If you want any of Korean housewives cooking secret they use in their kitchen, here is one; all-natural Korean flavor powders. They are powdered form of dried anchovies, shrimps and shiitake mushroom. I use them all the time in soups, side dishes, and other dishes that needs extra perk up. I often skip making soup stock and replace with one of this powder in the water. They are handy to keep in your pantry and adds boost in many Korean dishes. There are no chemical flavor enhancers involved in these powders. All natural ingredients. And did I mention how easily you can make at home?
All you need is a skillet and a heavy duty blender, then you are good to go.
Remove the head and devein their black gunk inside. Since they are dried, they come off very easily. Dried anchovies are recommended to store in the freezer once you purchase to keep them from the mold. Because of that, they are somewhat damp. So toast them in a dry skillet to dry them up, about 2 minutes. Let them cool completely.
Then put them in a blender and process until you get the fine powder.
Same goes to the dried shrimps. You don’t need to remove their heads though. Toast the whole thing and cool them down before you put them in a blender.
For the shiitake mushroom, you don’t need to toast. Just throw them in a blender and process them.
They are finely powdered and ready to be used. Add a couple of pinches of shrimp powder to side salad, such as spinach, bean sprouts, or other Korean vegetable namool dishes. Add teaspoonful of anchovy powder to soups and stews. Add mushroom powder where you want to add mushroom flavor. The possibilities are endless. They are all-natural without any artificial flavor to enhance your dishes.
I put them in a spice container that I purchased from IKEA. I like these containers because they have a magnet on the bottom so they stick to the metal surface of kitchen appliances. They are easily accessible and I found myself grabbing them quite often when I am making Korean dishes.
I even use shrimp powder with a little bit of Korean soup soy sauce in place of belachan (fermented shrimp paste) when I make southeastern Asian dishes and had a great success.
They don’t take much time to make and you will find them very handy to keep them in the room without taking the space in a freezer. These will help you to create many homestyle Korean dishes. That’s so cool, right?
How to make all-natural Korean flavor powders
- a handful dired anchovies deveined and head removed
- a handful dried baby shrimps
- a handful dried shiitake mushroom
- For anchovy powder. heat a skillet over medium heat, toast the anchovies until they are very dry and toasty, about 2 minutes. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel and let them cool completely. Place them in a blender and process until powdered. Store them in an airtight container.
- For shrimp powder, toast the shrimps in a skillet over medium heat until dry. transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel and let them cool completely. Place them in a blender and process until powdered. Store them in an airtight container.
- For mushroom powder, place them in a blender and process until powdered. Store them in an airtight container.