Orchid will be happy to know that her favourite snack happens to also be a common Korean treat!
Dried persimmons – a preserved fruit snack that’s well loved across Asia. In Korean, it is known as gotgam (곶감). In Malaysia, the Hokkien community has given gotgam the rather endearing name of gu sai pneah which literally translates into… cow pie biscuit.
Have you ever had a gotgam? Well, it’s chewy flesh could either be pleasantly rich and sweet or as astringent as an unripe banana! Blegh! But perhaps we could escape that unsavory surprise of biting into an unripe gotgam by making su jeong gwa (수정과)!
Some recipes online call for 20 gotgams. Like… whoa! I’m probably the only one who is going to drink this batch, so I’ve reduced and tampered with some recipes to make enough to fill 4 glasses, or several tea cups. Korean cooks out there – do share your tips with us! 🙂
Step 1: Ingredients!
- 5 dried persimmons rinsed and halved.
- Some pine nuts. These are expensive little buggers!
- Sliced Ginger, about 10 slices. More or less depending on what you like.
- Rock sugar (8oz or 1/2lbs)
- A stick of cinnamon.
- About 6 cups of water.
Step 2: Boil!
Here I’m using a clay pot I use to boil herbal teas with, but I think a heavy soup pot will do. Add water into the pot with the ginger slices, cinnamon and rock sugar. Some recipes online say that you should add the sugar later, but I was so caught up in the photo taking that I forgot that part, tee hee! I guess it should be okay.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat and allow it to simmer covered for 1 ½ hours. Wow, forget about air fresheners, your home will smell great when this baby gets brewin’!
Step 3: Cool down…
Turn off the heat and let the liquid return to room temperature before adding the persimmons… so they say, ㅋㅋㅋ! I probably would have had to wait another hour for it to cool in that thick walled clay pot. So I waited 20 minutes.
Step 4: Forget about it.
Yup, leave it and forget about it for 5 hours and allow the persimmons to steep. I suggest you surf K-popped! to pass the time. :p
Step 5: Cool it further.
Take the persimmons out, strain the tea and store your brew in the refrigerator.
Step 6: Drink!
Serve the su jeong gwa cold garnished with 3 precious pine nuts. Cheers!
And what does it taste like? Like a festival! The spice, the fruitiness – a holiday drink with an Asian flair! I think it would make an excellent drink for a Christmas or New Year’s party. But do make a small batch for yourself to test first and see if you like it. This perfumed beverage may not suit everyone’s palate.
Happy cooking and Happy Holidays!