I recently got my hands on a lesser known ingredient called duduk (더덕, bellflower root), which is a thin, long root with a stringy, fibrous texture. It’s related to doraji (도라지), which are also bellflower roots, except of a different variety. I have eaten it quite a few times in restaurants but never before have I used this ingredient in my cooking. I was a little hesitant at first on how I should prepare it, but once I had the knife in hand I just started pounding away. The roots are hard so make sure to flatten them until the fibers are exposed. After that, you simply have pan-fry them with some oil and add the sauce mixture. The sauce mixture is the basic combination used in a lot of Korean stews—gochujang (red pepper paste), gochugaru (red pepper flakes), minced garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Once you finish with the sauce, simply lather it onto the duduk and give it a good few minutes to cook. This dish is absolutely great for those wanting something light, healthy, and convenient. I had it with plain rice and ggim (dried seaweed), really hitting the spot and giving me the needed energy for the day.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients: (Serves 4 people)
- 20 pieces duduk (bonnet bellflower roots)
- 2 tbsp gochujang (hot pepper paste)
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar (more if needed)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp corn syrup (mulyeot)
- 1 tbsp water
- sesame seeds (garnish)
- olive oil
1. Using the blunt side of a knife or a rolling pin, pound the bellflower roots just enough to open them but not breaking into pieces. Cutting down into bite-sized pieces is optional.
2. Mix all of the sauce ingredients while adding a little bit of water to create a semi-slushy sauce.
3. In a non-stick frying pan, add about a teaspoon of oil and preheat on medium high.
4. Spread the bellflower roots individually on the bottom of the pan in a single layer, try to avoid overcrowding. Cook on each side about 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned, charred.
5. Add the sauce over the roots and cook another few minutes on each side. Remove to serving dish and garnish with sesame seeds. Enjoy!