Hi guys! Can't believe a month has passed, and I'm now back in the States! How?!?
Korea was tons of fun (Click here for our past videos). We ate some really amazing food, walked A LOT, and shopped 'til we dropped, but the best part was spending quality time with family. I hadn't seen my parents for nearly a year and was really thankful that they cleared out their schedule to show us around.
top pic: with Tim's mom's side of the family
bottom pic: with my mom and grandmother (she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's nearly 8 years now)
With a sad heart, I bid farewell to the happy and surreal times of laziness, carefreeness, and oblivion and reluctantly say hello to deadlines, to-do lists, and all that big girl stuff. The first thing I did when I returned home on Tuesday was unpack...and then went off to do some grocery shopping - Trader Joe's, Costco, H.E.B. If there's one thing that stresses me out beyond words, it's an empty refrigerator. I haven't cook for about a month so hopefully I still have some skills left in me.
I also signed up for my Registered Dietitian exam! As you all know, I completed my 10 month dietetic internship in June, and now all that stands between me and the RD credentials behind my name is this test. I didn't want to wait too long so I decided August 5th was going to be D-Day. That gives me 2 weeks to study hardcore, and that is my top priority for now. Oh boy...wish me luck!
Now onto this Korean jellyfish salad. If you follow us on Instagram, you've seen glimpses of some of the food we enjoyed on our trip - exotic and weird to some, but completely normal and delicious to us. Jellyfish salad? Why is this exotic?
Ok ok. This may look the slightest bit out of the ordinary. But it's fun to channel your inner Andrew Zimmern every once in a while and let your sense of adventure rather than your head guide you ;).
Jellyfish can be found in any local Asian grocery store. It's sold in a package dried and shredded. In case you're worried, the jellyfish does not taste fishy at all. It’s important to soak it in water for at least an hour to rehydrate and to remove salt. After time has elapsed, you can taste it to check for saltiness. Keep rinsing until most of the salt has been removed. At the end, drain and pat dry. Don’t be discouraged as this is the most tedious part. If you’d rather not mess with the jel-lyfish or if it creeps you out, feel free to substitute with shrimp or even thinly shredded chicken if you’d prefer.
While the jellyfish is soaking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. When ready to serve, pour the dressing over, and stir.stir.stir. With each bite you’ll enjoy its tangy, sweet, and slightly savory flavors as well as the chewy and crunchy texture. The liquid that’s extracted from the dressing (courtesy of the pear and cucumber) is pretty refreshing and quite divine during the hot summer months.
As you can see, this salad is quite the looker. While it looks grand and impressive, it couldn't be easier to make. Thus, it is a highly sought after entertaining dish and is commonly served at weddings, parties, and other special occasions. In fact, while I was in Korea, I made this with my aunt for her mother-in-law's 70th birthday party.
It should be made well in advance as it is best served cold. Just add the dressing only when ready to serve so that the vegetables stay nice and crunchy.
Thank you, auntie, for this special recipe! While the traditional dressing for this salad contains yellow mustard for that extra kick, hers is garlic-based. You can also substitute the vegetables with those of your choice. For instance, carrots, shredded cabbage, and lettuce would be fantastic. Hope you enjoy this beloved family recipe!
- 1 10 oz. package salted shredded jellyfish
- 1 English cucumber seeds removed and sliced thinly
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thinly
- 6-7 imitation crab meat sticks separated into thin strips
- 1 Asian pear sliced thinly
- ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon pureed garlic
- pinch of salt
- Prepare the jellyfish - Rinse under cold running water. Fill a large bowl with cold water and let it soak for an hour. Taste and rinse until most of the salt has been removed. Drain and set aside
- Meanwhile, prep all the veggies and mix together the dressing.
- Refrigerate all components until ready to serve.
- Pour the dressing over and stir everything together.