Miyuk Juguhri (Sautéed Seaweed Stems)

Korean banchans can be intimidating to make at times, but this seaweed stem sauté is almost undeservingly easy to make for its taste. Depending on where you live, the hardest thing about making this dish may be locating the seaweed stems. *But* apparently it is possible to purchase them online. Cool.

This is a great banchan for any meal, but it is especially delicious in a bibimbap bowl. It adds a nice texture to the bowl since the stems are slightly crunchy, with an al dente-esque feel, while still being pleasantly gelatinous. 

Sautéing the seaweed will take away a slightly "fishy" and metallic flavor from them. In Korean there is a term for this kind of flavor or odor- it's pronounced "bee-rin-neh." The key is to "toast" the seaweed well to bring forth a nutty yet ocean-y flavor.

Ingredients

  • One 16 oz./1 lbs. package of salted brown seaweed stems
  • 3 tablespoons neutral tasting vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon light-bodied soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup julienned white onion (meaning thinly sliced)
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

 

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Seaweed stem s often come pre-packaged.

Find em at a local Korean market!

Place contents of your package into a large bowl. You'll see that the stems are quite long, tangled and covered in white residue. This is just salt! 

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Seaweed stems are preserved in salt.

You'll need to draw out some of the salt otherwise it will not be too palatable! X(

Rinse the stems under cold running water, just enough to rinse off the salt. This should be quick, a few seconds. Then immerse your stems in water and let sit for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes drain the stems in a colander and let sit until most of the water has been drained out. Cut stems with kitchen scissors or on the cutting board with a knife into 1 inch pieces. 

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Cut stems.

They are super long and cutting them will make them easier to eat.

Heat up three tablespoons of your oil into a wok or a wide frying pan over medium heat. Begin sautéing stems for approximately 7 minutes and until the stems begin giving off a nutty aroma.

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Sauté stems well for flavor and to soften the chewy stems.

Cook with your senses. Your nose knows. ^^

Add in onions, garlic and soy sauce and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions have become translucent. Remove from heat.

Stir in sesame oil and garnish with sesame seeds before serving. Enjoyyyy!