Mushroom Namul

Mushroom Namul

So when I moved to Australia, I made a commitment to eat healthier and live a little healthier than I used to. It helps that fast food in Australia is a bit different as there are healthier options conveniently available compared to Manila where vegetables with your burger goes as far as fries. A salad in a fastfood joint is a dream but not here in Australia. Still, eating out is a lot more expensive than cooking in which is ALWAYS much healthier and cheaper by my book.

Anyway, back to veggies. I’m the kind of person who enjoy the little veggie servings that come in a dish. In Japan, they have a wide array of tsukemono (pickles) or okazu (side dishes) that whet my appetite. I realise that in Korean cuisine this is the same. Outside of kimchi there’s one Korean side dish that excites me — namul. I first fell in love with mungbean sprout namul called sukjunamul or moyashi namul in Japanese. After having learned how to make this, I realise that I can literally turn any vegetable I want into a namul. Thus, I was inspired by a post from one of my Korean friends who shared a photo of their dinner which had some kind of mushroom stirfry. I thought, why not? Mushroom namul sounded like a great idea.

[yumprint-recipe id=’4′]I have no regrets. It’s a lovely side dish which I’ve eaten when fresh mushrooms are available. This mushroom namul is delightfully fresh. If you cook the mushrooms just right, the mushroom’s sweetness shines and contrasts with the salt and the chicken seasoning. Sometimes I add chili just to have a bit of spice. I’ve tried splashing this with maggi/knorr seasoning which was also okay but it adds unnecessary moisture to the dish which tends to overcook the mushrooms.

I don’t think it’s a common namul compared to the moyashi but it has the same seasonings and process which involves mildly ‘cooking’ the vegetables enough to draw their sweetness and freshness. Hence, I cannot say with great confidence that this is an authentic Korean dish. Perhaps, given my story, it’s Korean-inspired? It turned out to be an experiment with great results hence I can’t help but share. I must suggest that use fresh mushrooms and nothing else. I’ve tried it with mushrooms I’ve kept in the fridge for some while and unfortunately it had so much moisture which diluted the flavor of the mushroom and made this namul very watery. Not good eats.

So, when you’ve got some fresh mushrooms, don’t pass up on a chance to try this namul!

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