Can you find a connection between squirrels and Koreans? It’s an acorn. Everyone knows that acorns are what squirrels like to eat.
By the way, Koreans like acorns, too. Korean people have invented this food item based on acorns: Acorn jelly. This is a brown-colored jelly made from acorns, water and a little bit of salt – no gelatin or other additives necessary. It’s vegan, gluten-free and wholesome.
There are several uses for acorn jelly!
The easiest way to eat acorn jelly is this: Dotori-muk garnished with a seasoning sauce.
Most frequently, the seasoning is based on soy sauce mixed with other ingredients such as chili powder, scallions or garlic chives, sesame seeds and roasted sesame oil; a versatile sauce referred to as yangnyeom ganjang.
In some cases, acorn jelly is used as the topping on bibimbap, which then correspondingly may be called dotori-muk bibimbap.
There are more dishes using dotori-muk, e.g. acorn jelly in soup, referred to as dotori-mukbap, dotori-muk sabal or dotori-muk guksu.
In a large bowl, thick strips of acorn jelly are garnished with toppings (e.g. raw vegetables, seaweed, kimchi and egg) and a broth is poured over it.
This dish is sometimes combined with rice and served either warm or cold. Especially during the summer months, cold muksabal is a refreshing dish in Korea’s summer heat.
Most Korean restaurants in Dallas serve acorn jelly as a side dish. And you can easily buy acorn jelly at a Korean mart. Challenge yourself to make simple dishes using acorn jelly.