In this post, I’m updating gaji namul that was originally posted on March 16, 2010 with a better photo and slight changes to the recipe. Gaji namul is a popular summer side dish that is made with steamed eggplants.
The traditional way of making this dish is to steam the eggplants and then tear them into small strips. It’s very easy to overcook eggplants, resulting in mushy eggplants that fall apart during the tearing process. You can avoid this by cutting the eggplants into bite sized pieces before steaming them quickly. The key is to steam the eggplants until they are tender but still slightly firm.
Eggplants are in peak season now. You should use Korean/Asian eggplants for this recipe. They have tender skin and sweet flesh. Look for slender eggplants with a rich purple color and shiny skin, and without any soft or brown spots. Gaji namul is easy to make but tasty and healthy!
2 medium size Korean/Asian eggplants
1 scallion, finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
Cut the eggplants lengthwise in quarters. Then cut crosswise into about 2-inch pieces.
Boil the water in a pot with a steamer tier or basket over high heat, covered. Place the eggplant pieces in the steamer, and steam until softened but still a bit firm, about 3 minutes.