Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ddeok-mandu-guk: mixed reviews

If you're making a Korean soup like ddeok-mandu-guk (referenced in the previous post), and you're using store-bought ddeok and mandu, the one thing you've got to do right is the broth, since that's the only homemade element. Alas, today, the broth wasn't that good, and I have only myself to blame.

While Dad gladly ate two bowls of the soup, Mom ate two bowls' worth of solids, and did her best to avoid the broth. At first, her reaction to it was, "It's OK." But later on, in a more honest moment, she made a face that told me everything I needed to know about my broth-making ability. While I think I do OK with Western soups and with budae-jjigae (also referenced in the previous post; this is a soup that, once the ingredients are in the pan, creates a broth with the simple addition of water), I need to get serious about the basics of Korean broth-making.

Live and learn.



Charles said...

Now I'm curious as to how you made the broth.

Kevin said...

I'd found a stock-making method online that called for sauteing the meat first in order to coax out more flavor and reduce boiling time. Add some chopped onion, salt, and pepper, and voila.

My aunt, when she was here, had bought two packages of chicken hearts and gizzards, so I made a stock out of that instead of the usual chicken parts. The result was "bleh" at best. Not a bad stock for other soups (like good ol' Amurrican chicken soup), but not all that great for ddeok-mandu-guk.I think Mom normally uses a beef stock. She's not in a condition where she can lead me through the proper process, though; earlier today, I tried asking her to describe proper stock-making to me, and she kept losing her place. By the time we were at step 5, Mom was having trouble connecting back to step 1.

In a weird way, I think this sort of thing is actually a good cognitive exercise for Mom, even if she doesn't make it through her instructions. I plan to do more of this, despite how it frustrates her (she senses her own incapacity).


melancholy donut said...

maybe youre missing the taste of bones?