There are a few things in Korea I just want to learn how to make myself one day. 3 things are at the top of my list: gochujang, makgeolli and sikhye.
1. Making Gochujang (고추장)
Some of you may remember, but I utterly love gochujang. I even wrote a post declaring my love for this Korean condiment before. Therefore it will come to no one’s surprise that I actually want to make gochujang myself. It is truly one of my humble dreams. (I know crazy dreams I have, right?)
However, to make gochujang I need an onggi (옹기) or at least that is what my Korean friend told me. This is an obstruction I cannot easily solve since you cannot buy these Korean earthenware pots anywhere in Belgium! Sometimes I bemoan myself that I live in this obscure European country, but then remember that life is still great in Belgium. Nonetheless one day I will make gochujang myself. I will make kilos of gochujang and make the best buldak (불닭) I ever made with it.
2. Making Makgeolli (막걸리)
Makgeolli is a popular drink in and outside Korea I want to make myself. Another day name for this popular rice based beverage is nongju (눙주) or farmer’s alcohol. As perhaps Korea’s oldest alcoholic beverage it deserves some respect. It is as old as it is simple. To make makgeolli one needs no more than fermented rice, water and time. With all those ingredients anyone can make this milky white drink and many Koreans still make it themselves to this day.
However, just like with gochujang, my Korean friends told me I really ought to have a onggi to make this Korean drink. I have to admit, there is a pattern here and that pattern has saddened me often. I want an onggi (or several)!
3. Making Sikhye (식혜)
Last thing I want to make myself is Korean rice punch or sikhye (식혜). This cold rice punch is ideal for the hot summer weather or simply when you want something mildly sweet with a slight fermented taste. A month ago my Korean roommate actually asked me to make this.
After finding a decent recipe, I actually wanted to make it, but to my horror I could not. No, this time the reason was not the lack of a onggi, but the lack of yeotgireum (엿기름) or milled malt barley. Truly the world and the universe itself conspires against me. To what lengths shall it go to prevent me from attempting to make my own things.
Is there any Korean food or drink you want to try and make for yourself? What is high on your todo list? Let me know in the comments below.