Wednesday, May 8, 2019

[Food] Ongsimi (옹심이, Potato Dough Soup)


[Food] Ongsimi (옹심이, Potato Dough Soup)

Ongsimi with perilla powder and sesame

Potato was imported into Korea after Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592, it is very interesting it is originally from Andes Mountains of South America but eventually flowed into the Korean peninsula through Portugal and Japan. For Koreans, it was lucky that they could meet potato because it became hardy plants when people suffered from drought or when they have to go thorough harsh winter without harvested crops.

The Gaema Plateau of North Korea and Gangwon (North-East) province of South Korea could have the largest potato plantation in Korea due to its highland climate which is very similar to Andes Mountains, especially the Gaema Plateau's potato is still the best potato in the Korea peninsula today.

Ongsimi (옹심이, Potato Dough Soup) was born in Gangwon (North-East) province as potato blended into Korean food culture. Koreans love chewy texture of food and stickiness and chewy taste of potato was resulted into 'potato dough'. Somehow Koreans also found out they can process it into pancake, dough, powder etc. (likewise other cultures in the world), one of them is 'potato dough soup'.

Ongsimi is one of common and popular food in Gangwon (North-East) province of Korea
 Ongsimi is very ordinary and popular food in Gangwon (North-East) province of Korea, you can find a ongsimi restaurant very easily on the street. It is very simple to cook, prepare ongsimi dough into shape you want (Koreans usually prefer ball shape) with chopped noodle, potato and some vegetables. Then boil them in anchovy stock and done!

It tastes much better when perilla powder and sliced shiitake mushroom is added :) nutty, salty and chewy flavor of potato dough and soup amplifies the taste of ongsimi. 'Ongsimi' means 'Sphere-shaped dough' but it doesn't have to be a sphere, actually it is up to a cook or a person who makes it.

This 'ongsimi' is a 'failed sphere' but I know it would taste great no matter of its shape
So, if you are planning to visit north-east region of Korea in summer or autumn to climb Mt. Seorak or to visit east coastal about tasting a dish of ongsimi? if you are potato lover, maybe it will give you new dimension of potato taste :)

Bon Appétit!

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