SouperChef Special |
Souper K Mussel Chowder (Gojuchang Kimchi Mussel Chowder)
(Contains Gluten/Contains Dairy/Spicy/Seafood/Alcohol-Free/Pork-Free)
I was reading about superfoods health trends on the Thrillist, a digital lifestyle magazine, and was souper stoked to see so many of our Asian gems making it to the list! Kimchi, miso and goguchang (hot spicy paste made from hot peppers) are becoming fast known as superfoods, playing a central role in gut health, and it is no wonder that Koreans are keeping them as staples in their everyday diet.
I got inspired to use these superfoods in a chowder, one of my favourite forms of soups! Creamy, rich and substantial, chowder is the perfect one-dish comfort food for many, and with the health-giving properties of the ingredients, this is one soup you can never have too much of! If you have been to Korea, you might be familiar with the practice of adding rice at the end of a Korean steamboat or jjigae meal. This chowder is reminiscent of a Korean-style mui fan, a cross between carbonara, clam chowder and bibimbap.
Taste a kaleidoscope of flavours from this humble dish – sweetness from the mussels, sweet corn and fennel, spiciness from the gojuchang and chilli powder, a mix of savoury and sourness from the kimchi, and a healthy dose of natural umami from the miso and gojuchang!
Souperfood Feature | Kimchi and Gojuchang
When I was in Korea, I can hear the Koreans, young and old alike, saying “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their photos taken! That’s how much the Koreans love their spicy, tangy staple! They know its worth for sure. In Korea, kimchi can be found everywhere, in every meal and on everything from a side dish for rice, in soups and pancakes, as a dressing, flavouring and marinade, to even a topping on pizzas.
At its most basic, kimchi is a bright red dish of fermented cabbage and/or radish, made with salt, vinegar, garlic, chilli peppers and other spices. It is nutrient-rich with vitamins A, B and C, and as a happy consequence of the fermentation process, it is also loaded with healthy bacteria or probiotic called lactobacilli. Yes, that thing in yoghurt! Not only does the healthy bacteria aid digestion, it is known to prevent yeast infections. Most recently, kimchi has also shown positive results in prevention and slowing down the growth of cancer. No wonder it’s now so well sought after everywhere else in the world!
After kimchi, gojuchang is arguably Korea’s most popular and famous condiment. Since the 16th century, this hot spicy paste has been a quintessential part of traditional Korean cuisine. Spotting a deep red hue, its complex profile is what makes this paste so versatile and used in a wide variety of Korean foods. I personally love how it’s uniquely spicy and savoury, yet also hints of sweetness and has a tangy note all at once!
Gojuchang contains a chemical called capsaicin, which can only be found in spicy foods. This powerful chemical is responsible for increasing metabolism and reducing body fat, and coupled with gojuchang’s low fat and calorie content, this Korean condiment is now widely popular as a diet-friendly superfood!
To add to its incredible list of health benefits, gojuchang is loaded with protein and vitamins B2 and C. Together, these vitamins show promising results in reducing the risk of cancer as well as cardiovascular diseases.
I could go on, but it looks like these fermented foods with their formidable health benefits are going to take the centre stage in the culinary world next! I’m so looking forward to cooking with more fermented produce!
Ingredients: Mussel meat, red rice, kimchi, fennel, gojuchang paste (contains soy sauce), potatoes, corn kernels, celery, chicken ham, red onions, cream, dashi stock, miso, ginger, chilli powder, herbs and spices.
Condiments: Chopped spring onion, chilli powder, shredded seaweed and egg.