Tuesday, June 2, 2020

[Food] Daseulgitang (다슬기탕, Marsh Snail Soup)


[Food] Daseulgitang (다슬기탕, Marsh Snail Soup)

Daseulgitang (다슬기탕, Marsh Snail Soup)

It was some years ago in Busan when I first ate daseulgitang for the first time. At that time I didn't know what daseulgi was, and many young people still don't know about daseulgi (marsh snail in Korean) today. If you don't know much about freshwater animals, let me show you what daseulgi is before we talk about today's menu :)

Korean fishermen are catching daseulgi

Daseulgi (다슬기, Marsh Snail)

They live in most streams and creeks in Korea which provide as clean water as there is, but they cannot live in extremely clean water because they need to feed on algae. Daseulgi has been eaten in Korea for a long time, and it is classified as an important and medicinal food. In traditional Korean medical textbooks such as 'Donguibogam: Principles and Practices of Eastern Medicine', it is said that daseulgi is very effective for recovery of liver and stomach diseases, and also cures indigestion. So Koreans had been cooking daseulgi for soup, and made juice out of it for good health. However, its habitat is becoming considerably worse because of environmental pollution, so local governments have recently been carrying out work for restoration of the habitat and the population of daseulgi.

Today I will show you a very simple Korean recipe using daseulgi, daseulgitang (다슬기탕, Marsh Snail Soup). We need eolgali cabbage (Korean winter-grown cabbage), chives, daseulgi, doenjang (Korean bean paste), dried anchovy, dried kelp, minced garlic and perilla powder.

Eolgali (Korean winter-grown cabbage)

Packed daseulgi (Made in China)

First of all, we need to make a soup stock with kelp, anchovy and doenjang :)

When the stock boils, put doenjang into it :) Use an iron net so doenjang can quickly dissolve in the stock. Meanwhile, we have to chop vegetables :) and blanch chopped eolgali in salt water.

Blanched chopped eolgali :)

Chives are ready

When vegetables are all ready, put in blanched eolgali first and boil it so that eolgali can absorb the stock sufficiently :) You can add some salt for extra flavor.

When it seems like eolgali has absorbed enough stock, add chives and daseulgi, then re-boil it. Then add black pepper, perilla powder and minced garlic :) If you want a spicy taste, add some spicy chili into it :)

Daseulgitang is done! Fresh, green and hot :)

Daseulgitang is very good for people who usually feel chronic fatigue or have a weak liver or stomach, and frequent drinkers :) Daseulgitang is a good friend for those with a morning hangover. So daseulgitang is usually eaten as 'hangover food' for breakfast in Korea :)

If you experience late night fatigue at work, an after-party hangover, weak liver function or indigestion, how about taking a cup of daseulgi soup today? :) I'm sure it will help.

Bon appétit!

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