Monday, May 10, 2021

[Food] Memilmuk (Buckwheat Jelly, 메밀묵)


[Food] Memilmuk (Buckwheat Jelly, 메밀묵)

No one can say since when Koreans started to cook and eat memilmuk (Buckwheat Jelly, 메밀묵), but Koreans know that people of Gangwon and Chungcheong have been eating it for a very long time, though there is no official record of memilmuk remaining till today.

Buckwheat is a very tough and vigorous plant so it can be grown in mountains and barren fields. This is why common people (generally poor and hungry) farmed it easily for their survival. People peeled them and processed them into buckwheat powder for noodle or jelly, and stuffed them very well during the hard season without rice, such as in spring and winter, as well as barley. So, even today, there are memilmuk sellers who yell 'me-mil-muk!' and 'chop-ssal-ddeok!' when selling memilmuk and rice cake with red bean paste contained within for a traditional nighttime snack (usually 8-11pm).  Maybe that's why memilmuk is a favorite food of Doggaebi (goblin in Korean traditional fantasy). It's a very intimate food for Koreans.

Buckwheat has a rough and choppy texture but is more savory than normal wheat. This is why Koreans make them into noodle and jelly.

It's less chewy and bitter, but softer than dotorimuk (Korean acorn jelly) so people usually eat them at night with well-fermented kimchi and soy sauce. Memilmuk can be made into memilmukbab (Buckwheat jelly with rice and soup) with fermented kimchi and cold/hot soup, too, which is a traditional food in Gangwon and Chungcheong province.

If you are familiar with rice cake, how about trying memilmuk, too? 

Bon Appétit!

1 comment:

  1. My appetite has grown at the mere sight of 'Memilmuk'. I hope to sample it in your country one day:) Firaz.