I can’t recall exactly when and where I first had doljaban muchim (Korean seasoned seaweed salad), but from the very first time, I was hooked.
I also would never have guessed the seaweed comes from the simple packs of small dried seaweed sheets (“gim” in Korean). These read like a potato chip kind of salty crispy snack you could just continually eat, except that they’re actually high in various vitamins and minerals. You can easily find these at Asian and most international grocers… or even most mainstream supermarkets nowadays… clearly their delicious flavor and nutrition has won them a growing appeal.
These sheets of seaweed, fairly akin to sushi nori but which are thinner, crispier, and salted, are so tasty and addictive. I can easily eat them all by their lonesome as a crispy snack. Apparently this is Korean bar food. It makes sense that adding several delicious flavors popular in Korean cuisine (soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, etc.) would only make this treat that much more satisfying.
But I just never would have guessed that those thin seaweed sheets would take on such a good, chewy texture when immersed in the seasoning liquid. I would have thought they just turn to mush, but that’s not the case!
If you haven’t had this, you might find the photo and description enticing, or it might really look like mush to you, but it isn’t! It has a firm, appetizing texture and is just full of umami flavor. It is a great side for your Korean (or any BBQ) and is also awesome just served with rice as a meal in itself.
Costco sells the large packs of large seaweed in a group, and I use 3 of those packs (17g net weight each, equal to 51g total) to make this recipe. This is probably the most economical way of making this dish.
If you use another brand or buy it online, of which there are many, just make sure to add up the total to 50 grams. Or, you can double this recipe, using 100g of seaweed. It will stay good in your fridge for a week.
Now let’s do this!
Serves: 2-3 as a side
- Knife & cutting board
- Small mixing bowl
- Large mixing bowl
- Garlic press (suggested)
- Measuring spoons
- Storage container
- Kitchen gloves (if breaking and mixing seaweed by hand)
- 50g Korean seaweed (gim)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP Korean soy sauce
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1.5 TBSP sesame oil
- 2 green onions, thin sliced
- 1-2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
- For a little spicy version: Add 1/2 tsp gochugaru Korean red pepper flakes
1.) Take several sheets of seaweed at a time and cut them into thin strips. Alternately, you may just thoroughly break up the seaweed by hand into a large bowl. It should be well broken down but not ground to a powder or too small.
2.) Completely combine the other ingredients in the small mixing bowl. Only add 1 TBSP of the sesame seeds to the seasoning mixture and save the rest for later.
3.) Add the seasoning mixture to the seaweed and toss it repeatedly and thoroughly. This may be done with a large spoon or by hand. If the seasoning isn’t being evenly absorbed throughout the seaweed, turn over all the seaweed and continue mixing well. Repeat process as needed.
4.) Once the seaweed is served, you may garnish it with up to another TBSP of the sesame seeds.