Dandelion leaves can be very bitter so we prepared this dish with a spicy Gochujang(Korean red pepper paste) based sauce but if you would prefer a non-spicy dressing, the Gochujang can be substituted with Doenjang(Soy bean paste). Also, we used about a pound of dandelion leaves(see pic below), this wasn't a precise measurement so you may want to add the sauce gradually. And lastly, the leaves can be soaked in a cold water bath for 30 minutes before cooking to reduce some of the bitterness.
Mindeulle Muchim/Korean-Style Dandelion Greens
1 pound dandelion leaves
3 tablespoons Gochujang(Korean Red Pepper Paste)
3 tablespoons Rice Syrup OR 2 tablespoons Honey or Sugar **no brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced Garlic (2-3 cloves)
1/3 cup finely chopped Green Onion (1-1 1/2 stalks)
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon Korean Apple Vinegar
*Non-Spicy*Substitute 2 tablespoons puréed Doenjang(Soy Bean Paste) for Gochujang(Korean Red Pepper Paste)
1 tablespoon Sliced Almonds, optional
**See below for further substitutionsPreparation:
1. Cut off the roots and wash the leaves very thoroughly to remove all dirt.
2. Soak leaves in a cold water bath for 30 minutes to reduce bitterness, optional.
3. Mince garlic.
4. Finely chop green onion.
*Non-Spicy* Purée doenjang(Soy bean paste) in blender to remove soy bean chunks.
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
2. Cook greens until tender, 1-2 minutes.
5. In a large mixing bowl combine gochujang(Korean red pepper paste) OR doenjang(Soy bean paste), apple vinegar, rice syrup, garlic, green onion, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds and mix.
7. Plate and garnish with sliced almonds, optional.
8. Serve with rice. Enjoy!
*Why not brown sugar? The strong flavor of brown sugar overwhelms this dish. White sugar, organic sugar or other sugar substitutions are fine.
*Although Korean apple vinegar(not apple cider vinegar) is more traditional, you can use any vinegar you fancy.
*Doenjang(Soy bean paste) is similar to Japanese miso paste but has a more pungent flavor. When substituting for the gochujang(Korean red pepper paste), less of it is required since it is substantially saltier than gochujang.
*"Looks good, tastes good..." so the saying goes. We're using rice syrup because it gives the greens a nice gloss. But of course if you aren't so concerned with the aesthetics, sugar is just fine. Just don't forget to reduce the amount since the rice syrup isn't as sweet as sugar.
*Are your sesame seeds untoasted? Place sesame seeds in a pan over medium low heat until lightly browned.
*All the Korean ingredients can be found in your local Korean grocery store like Hmart or some even online.