When he opened Mingles in Seoul in 2014, chef Mingoo Kang set out to take Korean food to the world. At least one part of his mission was fulfilled last month when he presented his national cuisine in New York as part of the KoreaNYC Dinners series, in association with gourmet magazine La Main.
Taking inspiration from Buddhist priestess Junggwan, who advocates Korean temple cuisine, Kang developed this colourful temple ravioli dish, employing fermentation techniques that utilise every part of the ingredients. Try it and let us know what you think.
Inside Mingles in Seoul
The chef: Chef Kang trained under Martin Berasategui in San Sebastian, Spain, and later enjoyed stints at Nobu in Miami and the Bahamas. He specialises in jang, or traditional Korean sauce, and dishes on his menu include charred beef tenderloin with truffle jang and a ‘jang trio’ dessert of doen-jang crème brulee, gan-jang pican, gochu-jang grains and vanilla ice cream.
The restaurant: Mingles entered Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 at No.15, the Highest New Entry to the list. The restaurant in Seoul’s buzzy Cheongdam-dong district ‘mingles’ Eastern and Western cuisines, taking inspiration from Kang’s time overseas.
The recipe: Korean temple cuisine, originating in the country’s Buddhist temples, advocates food for both body and soul, leading to a better self. Fermentation helps in this process, allowing cooks to use the whole ingredient by lessening ‘bad’ tastes and enhancing flavour. This recipe combines traditional Italian ravioli with Kang’s Korean fermentation techniques and temple beliefs. Be warned – it requires a fermentation machine, a household item in Korea that is not quite as easy to find elsewhere.
Korean temple ravioli
For the vegetable broth
250g fermented vegetable broth (see separate instructions below)
75g tomato consomme
75g water kimchi
10g ganjang (soy sauce)
Mix all ingredients together.
For the fermented vegetable broth
50g dried pyogo (Korean Mushroom with intense aroma)
150g Asian pear
5g dashima (gonbu)
Step 1: Roughly chop all ingredients to 2 by 3cm pieces.
Step 2: Add all ingredients to an OCOO automatic fermentation machine and leave to ferment for 48 hours.
Step 3: After 48 hours, you will get dark and aromatic fermented vegetable essence.
Step 4: Drain the vegetable essence.
Step 5: Save all the leftover vegetables and leave them to dry (one of the principles of temple cuisine is never to throw away any part of your ingredients)
Step 6: Roast the leftover veg until very dark in colour, to make into a powder for seasoning.
For the ravioli dough
100g all-purpose glour
Pinch of salt
Step 1: Mix all ingredients together to make the dough.
Step 2: Leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least six hours.
For the ravioli filling
30g mushroom duxelles (see instructions below)
30g Gobi namul (see instructions below)
30g smoked eggplant (see instructions below)
Chop all ingredients and mix together.
For the mushroom duxelles
100g button mushroom
Salt & pepper
10ml red wine
10ml Korean black rice vinegar
Step 1: Sweat the shallots with oil in the pan.
Step 2: Chop the mushrooms, add to the pan and continue to sweat.
Step 3: Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Deglaze with wine and vinegar.
For the Gobi namul
50g dried Gobi namul (Korean typical herb from Ulleung island, type of bracken)
5ml Ganjang (soy sauce)
Step 1: Rehydrate the Gobi namul in water for 2-4 hours.
Step 2: Slowly saute Gobi namul with oil and season with Ganjang.
Step 3: Chop it.
For the smoked eggplant
Step 1: Burn the eggplant directly on a charcoal grill until the skin is black.
Step 2: Wash the eggplant in water and peel away the burnt skin while washing.
Step 3: Smoke in a smoking machine for 30 minutes. (Smoking enhances the aroma of the eggplant but you can skip this process if you don't have a smoking machine.)
To make the ravioli
Step 1: When the dough is ready, roll into thin, round ravioli sheets.
Step 2: Stuff the filling and fold in half to make ravioli.
Step 3: Cut carrot and potatoes into thin circles. Place one on top of the ravioli.
Step 4: Steam for 10 minutes.
For the garnish
Boiled bamboo shoots
Sancho Jang a jji (pickled vegetables with salt)
Aralia Jang a jji (pickled blanched shoots of the Aralia plant)
Step 1: Put all garnish in a bowl.
Step 2: Place ravioli on top of garnish.
Step 3: Heat vegetables broth and pour into the bowl.
Step 4: Place ‘Sancho Jang a jji’ on top of ravioli.
Step 5: Sprinkle fermented vegetable powder.