WHEEEE! I’m back! And so soon after the last post too :) Aren’t you proud?
This week is finals week, but I’m braving the stress of exams and papers for you guys! (Read: PROCRASTINATING TO THE NTH DEGREE).
Ahem. Anyways. This is a post I’ve been wanting to share for a looong time – over a month. And now that I finally (kinda) have time to, I’m super excited for it. Ready???
Get ready for… SUJEBI!!!
Sujebi! Pronounced soo-jeh-bee or 수재비, these are hand-torn noodles made from a flour-based dough. Like most Korean soups/stews, they’re usually served in an anchovy stock with a bunch of other vegetables and proteins (usually different types of seafood – to go along with the stock, y’know?). You can read more about a classic sujebi I had in Korea here.
But this time around, it’s a whole ‘nuther ball game, because the sujebi on this post is HOME-MADE.
Yeah, you read that right.
Of course, you start by making the stock – the base, heart, and soul of all soups delicious and tummy-warming.
The basic anchovy-stock consists of water, onion, turnip, dried shiitake mushrooms, dried anchovies, and kombu.
Once everything has boiled together, you remove everything, and skim off the foam, it’ll look like this:
While everything was bubbling together, my mom got the sujebi dough ready:
I’m not positive about the ratios of the ingredients, but I think the dough is a mix of flour, water, and baking soda/powder. MAYBE. I’ll get back to you on that. But you have to knead it A LOT.
A LOT, a lot.
Until it kinda reaches that kind of texture.
And if you’re awesome at multi-tasking as my mom is, you’ll have loaded up the stock with some of the slower-cooking veggies while kneading.
After cooking those for a bit, my mom added the SECRET INGREDIENT.
What looks like an ugly pile of reddish-brown goo is actually one of the basic building blocks to Korean cuisine. It’s gochujang, (고추장), a fermented red chili paste that’s savory, spicy, and sweet all at once. You can find commercial ones at the store, but this is a special one made by grandmother, using high-quality sun-dried red peppers and aged in her apartment. My mom takes it out for special occasions :O
My mom added the gochujang to pot, turning it a deep, orangey color. Once that got boiling, we were ready to..
ADD THE DOUGH! This is the “hand-torn” part of the dish. We let the dough rest for a bit, and then started ripping bits off of the huge chunk. You stretch them pretty thin, but not so thin that a hole rips in them.
Then you add it to the broth to cook! Of course, each piece will be a different size, and some parts will be thinner or thicker than others. But that’s the fun of it!
After plopping in the dough, we added the faster-cooking vegetables..
… and brought the entire thing to a boil, to make sure everything was cooked.
After cooking it for a few minutes, and adding super-thin veggies like scallions and sprouts, it looked like this:
WHICH MEAN IT WAS READYYY!
By now, everything has softened and melded together, absorbing all the delicious flavors of the different veggies and the gochujang.
The color is kind of misleading, because it really wasn’t as spicy as it looks. There was a bit of a kick to it, but the gochujang gives it more of a depth and complexity than heat.
The flour from the sujebi also helps thicken up the soup a little bit, so it’s got some body.
And see how each piece is different?
It’s an adventure eating each piece – there’s a different level of chewiness with each bite!
You can probably tell it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS just by looking at the pictures, but in case you want further proof…
Oh yes. I demolished it. Ate every last bite. And don’t worry, I finished the soup too :D
That was a goooood meal. And now that I’ve finished writing this up, I’m hungry. With no mom-made food in sight. Noooooo….
BUT IT’S OK, BECAUSE I’ll BE HOME IN A WEEK AND A HALF. Finals, you are going DOWN.
Good luck everyone – WE CAN DOOOO THISS!!!
P.S. Happy belated Mother’s Day! 엄마, you’re the most amazing person I know – just looking at your food makes me miss you so much. I can’t wait to see you in 2 weeks! 화이팅!