Namul of Daikon Greens
A Namul is a particular type of Korean Banchan, or Side Dish, which features seasoned vegetables (sometimes cooked, and sometimes not). You can use almost any greens here instead of Daikon Greens, but the recipe handles the coarser, more fibrous types very well. The dish keeps very well in the fridge and makes a great addition to Bento-Box style lunches, as well as an accompaniment to a traditional Korean meal.
The Basic Method
You first want to pre-blanch the greens in boiling, salted water for about a minute or so and then arrest the cooking by plunging them into chilled water. This will begin to tenderize the stems and it will help preserve the pretty green color.
Afterwards sprinkle the greens with the salt, massaging it in well, and then leave it all to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. When the greens have wilted and thrown off some liquid, rinse them of excess salt and the squeeze vigorously to expel as much water as possible. Then, cut the stem sections into 3 inch pieces, chop the leafy portion and keep these two parts separate for the moment.
Heat a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil over a moderate flame and then sauté the stem sections until they are well softened. Add the garlic and continue to stir until it gives of its aroma, then add the sugar and allow it to dissolve.
Now add the remaining greens along with the Mirin (or rice wine) and the oyster sauce. Continue cooking over a low medium heat for 5 minutes or so and then, if necessary, turn up the heat to allow the sauce to reduce. You want only just a little liquid to remain. Stir in the sesame oil and the remove from the heat and let cool.
As with many Banchan dishes, this preparation can be stored for up to a week before use. This not only allows you to do quite a bit of work ahead of time if preparing a Korean feast, but it also allows for a handy item to have on hand for service at more than one meal.
Your Recipe Card:
Namul of Daikon Greens
- 1 bunch Daikon Greens
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tbsp. chopped Garlic
- 1 tbsp. Sugar
- 2 tbsp. Mirin or Rice Wine
- 1 tbsp. Oyster Sauce
- 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp. White Sesame seeds for garnish.
- Blanch the greens for a minute or so in boiling water and then plunge in to cold water to arrest cooking. Once the greens are cold, drain them and squeeze them dry.
- Sprinkle the greens with the salt and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour until they are wilted, then squeeze well to remove excess water.
- Cut the stems into 3-inch pieces and then coarsely chop the leafy portion keeping the two separate for now.
- Heat a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil over a moderate flame and then sauté the stem sections until they are tender. Add the garlic and continue to stir until it gives of its aroma, then add the sugar and allow it to dissolve.
- Add the remaining greens along with the Mirin and the oyster sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce liquid is completely reduced then stir in the sesame oil, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Garnish with Sesame Seeds before service if desired.