something that my mom told me when I was helping her cooking…
we have same trouble, confused on how is something should taste.
but my mom is always say:
Why should you care about it?
If it’s fit your taste, so be it, then.
I think they learnt by tasting it, wether it’s delicious for them or not.
umm.. I think I’ll only said that…
sorry if I lecturing you…
I don’t mean it
ohh, and, I heard that was some kind of flour that didn’t cause any allergy..
but I forgot what it name was…..
I hope this comment help you…
and I wish you found the way…
Just wanted to update everyone:
Thanks JamieF for the suggestion, unfortunately, my daughter still broke out after using pure sesame oil. I’m thinking the sesame oil is either not 100% or it doesn’t work. I’m going to try Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s version next.
I have been diligently examining every recipe and ingredients on Maangchi’s website. I will try a recipe verbatim (so that I would know how it “should” taste), then try it without sesame oil and substitute soya sauce with salt. So far, we have come upon 2 recipes that my daughter really loves: seolleongtang and ddeokguk. She’s not a big meat-eater, but she loves the soup (we have it with rice). And she simply adores the ddeokguk! She can’t get enough of it! I was SO HAPPY! My mother-in-law says that ddeokguk is only for New Year celebration. I understand where she’s coming from, but in our case, I think it’s okay to have rice cake soup anytime of the year.
I’ll continue to try out other recipes, but I just wanted to thank everyone who responded and contributed such wonderful ideas.
PS My son LOVED the fried chicken…he calls it his new KFC–Korean Fried Chicken!
PPS Cheonyong ~ thank you for your post and, No, I didn’t feel that you were lecturing me in anyway.
NKMummy: Trader Joe’s sounds like a good option – I have heard their food is very good quality :)
I was just doing some research about sesame oil allergies. My uncle can’t take it at all he breaks out in a rash. The alternative I have used is perilla oil. It gives it a slightly earthy flavor. Have you tried making your own toasted sesame oil?
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