is seaweed dried in very thin, paper like layers.
It is usually eaten with rice or by itself. Dried
seaweed is full of calcium, vitamins and carotenes.
The most popular way to prepare dried seaweed is
to paint it with a thin layer of sesame oil, then
add a sprinkling of salt before roasting it. It
can also be eaten roasted without the oil and salt,
with soy sauce instead. What kind do you buy?
Keep in mind the sort of seasoning and size of the
seaweed when purchasing it. If you'd like to enjoy
the wholesome taste of the dried seaweed alone or
want to do the seasoning yourself, buy the plain
sort. If you already know what sort of dried seaweed
you like, pick the ready made kind that comes already
seasoned and roasted. The dried seaweed comes in
convenient, precut sizes for eating with rice, or
in whole sheets that are about the size of a sheet
Gyeongju Gyodong Beopju
This is an alcoholic drink brewed
for generations by the Choi family clan in Gyo-dong,
Gyeongju. Yeong-sin Bae is a master distiller and was
designated as Intangible Cultural Asset No. 86-3 in
1986. Her son has inherited her skills and continues
to distill beopju even today. Its alcohol content is
about 16 percent, and has a clear, faint yellow color
to it. Due to the nature of alcoholic beverages brewed
from grains, it is naturally sweet and boasts a rich
smell. Originally, it had a higher alcohol content,
but the recipe was changed in 1990 to lower it by 15
percent so that it could be enjoyed by more people.
The base wine is brewed and then matured through a second
fermentation process. The complete process takes roughly
100 days. Beopju made available for sale is usually
over one year old.
Leegangju is one of the finest
liquors from Jeolla-do and Hwanghae-do provinces and
has been produced since the mid-Joseon Dynasty. When
King Gojong of Joseon signed a trade treaty with the
U.S., Leegangju was recorded as being liquor that both
signifies and represents the country well. Jeonju Leegangju
is famous for its high quality curcuma tuber, a key
ingredient in brewing the liquor grown in Jeonju. Jeonju
Leegangju is made by adding pears, ginger, cinnamon,
and honey to home-made soju brewed from rice, and letting
it age for a long time. The name ¡°Leegangju¡± originated
from its ingredients, pears (¡°lee¡±) and ginger (¡°gang¡±).
The liquor is light yellow and has a pungent smell and
clean taste. Its alcohol content ranges from 22~25 percent.
Being a medicinal soju, it does not cause headaches
Andong soju is traditional liquor;
a distilled soju, handed down by a renowned family in
the Andong area. On May 13, 1987, the liquor was designated
as Gyeongsangbuk-do Intangible Cultural Property No.
12. The current master distiller is Ok-hwa Cho in Andong.
Andong soju became popular during the Goryeo Dynasty
and was the liquor of choice for entertaining guests
and treating health problems. The liquor is made of
five different grains, including rice and barley, that
are steamed and blended with malted wheat. This mixture
is fermented for a week and then distilled in a pot
for an entire day. The alcohol content of Andong soju
is relatively high at 45 percent. It was traditionally
used as a folk remedy. It was taken orally to cure stomachaches
or applied to insect bites.
Munbaeju is traditional liquor
that has been made for generations in Pyeongan-do. It
was designated as Intangible Cultural Property No. 86
in 1986. It is believed to have been brewed for the
first time in Pyeongyang, but no details have been recorded.
During the Goryeo Dynasty, munbaeju was presented to
King Wanggeon. It was also used to make a toast at the
South-North Korean Summit in 2000. Munbaeju is distilled
liquor made of wheat, hulled millet, and African millet.
Its name is derived from its aroma: it smells like the
fruit of the munbae tree (a type of pear tree). It is
yellowish-brown and its alcohol content is over 40 percent.
However, unlike other distilled liquor, it goes down
very smoothly. Ki-choon Lee, designated as a Human Cultural
Property, is the current and a 4th generation master
Hansan Sogokju is traditional
liquor from Hansan-myeon, Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do.
It is designated as Chungnam Intangible Cultural Property
No. 3. It was enjoyed by the royal court of the Baekjae
Dynasty 1,500 years ago. Hansan Sogokju is dubbed the
¡°cripple¡¯s liquor¡± because it has such a wonderful flavor
and aroma that you will not be able to stop drinking
it and leave the table. It has a sweet flavor and scent,
and is pale yellow. Wild chrysanthemum gives Hansan
Sogokju its unique, savory fragrance. The liquor can
be enjoyed by almost everyone because its alcohol content
is only 18 percent. Sogokju is also used for medicinal
purposes because it purifies the blood and expands the
peripheral blood vessels.
Bokbunjaju is a Korean wine
made by fermenting bokbunja (wild mountain raspberry).
It has traditionally been made in a village near Seonunsa
Temple in the Gochang, Jeonbuk region for 1,400 years.
It is very sweet, like fruit juice, so it is popular
among both men and women. Bokbunjaju is also well known
for its interesting name, which refers to an old legend.
Centuries ago, a couple with a sick child was approached
by a Buddhist monk who suggested that the child be given
raspberry wine (Bokbunjaju), which made the child healthy
again. In Chinese, bokbunja is written as ¡°ÜÝÝÎí,¡± which
means that the fruit makes a man so energetic that the
chamber pot will almost turn over when he urinates.
As suggested by these legends, Bokbunjaju has strong
anti-cancer and anti-aging effects and is effective
in preventing arterial sclerosis and thrombosis. It
is also known to help improve vision and memory.