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Help Me Identify This Korean Veggie


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It's driving me insane. It's a popular spring veggie (my mother just picked some yesterday) and it's called "duroop" or something along those lines in Korean. I am just looking for an english or scientific name.

It's a green shoot that is usually blanched and dipped in chojang. Sometimes there are really tender spikes or thorns on it that can be eaten, but you have to be careful when eating it or they will hurt when biting down.

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It's driving me insane too, because I shop at a huge Korean market every week and have no idea what you could talking about (large Korean community in NNJ). I also used to frequent the Korean restaurants and markets all around the Alexandria VA area when I lived down there (Annandale, Falls Church, Springfield, no market escaped me), and never saw anything matching your description there either.

Baby nettle shoots are available in spring. Their leaves closely resemble the Perilla (Sesame) leaves that are always used in Korean cooking, and can be used interchangeably.

Do they look anything like this?

gallery_51814_6492_12372.jpg

There's a moderator -- sorry, ummm, "host" -- here named Nakji (sp?) who was working her way through a Korean cookbook and I think lives in Korea. I'll bet she could set all of this straight. :smile:

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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There's a moderator -- sorry, ummm, "host" -- here named Nakji (sp?) who was working her way through a Korean cookbook and I think lives in Korea. I'll bet she could set all of this straight. smile.gif

Sorry - I'm drawing a blank here. Domestic Goddess's your best hope at this point, since she's in Korea!

Is it a "mountain vegetable"?

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nope not stinging nettle shoots and I don't know if it's a "mountain vegetable" as my mom finds it everywhere in nonmountainous (is that even a word?) settings.

I'm definitely going to take a crappy webcam photo of it and hopefully that will help you all on your quest to help me out! (:

I just want to know if only Koreans eat it or if it's eaten in Western cuisine as it's apparently plentiful here in the MD/DC area.

Batard, since you live close by maybe you can pick some up? Also I have NEVER ever ever seen it in a korean grocery store. Then again my family eats a ton of korean veggies that aren't found in korean stores

eta: oops Batard no longer lives in the area, but I bet you could find this stuff in the wilds of new jersey!

Edited by SheenaGreena (log)
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Okay here is a photo of the unknown vegetable. This time it has been blanched and marinated with a chogochujang based sauce that is really really yummy. I couldn't find the blanched only vegetable. Sorry guys, didn't feel like rooting through 4 freezers today :/

gallery_44829_4802_68411.jpg

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Cool. Now that we know the Korean characters for it, I'll ask about it the next time I go to the H-Mart. But since Sheena's never seen it at a Korean market, and I don't think I ever have either, I won't get my hopes up.

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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thanks so much! Tomorrow I'll post a photo of another weird vegetable. Its large leaves that are eaten raw with samgyupsal or pork and they look like squash leaves but they aren't

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I see Melonpan's already got it. I actually forgot to ask my student about it. Will try to help you in your next weird vegetable.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Sorry I'll try to post it tomorrow, or the next day ):

With the semester coming to an end, I am incredibly busy with term papers and homework.

I have 2 leafy veggies to show you guys though (:

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Okay here are those two veggies I was talking about:

This one is fairly small (as you can see it's about the size of my finger) and my family eats it raw in a salad application. We mix it in a salad with dandelion leaves, wild baby onions, red lettuce, and watercress. The salad dressing is just fish sauce, chile flakes, and I think some sesame oil? It's good with grilled meat

gallery_44829_4802_36066.jpg

This one is also eaten raw. I use it as ssam and wrap it around grilled or boiled samgyupsal. It has a slightly bitter taste and when it grows out of the grown, I can't find any visible fruits or flowers.

gallery_44829_4802_66201.jpg

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very curious as to what they are. youre right the second one does kind of look like squash leaves but squash leaves are not jagged.

is your family growing these? you dont have a guess as to how to korean names sound?

i also have some mystery greens but they are viet and i cannot find my photos of them. :-(

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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It surprises me that areas that have a large Korean population, like DC does or in my area of NNJ, that there's no farmers or anyone growing these unusual vegetables for the local communities. It's hard to believe that there's no market for this stuff. :sad:

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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Okay here are those two veggies I was talking about:

This one is fairly small (as you can see it's about the size of my finger) and my family eats it raw in a salad application.  We mix it in a salad with dandelion leaves, wild baby onions, red lettuce, and watercress.  The salad dressing is just fish sauce, chile flakes, and I think some sesame oil?  It's good with grilled meat

My mom says the first one is Don-Damul and second one is Chwi-Namul. :)

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Chwi namul is ligularia fischeri according to the Life in Korea site. I couldn't find any English sites mentioning don namul, although I do remember eating that in the spring, with a lovely gochujang vinaigrette. Mmm, spring greens.

