Monday Market – A Mixed Bag of Seasonal Interests
For the last month I’ve been waiting for the appearance of mistletoe and durup in the street markets. Durup (두룹), aralia elatia can sometimes be found in places like E-Mart but it is usually on the expensive side if out of season. Mistletoe (겨우사리), viscum album coloratum, is something I’ve never seen in supermarkets, not even in tea bag form and many Koreans don’t even know what it is.
I’ve had a bag of mistletoe (dried branches and leaves) in my fridge for the last year and used it regularly during the summer when made as a tea, and chilled, it is wonderfully refreshing. Last year’s bag I purchased in May and it was already dried. Yesterday however, I saw the first bags of mistletoe and they were fresh so this morning I boiled the last of my old batch and will try the new ones in a few days. After which I will simply lay them on newspaper on my veranda and dry them out for the forth coming year.
Warning – there are many varieties of mistletoe and I’ve read the berries, possibly in European varieties if not further afield, are poisonous. Apparently, ewes abort their young if they graze on fallen mistletoe! If you are a reader outside Korea I would be very cautious about making tea out of the next batch you see.
Durup, for which I can find no common English name, costs between 3000-5000W (£1.50 – £2.50) a bowl and is surprisingly tasty with a mildly nutty taste. I generally blanch them and eat them with red pepper sauce (초고추장), which can be bought ready made like tomato sauce, or with swirled in sesame oil, minced garlic and sesame seeds with a little soy sauce. I use them as a side dish. They can also be used in kimbap and pancakes but I have not tried such variations. I would imagine there are numerous other ways of using them.
Durup and Misteltoe will appear in street markets until about mid May after which they are difficult to find though I would imagine large markets will have dried mistletoe all year. Both are worth trying.
Don’t forget that mugwort (쑥 – sook), artemesia asiatica and mong-gae (멍개), ‘sea squirt,’ are also currently prolific.
For my previous posts on posts on these seasonal items, click:
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