Crispy and Refreshing: Oiseon (Stuffed Cucumber)
: Originally, Oi-seon was a Korea royal dish prepared by stuffing cucumbers with meat filling, steaming them and then pouring chilled Jangguk (clear beef broth) over them. It was originally cooked over a slow fire, but to better suit the modern preference for a more refreshing and crunchy texture, lightly fried cucumbers slit, stuffed with sautéed meat and Jidan (egg garnish) and then dressed with a sweet and sour vinegar sauce.
A Vinegary Summer Delicacy
: In the royal cuisine, the tern 'Seon' refers to traditional dishes prepared by streaming vegetables or fish that have been stuffed or mixed with meat. The vegetables used to make xeon dishes included cucumbers, summer squash aubergine, tofu, and napa cabbage. Among these Seon dishes, Oi-seon is suitable as a summer dish because of its fresh fragrance and clear green color. Theses days, Cucumbers are usually eaten uncooked. In the past, however, they were used as ingredients in Gochujang-jjigae (hot pepper paste pot stew), as well as pan-fried or steamed dishes. When cucumbers are added to Jjigae (pot stew), the broth becomes refreezing and the cucumber bits remain crunchy even after cooking. The bite-sized cucumber pieces lined in a row compose a beautiful plate, and for this reason it is frequently served as an appetizer when entertaining guests. Although finely slicing the ingredients can be quite laborious, it is certainly worth the effort.
Cucumber as a Beauty Aid
: Cucumber is 95 percent water. It is an alkaline food rich in potassium and vitamin C. In China, it was said that cucumbers make women beautiful, and that beautiful women smelled of a cucumber-like fragrance. For this reason, some Chinese women carry a cucumber hidden in there bosoms. Oi-seon is made with vitamin-rich cucumbers, sautéed meat, Pyogo (shitake) mushrooms, Jidan (egg garnish) to create a nutritious food packed with essential amino acids.
Ingredients & Quantity
200g (1ea) cucumber, 200g (1 cup) water, 4g (1 tbsp) salt, 300g beef, 10g (2 sheets) crown oak mushrooms, 60g (1 ea) egg, 8g (2 tsp) edible oil, 0.1g shred red pepper
seasoning sauce: 6g (1 tsp) soy sauce, 4g (1 tsp) sugar, 2.3g (1/2 tsp) minced green onion, 1.1g (1/5 tsp) minced garlic, 1g (1/2 tsp) sesame salt, 0.1g ground black pepper, 2g (1/2 tsp) sesame oil
sweet vinegar: 4g (1 tsp) salt, 24g (2 tbsp) sugar, 60g (4 tbsp) vinegar, 15g (1tbsp) water
1. Wash the c cumber by rubbing, halve it lengthwise, put 3 diagonal slits at intervals of 0.5cm-wide on the skin side and cut off at the 4th slit.
2. Marinate cucumber in salt water for 15min, wipe water by dry cotton cloths (160g).
3. Clean blood of beef with cotton cloths, shred it into 2.5cm-long and 0.2cm-wide/thick.
4. Soak the brown oak mushrooms in water about 1 hour., remove stems and shred it into same sze of beef (30g), season the beef and mushrooms together with seasoning sauce.
5. Panfry egg for yellow/white gams and cut if finely into same size of beef.
6. Cut the shred red pepper into 1cm of length.
7. Blend sweet vinegar.
1. Preheat the frying pan and oil. Stir-fry the cucumber for 1 min. on high heat, then cool it down (150g).
2. Preheat the frying pan and oil. Stir-fry the beef and mushrooms for 2min. respectively on medium heat.
3. Insert the fried beef and mushrooms into the slits together and add the yellow/white garish.
4. Top the shred ted pepper on the famished cucumber. Place it on a dish and sprinkle sweet vinegar. Sweet vinegar may be served in a side bowl instead of sprinkling.
- The Beauty of Korean Food: With 100 Best-Loved Recipes/ Hollym & Great Food, Great Stories from Korea/ Korean Food Foundation
A version of this article by 'Korean Food Foundation' Great Food, Great Stories from Korea, and 'Hollym' The Beauty of Korean Food: With 100 Best-Loved Recipes. Photo by TastyKfood, ----------.