~by Min Kwon
If you’ve been following me on my blog and/or Instagram, you know that I’ve been vacationing here in Korea for about a month now. If not, hope you’ll check out these videos for footage of delicious and perhaps exotic food and the country’s beautiful scenery.
It’s always bittersweet when the trip comes to an end. By the time this post goes out, I’ll be on a 14-hour flight back to Texas. I had a blast, no doubt about it. However, in all honestly, this creature of habit is totally ready to get back to her usual routine and way of life in Austin. Not to mention, my tummy is begging for some Western food. I’ve had enough “umami” to hold me over for quite some time.
One of the dishes I had on several occasions during my stay was this Korean Jellyfish Salad (You can see it live in our video here. Fast forward to about the 7:00 mark). This salad, aka “Haepari Naengchae,” is a fresh and light salad that is oftentimes served at special occasions, including weddings and holidays. Its grand and impres-sive presentation, which contradicts its ease of preparation, makes it a highly sought after entertaining dish. It can and should be made well in advance, as it is best served cold. Just be sure to stir in the dressing only when ready to serve.
There are many variations to this salad with regards to the ingredients. This recipe is my youngest aunt’s (from my mom’s side - she has 6 sisters and 1 brother) “spe-cialty” or what she’s most famous for. And while the dressing in the traditional ver-sion has yellow mustard to give it that extra kick, hers is garlic based.
*note: this is a lot more jellyfish than you need. My aunt and I were making this recipe for 20+ people.
In case you’re worried, the jellyfish does not taste fishy at it. It’s sold in a package dried and shredded. It’s important to soak it in water to rehydrate and remove all the salt for at least an hour. At this point, you can taste it to check for saltiness. Keep rinsing until most of the salt has been removed. At the end, drain and pat dry. Don’t be discouraged as this is the most tedious part. If you’d rather not mess with the jel-lyfish or if it creeps you out, I totally understand. You can substitute with shrimp or even thinly shredded chicken if you’d prefer.
While the jellyfish is soaking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. When ready to serve, pour the dressing over, and stir.stir.stir. With each bite you’ll enjoy its tangy, sweet, and slightly savory flavors as well as the chewy and crunchy texture. The liq-uid that’s extracted from the dressing (courtesy of the pear and cucumber) is pretty refreshing and quite divine during the hot summer months.
This Korean Jellyfish Salad is sure to impress your dinner guests! Tweet this
Korean Jellyfish Salad
serves 4 to 6
- 1 10oz. package salted, shredded jellyfish
- 1 English cucumber, seeds removed and sliced thinly
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 6-7 imitation crab meat sticks, separated into thin strips
- 1 Asian pear, sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon pureed garlic
- pinch of salt
- 1. Prepare the jellyfish - Rinse under cold running water. Fill a large bowl with cold water and let it soak for an hour. Taste and rinse until most of the salt has been removed. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, prep all the veggies and mix together the dressing.
- Refrigerate all components until ready to serve.
- Pour the dressing over and stir everything together.