Last year I did a recipe test called Hobak Namul. I did not think about the name of the recipe at the time, but now I’ve learned that “hobak” is a Korean squash with green skin and yellow flesh. I’ve never seen one! Namul is a Korean term for a seasoned vegetable dish. The test recipe used green and yellow summer squash, but here I’ve used only yellow squash, with carrots.
Virtually any type of vegetable, herb, or green can be used, and the dish include roots, leaves, stems, seeds, sprouts, petals, and fruits. They can be prepared as a single type of namul, or they can be mixed. The method of preparation can also vary; they may be served fresh (raw), or boiled, fried, sauteed, fermented, dried, or steamed. Seasonings can also vary. Namul can be seasoned with salt, vinegar, sesame oil, and even gochujang (Korean red pepper paste). Namul are typically served as banchan (a side dish accompanying the main course). It is possible to have more than one type of namul served as a banchan at a single meal.
Summer Squash Namul
- 2 to 3 medium yellow summer squash
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 1 Korean hot green pepper or jalapeno (optional)
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Juice from 1/2 large lime
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice
- toasted black sesame seeds
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut each piece crosswise into 2 to 3-inch lengths. Use a mandoline to julienne. Line a colander with a non-terry towel and put the shredded squash in. Salt lightly and let them drain for 15 to 30 minutes. Gently squeeze out the liquid.
Cut the carrot into 2 to 3-inch lengths. Julienne finely. Line another colander and salt the carrots. Let them sit, then drain and squeeze out liquid.
In a bowl, combine the pepper, sugar, sesame oil, and lime juice.
Toss in the vegetables and fluff them gently. Top with the sesame seeds.
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