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A hunger for namuls

Recently, I've become faintly obsessed with namuls.

I didn't even know until recently just what a namul is, but now I know I like them a LOT.

Namuls are Korean vegetable dishes - they're fairly simple to prepare, using raw or blanched veggies, mixed with typical Korean seasonings like rice vinegar, chilli and soy sauce. I don't know much about Korean food, but I know that it involves all the seasonings I love.

With the weather starting to heat up in London, and the lure of the pub overtaking the lure of the stove, the food I've been craving is namuls. They take five minutes to prepare, the flavours are clean and delicious - what's not to like?

The namuls I've been experimenting with are from my favourite cookbook The Asian Vegan Kitchen. According to Wikipedia, namuls are side dishes, but The Asian Vegan Kitchen reckons they're more main dishes. If you eat three of them in one go, like I've been doing, with a bit of rice on the side, then they're probably a meal in their own right.

Here's the namuls I made recently - cucumber, bean sprouts and asparagus.

One of the things that kind of surprises me about namuls is that the ingredients are so similar but the tastes are so different. All hail vegetables, and their magical properties!

Take this namul here: it's another namul, with all that the namul fixings you'd expect like soy sauce. But this one had ground sesame in (magically transformed by my laziness into tahini) and voila! A whole new dish.

The Asian Vegan Kitchen only has five different namuls, and I think I've cooked them all several times over these past weeks.

Got any namul recipes? Send over here!

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  1. Oh, I've never had namuls either but I read about them in Ani Phyo's Raw Asian cookbook...they DO look so simple, and really delicious. Besides these four, she lists zucchini namul, spinach namul, shiitake mushroom namul, and chicory and endive namul. I'll send you the recipes for any if you'd like.

  2. Until this post, I had not heard of namuls - but now I'm intrigued! :)

  3. Any vegetable dish that takes only five minutes and tastes great should be on my summer table.

  4. I don't know a lot about Korean food so Namuls are a new one for me. They sound lovely and so simple to make. I especially like the look of the okra, I've been right into that lately.

  5. Wow, good for you on trying something new! Looks like it turned out great!

  6. Namuls are new to me too. They sound like the perfect kind of food for summer - light and cool.

  7. I love that book. Haven't tried any of the namuls though. But now I want to!

  8. Huh, well that's something new. Then again, my only knowledge of Korean food is some crappy fast food joint I used to go to pregan, they DID have awesome potatoes! Namuls look fresh, tasty and perfect for the hot weather we've been having.


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