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chwi namul is something else. I actually eat that all the time and it's relatively easy to find at the korean grocery store. It's not the same as the leaf in my profile picture. Oh well ): I'll figure it out eventually

Also Sedum sarmentosum looks similar to the don namul, but there are no yellow flowers on it so I wonder if its the same thing?

Anyone else have any unidentifiable veggies?

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hey sheena, just letting you know that im going to work on another short post but it will be in a little while. its been interesting researching this and i promise i will share what i find. :-)

have to go mow before the rains, and then reheat up some dinner. (we have some fresh ggaenip that i found in our tiny local market. cant wait!)

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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hey sheena, just letting you know that im going to work on another short post but it will be in a little while.  its been interesting researching this and i promise i will share what i find.  :-)

have to go mow before the rains, and then reheat up some dinner.  (we have some fresh ggaenip that i found in our tiny local market.  cant wait!)

Got it, it's Suaeda glauca (the accepted name now - but has many other names as the botanists are still working things out!) Suada asparagoides or Salsola asparagoides are also used commonly. It is a very variable species.

Having said that the photo also looks a little like Limnophila aromatica, rice patty herb, So-yeop-pul: http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Limn_aro.html

But that is not what your korean MIL said it was. Is this used much in Korean cuisine? I love this herb and grow it (not always very successfully) in little water gardens.

This site is very useful, but you have to know botany pretty well (I'm a botanist)

http://www.koreaplants.go.kr:9101/english/index.jsp

Incidentally, perilla is NOT sesame. Sesame is tastless - like a maple leaf. Perilla is Shiso (Japanese), and herbal, minty, unique and widely used. I have grown both sesame and perilla in my garden and it's obviously Korean Shiso. There are lots of perilla varieties out there, I've grown 4 - Japanese red, Japanese green, Korean Large Green, and Thai (green on top, red on bottom). The one I've grown is perilla frutescens. There are other varities of this plant, though I'm not sure which botanical varities are associated with the ones I've grown, and would have to visit the Herbarium. I do know the Korean variety is very different from the red shisho (which needs cold to germinate). So they may even be different species of perilla.

I don't know Korean, but it looks like perilla is So-yeop and Deul-kkae. Sesame is Cham-kkae - so I'm not sure where the mistranslation started. Wiki says something about 'wild sesame' being the literal translation. Maybe like we use yam and sweet potato to refer sometimes to the same thing (I actually am not opposed to this as that is what common names are - so someone who says sweet potatoes are not yams - I say they aren't potatoes either!). It may stem from the fact that both species have seeds that are edible and usefull for oil extraction rather than their leaves - 'Wild sesame/perilla' is a plant with edible seeds that you can roast and or extract edible oil (like you can do from cultivated sesame). The leaves are only slightly similar. Sesame is usually more narrow and a darker green and rougher.

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the one plant's leaves are too fat to be ride paddy herb, but the first option might work (Suaeda glauca). It doesn't grow as tall as the Suaeda glauca you mentioned, but it looks strikingly close.

Yep I heard oil is made from ggaenip plants and the seeds are also used in applications like soondae guk or as a garnish in some namul dishes like fern bracken or that tiny sprouting of angelica tree I posted up above.

My family also eats the flowers of ggaenip as well. They are excellent sprinkled with rice flour and deep fried

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In the Indian Himalayas, Nepal etc. roasted Perilla seeds are made into a paste with or without roasted sesame, crushed garlic, a long-cooked decoction of the wild Himalayan Citrus jambhiri called chook [something like thick pomegranate syrup or balsamic vinegar, very tart and aromatic, used to preserve the huge crop], crushed green chillies, combined to dress sliced boiled potatoes. Excellent!

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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I don't know what I was thinking. I read it wrong. 돌나물 / Dol-na-mul

or 돈나물 / Don-na-mul is Sedum sarmentosum. This species is also very variable - but you probably eat one of the ones not bred to be ornamental. It grows very easily most anywhere.

Suada is 나문재 / Na-mun-jae. This one is more of a salt marsh plant so it unlikely to be in your garden - though it would probably do OK there. Lots of plants in this family are eaten - Chenopodiaceae - which includes beets, spinach, chard, orach, sorel, rhubarb, etc.

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