Monday, July 18, 2011

Oi Naengguk 오이 냉국

As promised from yesterday, I have come back today with a dish that is perfect for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere. The dish is bound to be refreshing and cooling in the heat.

Naengguk(냉국) refers to all kinds of cold guk(국) (soups) in Korean cuisine, mainly eaten in summer. It is so called changuk(찬국), which literally means "cold soup" in pure Korean, while the term naengguk is a combination of a hanja word and a pure Korean word with the same meaning.

Naengguk (냉국), which are cold soups generally eaten during the summer months to cool the diner. A light hand is usually used in the seasoning of these soups usually using ganjang and sesame oil

Naengguk (냉국) is largely divided into two categories according to seasoning and ingredients. The first category is made by mixing chilled water and vinegar to give a sour and sweet taste such as miyeok naengguk (미역
냉국) made with wakame, oi naengguk (오이 냉국) made with cucumber, pa naengguk (바냉국) made with spring onions, nameul naengguk (나믈냉국) made with garlic, and gim naengguk (김냉국) made with gim or nori. The other category is made to supplement health and has rich tastes such as chilled soup made with chicken, sesame, or soybeans.

You may find that this recipe is similar to one that I had posted about a year ago on naengmyeon (냉면). 냉면 is a cold noodle dish whilst 오이 냉국 is a cold soup.

I have chosen to do the cucumber soup because it is more easy and cucumber is a vegetable that we are more willing to eat...compared to garlic.

NOW, for the recipe.

* 4 mini cucumbers or 1 regular cucumber, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
* 2 shallots, cut into matchstick strips
* 2 teaspoons sea salt
* 4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
* 3 Tablespoons sugar
* 1 Tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
* 3 cups cold water
* 1 green onion, sliced into thin rings
* 1 hot red chili pepper, seeded and cut into thin rings
* ice cubes, optional

1. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, shallots and salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and water. Add this mixture to the cucumber.

3. Add the green onions and mix well. Place in the refrigerator until well chilled. Garnish with red pepper rings. Add an ice cube or two in each bowl to keep the soup extra cold, if desired.

Serves three to four.

So there you go, a nice cold dish that is simple to prepare in the hot and humid Korean weather conditions.

I hope you all enjoy that whilst I go and make myself some ddeokbokki because it is cold right now.

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