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How To Make Korean Jello
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim on Dec 01, 2014
Korean jello isn't sweet like most western dessert varieties. But yowsers, does it ever make for a silky smooth and healthy side dish to steaming bowls of rice and soup. To fully appreciate Korean jello, you have to drizzle on a blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and green onions. Add a pinch of chilli powder to the mix and you may just have a new favourite dish for family and friends.
Called doh toh ree mook in Korean, these lovely jello squares can be made with a few different primary ingredients, the healthiest of which are acorn powder and green bean powder - both are readily available in Korean grocery stores. No need to add gelatin - if you follow the instructions below, it will come out just like jello without sugar.
Green bean powder or starch will produce a white, almost frosted or slightly translucent jello.
Acorn powder will yield more of an earthy brown jello - not quite as pretty as the green bean variety, but the acorn version is slightly more bold in flavour.
Start by measuring out one cup of acorn powder and combining with five cups of water in a relatively large saucepan or pot.
Place over medium heat and stir steadily with a whisk to prevent the acorn from burning.
Stir constantly for about 15 minutes, or until you have a thick texture.
To test for the right texture, allow a drop of the acorn blend to fall into a bowl of water - if it floats, it's time to transfer to a pan for cooling. You want to use a pan or casserole dish that will serve as a mould that will allow you to produce blocks of jello that are easily sliced into edible squares.
After your jello has cooled down to room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator, where it will fully set to jello-like consistency - this takes about two hours, give or take a bit.
I didn't have time to wait for the acorn jello to fully set to take pictures, but was able to snap a few photos with some green bean jello, which we made with the exact same steps.
Serving up this dish is easy peasy and actually quite fun. You want to cut blocks of jello out of your mould, then create bite-size squares or rectangles, which you can arrange in a serving bowl before drizzling on your sauce (shown below). We use a special cutting knife with curved ridges for a soft look to the borders of each square, but a straight knife produces equally satisfying pieces. :)
To make the sauce that really makes this dish, combine the following in a small bowl:
2-3 teaspoons of chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 flat teaspoon of roasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
A splash of sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Give it all a good whisk and drizzle over your jello squares.
And there you have it, a light yet highly satisfying jello side dish that tends to be a hit with all age groups. If you have questions about this recipe, please feel free to use the comments section below. Hope you have a chance to try and enjoy.
Please note: Korean restaurants that serve this type of jello as a side dish typically use a less expensive powder to create the jello, usually a radish-based powder. To give you an idea of cost, the less expensive radish-type powder is about $1.99 per package, the green bean powder is about $5.99 per package, while the acorn powder typically costs around $7.99 per package. Of course, if you live in Los Angeles or Korea, cut these prices in half. :) Ultimately, it's the sauce that determines the flavour of this dish - all three types of powder produce the same basic jello, so you might want to give all of them a try initially to determine which variety you like best.
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