Gaji namul is a popular Korean summer side dish that is made with eggplants and soy sauce. The eggplants are steamed then torn into small strips.
This time, we’re going to discover Asian cuisine and more exactly the Korean cuisine.
We love Korean cuisine, it differs totally from the Algerian specialities but it’s so healthy and delicious. So we’ve tried a simple recipe called Gaji-Namul (가지나물) and since eggplants are in peak season now…
Gaji Namul is one of the traditional Korean side-dishes widely enjoyed by Koreans for many years. (Namul refers to Korean vegetable side dishes, usually blanched or sautéed, and seasoned.) According to historical documents, Gaji Namul was part of Korean cuisine in the Josun Dynasty (1392-1910), but it probably originated a long time before that. Today, Gaji Namul is part of Korea’s everyday side dish.
The original recipe was taken from the famous Korean blogger Maangchi. However, we’ve made some changes as usual :
- Unfortunately, we didn’t find Korean (or Asian) eggplants so we replace them with the traditional eggplants but if you can find them use the Asian one since they are milder, less bitter, more tender in texture and often lighter in colour.
- The original recipe is made with scallion instead of onion, but we didn’t find any (yes, unfortunately, it was not the season) so we replace it with shallots. It has a strong taste so if you don’t like raw onion, you can replace it with scallion.
- Be careful to not overcook the eggplants or they’ll become mushy. For us, we steamed them for exactly 8 minutes. The eggplants must be tender but still a bit firm.
- You can omit the hot chilli pepper powder if you can’t tolerate hot food but we recommend to use since it enhances the bland taste of the eggplants.
- Some Koreans don’t use vinegar for Gaji Namul. So, you can leave it out. However, it adds a nice refreshing touch to the dish (especially balsamic vinegar). You can also change the amount of vinegar according to your preference.
- 250 g eggplants
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp hot pepper powder
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Prepare all the ingrdients.
- Wash the eggplants thoroughly and cut off the green top.Cut the eggplants into pieces of 2 inches (5cm) in crosswise.
- Prepare a steamer, fill the base of the steamer with water (3 cups) and bring to a boil.When boiling water starts to produce steam, place eggplants in the steaming basket.Steam on high heat with the lid on for 8 minutes or until they become soft (be careful, the eggplants should not become mushy).Transfer to a bowl and let them cool down for 10 minutes.
- While steaming eggplants, chop the onion.Mince the garlic.
- In a bowl, prepare the sauce by adding the chopped onion, minced garlic, hot chilli pepper powder, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil.Mix all the ingredients together and reserve for later.
- Tear the eggplants into 1/3 inch (1cm) strips, preferably by hand.
- Pour the reserved sauce over the size bite pieces of eggplants.Sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix them very gently.Serve on a side dish plate.Enjoy !!!