Enjoy the Wellbeing Story of Hansik (Korean Food Culture) made by Nature and Human.
The third episode will highlight another aspect of dumplings. Dumplings are enjoyed as snack and cheap street food. Nevertheless, they were also served with only the finest dishes on the King’s table in Korea. Let’s begin our journey to find out why the King loved dumplings.
<Mandoo myeonga - 'intro'>
Wish for a good harvest, Byutsum Mandoo from Icheon, Lotus dumplings, having strong scent and praying for health and happiness
Icheon city has been well known for producing high quality rice for ages. Various custtoms have developed to collect a good harvest. Daeboreum, the day of first full moon of the year, is the first day of farming that is commenced by people cooking dumplings to share in the hope for a year of good luck. Dumplings were shaped into a sack of rice and four, or five small dumplings are put inside of a big dumpling wrapper. That is, it looks like one big dumpling is holding many small dumplings. This is very unique and also a lot of fun. In addition to following the custom of eating old herbs and vegetables on Daeboreum, people mince old herbs and vegetables such as bracken and dried radish greens to be used as stuffing. This shows how peoples’ hearts wish for a good luck by sharing a good start.
The lotus has different symbolism in different countries. It means internal life in Egypt; fecundity in India; great fortune in China; and longevity in Korea. It is well known for that the lotus fragrance helps to clean blood and calm the mind. The lotus is used to make three different kinds of dumplings. Steamed lotus dumplings use lotus leaves and they are fragrant. Another one is made by making a hole inside of a lotus stem and filling it with stuffing. Lotus stem becomes very crunch wrapper. Lastly, lotus fried dumplings use lotus powder in its wrapper which is very rich in gluten. Interestingly, there are huge events held twice a year where monks cut their hair and make lotus dumplings as the plant is a symbol of Buddhism.
<Twenty byeotseom rich dumplings called
- 'Mandoo myeonga'>
<Lotus dumplings, having strong scent and praying
for health and happiness - 'Mandoo myeonga'>
Special dumpling of Spring Festival Dim Sum, shaped with wishing for a good luck
In China, where dumplings a staple in most diets, special dumplings called Kyoja are made. They are used to read the fortune in the Spring Festival which is the biggest holiday in China. The special dumplings look like ‘Wonbo’, an old currency used since Ming dynasty. The Kyoja contains a date (symbol of wealth), and nuts (pray for the fecundity) or a coin (meaning of money). They eat dumplings in the morning of Spring Festival. If somebody bites into a dumpling containing one of these three items, they believe that the good fortune come along with the year. This entertaining custom is part of the idea of giving away good luck.
Dim Sum is considered to be the jewel of food as it has various shapes and tastes. The shape of Dim Sum was expressed as the heart wanting a good fortune. A dim sum, shaped into a flower blossom, is implying the meaning of calling a good luck. People once prayed for a fortune through ingredients of stuffing. For example, the word ‘chives’ has a similar sound to a word meaning of ‘amass wealth for long’ in Chinese. As such, the chives dim sum symbolizes good luck with money. This is possible in China as a single word can have many characters with various accents.
Simple Well-being Dumpling Recipe
In episode 4, Chef Kwon introduced his fourth well-being dumpling, ‘Fried good luck dumpling’. With kind wishes for longevity, he developed long shaped dumplings.
Let’s see Chef Kwon’s simple recipe.
- 1. Chop kimchi, tofu, and bean sprout in to big bites.
- 2. Season them with minced shallot, garlic, and soy sauce.
- 3. Prepare larger square dumpling wrappers
(bigger than ordinary size).
- 4. Stuff a dumpling, and roll them in long shape.
- 5. Lightly fry the long dumplings in a pan with oil.
- 6. Eat with soy sauce mixed with vinegar.
<Fried Good Luck Dumpling 'Simple Recipe'>