Monday, April 29, 2013
Sigeumchi Doenjang Guk (Spinach Doenjang Soup)
Spinach can be found all year-round, but spring spinach is terrific! This spinach deonjang guk is a popular spring soup in Korea. Commonly made in a clam-based broth, the soup is light and refreshing! Use a small amount of doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste) not to overpower the sweetness of the spinach and the mild briny flavor of the clams. I like to add kongnamul (soybean sprouts), as my mother does, because it adds texture to the soup, but it can be omitted. By now, you know to save the water used to rinse the rice if you're making a soup or stew with doenjang. The starch water works as a binding agent between the soybean paste and the broth. It also enhances the doenjang flavor. Next time you go to the market, don't forget to get some fresh spinach. This soup is excellent for a springtime Korean meal!
1/2 pound any small variety of clams (Manila, little neck clams)
1 bunch fresh spinach, about 10 ounces
8 ounces soybean sprouts (kongnamul)
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper
Trim off the roots from the spinach. Wash thoroughly until there is no more sand in the water. Drain. If your spinach is long, you can cut them in half. Rinse the soybean sprouts a couple of times, discarding any floating skins. Drain. Clean and roughly chop the scallions.