Earthy, flavorful, and savory, stir-fried fernbrake, or gosari-namul, has always been one of my favorite sidedishes. I always have it in my bibimbap and I regularly have it as a side dish to rice. Recently I went to Goun temple in Uiseong, North Gyeongsang Province in Korea to learn about Korean Buddhist temple cuisine, and this dish was at the top of my list to learn. Korean temple cuisine forbids the use of garlic and onion, so I was curious how they would make it delicious without them.

At the temple I met the nun and chef Wonhae and she showed me her method of preparing gosari-namul. What I learned was the boiled and softened gosari must be blanched one more time before cooking to remove its fishy smell. If you have ever made or tasted gosari-namul before I’m sure you know what I mean. It has a slightly fishy smell that I always thought was natural, but Wonhae showed me how to remove the smell and expose the real natural smell of gosari. Even before we started filming, she said: “We have to boil some water to blanch this gosari!”

I’m happy to share this tip with you, my readers, as I love the taste and will probably follow this recipe forever!

gosari (fernbrake: 고사리)



How to soften dried gosari

  1. Rinse 1 ounce dried gosari (30 grams) in cold water a few times and add to a large heavy pot.
  2. Add 4 quarts (16 cups) water. Cover and cook for 1 hour over medium high heat.
  3. Open and stir the cooked gosari a few times with a wooden spoon and cover.
    gosari (fernbrake: 고사리나물)
  4. Turn off the heat and let it sit in the hot water for 3 hours with the lid closed.
    gosari (fernbrake: 고사리나물)
  5. Drain and rinse in cold water, changing water a few times. The gosari will expand to 11 ounces.
  6. Soak in a bowl of cold water for least 1 hour, up to overnight, and drain.
    gosari (fernbrake: 고사리나물)
  7. Your gosari is ready to be used!

Make gosari-namul

  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Blanch the softened gosari for 30 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon to remove any fishy smell. Drain and cut the gosari into bite size pieces.
    gosari (fernbrake: 고사리)
  2. Transfer the gosari to a bowl and mix with the soy sauce and perilla seeds oil.
    gosari namul (stir-fried fernbrake: 고사리나물)
  3. Heat a frying pan or a skillet. Add the vegetable oil and swirl to coat evenly. Add the marinated gosari. Gently stir it with a wooden spoon or long chopsticks for about 5 to 6 minutes until almost all of the liquid is evaporated. Stir it gently and be sure not to damage the stems or break them apart.
    gosari namul (stir-fried fernbrake: 고사리나물)
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil and ground sesame seeds.
    gosari namul (stir-fried fernbrake: 고사리나물)
  5. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle more sesame seeds over top. Serve with rice.
    gosari namul (stir-fried fernbrake: 고사리나물)
  6. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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  1. Coriander Central NJ joined 12/18 & has 7 comments

    What a wonderful video! Will you make any recipes for using fresh fernbrake? Perhaps in spring? I do not think it is illegal to gather it where I live, and it grows in great abundance.

  2. Cornelius B. Ecuador joined 12/17 & has 42 comments

    I watched this video twice: more for the sake of the beautiful temple and gorgeous landscape than for the recipe, I must admit. But if I had the chance some day to visit that temple and meet Wonhae, I´d certainly enjoy her buddhist cuisine. Korea is so beautiful!

  3. peonygirl portland, oregon joined 8/09 & has 51 comments

    This was such a joy to watch Maangchi! What beautiful country that was, so green. I love hearing rain and being out in it. It has a calming effect.
    I hope to visit Korea in a couple years on an adoptee tour. I look forward to visiting my birth country!
    Are you familiar with Cheongchoungnam-do province? That is where I’m from!

    You are so wonderful to watch. You have made many people’s lives much richer. Thank you.


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your nice comment. I’m happy to hear that you like this video clip. Oh, you are from Cheongchoungnam-do? Yes of course I know it, Daejon is the capital. Is that where you’re from?

      • peonygirl portland, oregon joined 8/09 & has 51 comments

        Hi Maangchi!
        I have records that have my mother’s family tree. In all my other papers it says I was born in Seoul but I think the officials just wrote that to avoid confusion.

        I even have the address. I have no idea what city but here is what is written! 1-1 Byeokgye- ri, Kwangcheon-up, Hongseong-gu, Choongcheongnam-do. I think Hongseong is the county? I’m not sure! Someday soon I would like to try and find my birth mother. It’s tricky and difficult especially since I don’t speak Korean and there are such social and emotional barriers.

        I appreciate you very much Maangchi. I hope to meet you someday. I’m nearly 50 now, so my mother may be dead already but I should still visit Korea.

        You are not just a cook that everyone loves, you are a historian and teacher! You have influenced people from all over the world to learn about and make delicious food. Thank you!


        • sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 308 comments

          No; the county is Choongcheongnam-do (충청남-도 – with aspirated “ch”).

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

          The place you came from is very small. I think if you go there and ask any old people there you might find some info about your mom. I hope you can find her someday.

          This is the address in Korean:
          충청남도 홍성군 광천읍 벽계리

          It says:
          Chungcheong-namdo Hongseong-gun Gwangcheon-eup Byeokgye-ri
          “Do” is province, “gun” is county, “eup” is district, and “ri” is village.

          • peonygirl portland, oregon joined 8/09 & has 51 comments

            Thank you very much Maangchi! I knew Hongsung was the county- it states it on my adoption record.

            One day soon I will take an adoptees tour. I’m sure I could find someone who knows my birth mother. My aunt is also listed so maybe she is alive as well.
            I appreciate you writing back Maangchi!!

  4. Ermin Fei Indonesia joined 2/15 & has 32 comments

    I love watching your enthusiasm in teaching us the authentic Korean dishes.. my husband is Korean, and he’s been enjoying the food which I learn from you.. once again, thank you for being so inspirational, Maangchi ssi ^o^

  5. Ermin Fei Indonesia joined 2/15 & has 32 comments

    Thank you for sharing this video about your trip to the temple. I will try this dish today. I can’t stop laughing when your umbrella broke.. hahaha i am so sorry
    I hope you find peace and a good rest during the rest of your holiday in Korea

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