When my husband, our one year old and I took our first trip together to visit Halmoni (grandmother in Korean) on the East Coast, I was delighted to learn some new traditional Korean dishes. She had mentioned on previous trips that she would one day pass down some of her recipes to me. Alan (my husband) of course was happy to hear that. He grew up eating Korean food on a daily basis and the thought of eating it again at home was a good feeling. I just hoped that I could live up to his standards.
My first experience eating Korean food was not all what I expected. I knew that they used a lot of seafood and that was one thing, at the time, I was not particularly fond of. Halmoni took us out to a Korean grill and ordered pancakes. Okay yeah, I could do a savory pancake that sounded delicious! Then I realized that I was eating octopus. I finished my portion to be courteous but I did not take another piece. Over a few years I did get used to the flavors of the traditional dishes and now Korean food is my absolute favorite cuisine!
Sigeumchi Namul is one of my favorite dishes. So when Halmoni taught me how to make it I knew this one was a keeper. The version she taught me used watercress, spinach and raw garlic. For the sake of my little one and his sensitivities with spicy foods I decided to give roasting the garlic a try. I also had on hand a massive bundle of baby kale that needed to be used up quickly. Sigeumchi Namul takes a lot of greens. So if you ever have an excessive amount of spinach, watercress, kale or any other green in the house and you need to use it all up. This recipe is perfect!
This dish pairs lovely with bulgogi, sushi, beuseus namul (Korean style mushrooms) and kimchi for the full Korean food experience.
I hope you all enjoy my version of Sigeumchi Namul! My little one loves this and I hope yours does too.