Today’s Korean recipe comes from my friend Terry, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Grenada. Terry is such an awesome cook and continues to amaze me to no ends with her culinary skills, her resourcefulness, and her generous heart. She is a wonderwoman who makes everything from scratch, does it ever so efficiently, and makes everything cute and pretty to boot. She can also work wonders with a scrub and sponge. I lent her one of my old, stained pots once, and when she returned it to me, I could barely recognize it. It was shiny and looked as good as the day I bought it. Thank you, Terry!
One of the things that we can readily find on the island is scallions. Now, I’m usually not a huge fan of scallions. In fact, I didn’t really eat scallions for most of my life and would go out of my way to pick them out of my soups and dishes (my dad used to yell at me for this when I was a kid, but he has since given up and makes a scallion-less version of everything for me now :D). These days, I still order dishes without scallions when I can, but I’ve learned to appreciate the flavor and complexity that they add to certain dishes (salmon poke, green scallion pancakes).
When Terry mentioned that she’d be making blanched scallions for us, I have to admit that I was wary of the prospect. But I have complete faith in Terry’s sense of taste. And if she says it’s going to be good, I believe it. And you should too.
I can honestly say that I think I ate more scallions that day than I’ve eaten in my entire lifetime.
Here’s Terry’s recipe for blanched scallion sashimi and a special dipping sauce to go with it too!
Blanched Scallion Sashimi or Green Onion Bundles (Paganghoe 파강회)
serves 4 as an appetizer or side dish
5 bunches scallions
5 quarts water
3 Tbsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. sugar
1. Soak the scallions in water and baking soda for 5 minutes to cleanse them. If you can find a tub/sink large enough to hold the entire length of your scallions, soak the entire thing. If not, just soak the heads (the dirtiest part).
2. Remove from water and trim off all scallion heads.
3. Rinse scallions.
4. Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil.
5. Submerge the scallions in the water and blanch for about a minute.
6. Remove scallions from pot and rinse under cold water.
7. Squeeze out excess water.
8. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar in with the scallions.
9. Picking up one scallion head at a time, starting at the base, fold the scallion over onto itself at about the 2-inch mark. Continue to fold the scallion onto itself 3 or 4 more times.
10. Now pinching the folded scallion part with one hand, start wrapping the end of the scallion around the folded section. Tuck the loose end of the scallion under the wrap.
It should look about like this when done.
11. Repeat with all scallions. Arrange on a plate, and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Now for the special sauce that goes along with this yummy appetizer…
1. Mix all the ingredients together and stir until well combined. Serve with scallion sashimi.