Friday, April 20, 2012

Doenjang Jjiggae - Korean Miso Soup

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Happy 4/20 folks! I just realized it was high stoner holiday today... Not that it really matters. But what is really interesting is what I read in the news today.

Apparently, yogurt GROWS balls. Yeah...a recent study by scientists at MIT fed mice yogurt and they found that the testicles of yogurt consumers were about 5 percent heavier. WHAT?! So lay off the junk food unless you want your balls to shrivel up like raisins! HAHA

On the note of probiotics. I'm going to show you how to use Doenjang, which is Korean fermented soybean paste. It sounds really gross but it just doesn't have a pretty name like tempeh, miso or natto, which are all practically the same. And now it's time to present health related news of the day...

FERMENTED SOYBEANS > raw soybean products

Did you know that non-fermented soybean products like tofu contains lots of good nutrients like isoflavones that is not bioavailable to your bodies? Fermentation transforms your everyday soybeans into a superfood, that makes your gut happy with lots of friendly microflora. That sounds like great bowel movement to me :D And that also means a wealth of nutrients and boosting your immunity. 

Anyway, doenjang is considered one of the mother sauces in Korea. It comes from fermenting soybeans, then separating the liquids and solids. That liquid becomes your soy sauce and the remaining mashed beans become doenjang. 

It is really a gut warming and lovely soup, that cures hangovers and all kinds of ailments. Haha ok I guess I should write a disclaimer. Just because I put it in my blog and I believe it, doesn't mean its 100% true 'kay? So don't sue me :)

Doenjang Jjigae - 된장 찌개
Sorry for the blurry images! My DSLR is at home and not here in DC :(

1 large piece of kelp/ kombu (3x3')
6 dried anchovies (opt out for vegetarians and vegans)
2 cups water
1/2 diced onion
1/2 chopped up chilies (serrano, jalapeno, whatever tickles your fancy)
1/2 diced zucchini
1/2 block of tofu
1/2 pack of enoki mushrooms (or any kind)
1 stalk of green onion

2-3 tbsp doenjjang (Korean miso/ bean paste)
1/2-1 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
2 tsp Korean chili powder
salt/ pepper to taste

There are 3 ways in which you can flavor your soup.
Bring to boil in a pot 2 cups of water and...
1. A large piece of kelp (vegetarians)
2. Kelp and anchovies
3. A palm size amount of chuck meat (fry this in garlic and oil first before adding water)

The picture to your left shows the net device I talked about earlier so you can easily take out the anchovies once you're done with it. But I'm lazy so I just leave it in there and fish it out while I'm eating :/

So now you've chose one of those three options and the water should be heating up on medium high.

Prepare all the vegetables and tofu. I like to dice them, but whatever shape tickles your fancy.

Once the water starts boiling, add your onions and zucchini. Let it boil for a good 7 mins before you add your chilies, chili powder, doenjjang and gochujang.

Bring to boil again (2 mins) and add your tofu. Boil that for around 3 mins and add your mushrooms. Taste it now. If you want it saltier and deeper in flavor you can always add more doenjjang or a pinch of salt.

Garnish with some spring onions and enjoy with a steaming bowl of rice!

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