Koreans love eating radishes. We often turn this nutrition packed root vegetable into salad and kimchi. We throw some in the soups and stews, too. We even dry the radish and make something delicious with it.
Today I am going to share a very simple side dish called “Moo Namool, 무나물”, but with a twist. Traditionally Moo Namool has only one main ingredient; the radish of course. But I am going to add canned clams to make the dish more exciting.
This Radish with Clams will make great side dish (banchan, 반찬) to any Korean meal. However it also makes a light meal on its own as well.
Radishes are low in calorie and high in nutrition such as folic acid, vitamin C and B-complex. It also has a great detoxifying ability that helps eliminate toxins and cancer causing free radicals in our body. It is good for your skin and relieves congestion within your respiratory system, too. The health benefits of this earthly friend can go on and on.
No wonder why my mother always have told me that eating plenty of radish is better than taking any vitamin supplement.
So here is a very simple recipe that you can consume a large amount of this power food in one sitting. If you can’t find the Korean radish, you can certainly use daikon with a pinch of sugar instead
Let me introduce you a new fragrant oil called “Dulgirum, 들기름”. It translates as wild sesame oil on the bottle but it actually is not from the sesame seeds. Dulgirum is coming from the seeds called “Dulkkae”, the seeds of the famous Korean herb called Kketnip (the perilla leaves). The oil itself is somewhat similar to the sesame oil that we all know, but the Dulgirum is a lot milder in fragrance and flavor, so it doesn’t overpower the dish like sesame oil often do. Basically sesame oil (chamgirum) and this wild sesame oil (Dulgirum) are not the same kind. However, if you can’t find this wild sesame oil, you can substitute with sesame oil but with a little less amount.
Koreans believe that Dulgirum is healthier than sesame oil. We often say, enjoy the sesame oil for the fragrance and taste, but enjoy Dulgirum for the health. Dulgirum is an excellent source of omega 6 fat. One drawback of this healthy oil is, it tends to go rancid faster than sesame oil so if you are going to purchase a bottle, I recommend to get a smaller in size, keep in the dry, dark place and use within a month or so. Otherwise store in the fridge for a longer shelf-life.
Huuuh! I feel like I just gave a long lecture at a culinary institute of America, which I’ve never been to.
Okay, let’s move on.
Your radish should be somewhat soft and released its moisture. Continue to cook a little more without the lid over med-low heat until they are soft with a little body. Do not over cook. They will break easily.
Korean radishes are so mellow they are almost sweet once cooked. And this radish with clams went into my stomach soon after I finished taking pictures – the best moment to the recipe bloggers.
I served with rice and that was all I needed for my lunch. And I felt good and lived happily ever after.
- 3/4 lb Korean radish, sliced into 1/4" matchsticks (or use daikon with a pinch of sugar)
- 1 canned (6.5oz, 184g) chopped clams, drained but reserving its juice
- 2 teaspoon wild sesame oil (or 1.5 teaspoon sesame oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt to season
- 2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- Drizzle the wild sesame oil in a skillet over low heat and let it heat up. Add the radish slices and garlic, and toss to coat with oil. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Pour in the reserved clam juice to the skillet, stir well. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes. The radishes will be somewhat soft. Raise the heat to med-low heat and continue to cook, uncovered, until the softness you desire. Season with salt.
- Add the clam pieces and toss well to heat through. Add the sesame seeds and green onion, toss well. Serve warm or at a room temperature.