Mung Bean Jelly Banchan!

So you guys know I love Korean food. My fav restaurant in my hometown of Fremont, California is a little place called Mom’s Tofu. They have amazing food there that makes you feel happy, full, and unlike eating out at most restaurants, it doesn’t make you regret it the day after. Fresh, flavourful, and tasty – not greasy at all.

If you are unfamiliar with Korean dining, let me explain to you about banchan. Banchan is complimentary side dishes served with your meal. You can ask for more of any of the dishes throughout the duration of your meal. I have definitely requested up to 4 refills of a single banchan dish for myself at a time, so don’t feel shy when you discover something you like. One of my favourite banchan was a whitish-clear jelly served with a spicy sauce. I asked them what this delicious food was, and they answered that it was mung bean jelly. Mom’s Tofu really helped me kickstart my Korean cooking, as Colchester has no Korean restaurants (a travesty, really).

I knew I needed to take back knowledge of how to cook this stuff back in Colchester, so I asked the owner about the dishes and what they were made of. She was glad to give me some tips! The rest, I credit to the almight Maangchi, without whom I’d probably have curled into ball to cry a fountain of foodie tears.

FYI: Lots of different asian cultures serve mung bean delights. Some make patties from mung beans, some make mung bean noodles, salad, and jelly. Either way, it’s always delicious! I hope you enjoy my version of mung bean jelly banchan, derived from Maangchi’s recipe.



MUNG BEAN JELLY BANCHAN WITH SPICY SAUCE:

  • Prep: 5 minutes
  • Cook: 10 minutes
  • Setting time: 2-4 hours

MUNG BEAN JELLY INGREDIENTS:

  • 3.5 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of mung bean jelly
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar (or brown sugar)

SPICY SAUCE INGREDIENTS: (Mix and keep aside)

  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp korean red pepper flakes (kimchi red pepper)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 2 tsp demerara sugar
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

METHOD:

  1. Completely mix mung bean flour and water in a pot, then turn on stove.
  2. Add salt and sugar. Keep mixing.
  3. Mixture will start to thicken as it heats up. You will notice that jelly will start to form. It’s important that you constantly keep mixing it, or the bottom will burn.
  4. Once it changes colour to a clearer form and begins to bubble, turn off the heat.
  5. Take the glutinous mixture and put it in a glass container. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Once the mixture has cooled, cover and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
  7. Chop in any size or design you prefer, and serve with spicy sauce and optional roasted seaweed.