Monday, January 17, 2022

Korean Swiss Chard or Lettuce Salad, Geun-Dae Geotjeori, and Spicy Korean Sauce

I first discovered this recipe for Korean lettuce salad about half a year ago on one of my favorite recipe sites, Maangchi, but never got around to making it for one reason or another. Then one day I had some swiss chard and decided that it would be perfect to try this recipe with it, since I use swiss chard as a replacement for lettuce nearly all the time, since I have wild swiss chard, also known as sea beet, growing in my yard. This original recipe was called sangchu geotejeori, sangchu meaning lettuce in Korean and geotjeori being a quick kimchi, or a spicy salad. It often is made with napa cabbage, bauchu in Korean. Since I wasn't using lettuce to make mine, but actually swiss chard, I looked up how to say swiss chard and it is Geun-Dae in Korean. So that makes this dish Geun-Dae Geotjeori. 

To say this dish is delicious would be an understatement. It is the perfect amount 

Geotjeori is basically a kimchi that's made to be eaten fresh without fermentation. As such, the vegetables are lightly salted, and this kimchi is quick and easy to make. ... Geotjeori is most commonly made with napa cabbage, but you can make it from a variety of different vegetables. The recipe I based mine on used lettuce, I used swiss chard, but I'm sure you can play around and make this with different vegetables as well.

The onions and garlic in this dish's sauce lose a lot of their sharpness once marinated in the rest of the ingredients, and lend their flavor to the sauce. So I like mixing the sauce together and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then add it to the greens right before serving, or at most 5 minutes before, so it doesn't become limp and soggy.

Another thing I like doing with the sauce is use it as a spicy sauce to top sticky rice, often along with other toppings, like vegetables and protein, such as in bibimbap or poke bowls. I also like to stick this geun-dae geotjeori on my bowls of rice for bibimbap and then use extra sauce for the rest of the bowl.

While this is generally made with gochugaru, Korean red chili pepper flakes, I just use regular red pepper flakes in mine. Feel free to adjust the amount of red pepper flakes in yours- mine are getting old so aren't so spicy any more so I upped mine, but add a little bit at a time until it is at a spiciness level you like. I also added more sugar to mine and adjusted the ratios from the original recipe to suit my taste.

This lovely salad is naturally gluten free (so long as you use gluten free soy sauce), dairy free, vegan, allergy friendly other than to sesame seeds, and is pretty frugal as well. Extra plus for me, making it with wild edibles.

Definitely recommended.

Korean Swiss Chard or Lettuce Salad, Geun-Dae Geotjeori, and Spicy Korean Sauce

1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp vinegar
1 scallion chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1-2 tsps hot pepper flakes or to taste
A large bunch of swiss chard, sea beet, lettuce, or any other green like kale or collard greens

1. Slice your onion into thin slices or mince it very finely. Mince your garlic finely.

2. Add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and vinegar. Mix until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved.

3. Chop scallions and add them and sesame seeds to the mixture. Add hot pepper flakes to taste.

4. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

5. To make the geun-dae geotjeori, mix 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce for every cup of packed chopped greens, and let sit for 5 minutes.

6. Alternatively, use the sauce as desired as a condiment, especially on rice.

Have you eaten Korean food before? What is your favorite Korean dish? Are you a fan of spicy foods? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? If so, what greens would you use?

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