Non-odorous Notorious Dotorimuk

 

Dotorimuk is a Korean side dish made from something approximating acorn Jell-o®️. Somewhere along the way, some guy or girl with banging pangs of hunger discovered if you could soak the living daylights out of acorns, you can eat ‘em. It’s ubiquitous here, but I don’t think there’s too much clamor for it. It’s kind of like how we used to say, “Well, there’s the green beans,” acknowledging the arrival of a visitor whose presence we neither dreaded nor enjoyed, but expected.

See, dotorimuk has very little flavor, so it’s kind of a rest area on the plate because Korean food, in general, is quite pungent (holding my tongue a bit here) with rather strong flavors of hot pepper, sesame oil and garlic. (And anything that can be fermented WILL be fermented.) Dotorimuk is usually eaten with something spicy spooned on top, or mixed among stuff.

Dotorimuk is not my can of Schlitz, but it DID come to be my nickname among the Korean graduate students I helped with their English writing in Oklahoma. Why? It was a play on my first name. It was pretty easy to go from A to B.

When I moved to Korea, President Moon’s dog and I shared first names. I started going by my middle name, Andrew.

I think I want to be Andrew here on Ricochet, from now on. Matter o’ fact, I don’t even EAT dotorimuk.

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  1. Al French Moderator
    Al French
    @AlFrench

    Andrew Troutman: Somewhere along the way, some guy or girl with banging pangs of hunger discovered if you could soak the living daylights out of acorns, you can eat ‘em.

    Native Americans that the process worked well if the soaking liquid was urine. Hence, they buried the acorns in a pit which was used as a public urinal for about six months.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Native Americans made use of acorns as well. After you’ve leeched out the tannin (which makes acorn meats bitter) you can grind them up into meal. Add some dried meat and dried berries ground into powder plus a little fat and you have pemmican, which keeps forever.

    • #2
  3. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    When Socrates mentions that the people in the good little city will have acorns for dessert, Adeimantus ain’t happy. We’re not talking about a city for pigs here! These people need to eat the pigs, not live like them! And they need pastries! And hookers! Let’s have a real city, Socrates!

    • #3
  4. Lunchbox Gerald Coolidge
    Lunchbox Gerald
    @Jose

    Thanks for the explanation – interesting nickname.  It took me a moment to realize that Andrew wasn’t disparaging you by the green beans comparison.

    • #4
  5. Casey73 Coolidge
    Casey73
    @Casey73

    Korean food, in general, is quite pungent (holding my tongue a bit here) with rather strong flavors of hot pepper, sesame oil and garlic. (And anything that can be fermented WILL be fermented.)

    I spent three years (73-75) stationed in South Korea while in the Army. I recognize dotorimuk, but never partook. I did develop an affinity for some Korean food that I enjoy to this day if I can find a Korean restaurant that still prepares more traditional Korea fare like bulgogi and pork ribs with fermented kimchi and other side dishes called banchan. 

    Street vendors sold fried dumplings called mandu, containing pork (we hoped) and vegetables. These were deep fried so in theory anything that might make us ill was cooked to death. I never got ill from any food I ate there.  Mandu was usually served up in paper cones made from discarded army documents, often containing American soldier’s names, units and social security numbers. This was long before identity theft. 

    However, there were things I avoided. Makgeolli is an alcoholic beverage made from rice that looked like skim milk and left many an American GIs stumbling and puking their way back to base. The only alcohol I drank much of was beer and I could see through that.

    Dried squid was everywhere vendors sold food, hung in bundles and it resembled beef jerky in texture. The smell was enough for me to stay away. In the fish markets live squid was sold and eaten. It is still popular today in Korea. 

    Beondegi, Korean silk worm larvae, was also popular with Koreans and more adventurous or drunk GIs. I don’t eat bugs. 

     

    • #5
  6. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Lunchbox Gerald (View Comment):

    Thanks for the explanation – interesting nickname. It took me a moment to realize that Andrew wasn’t disparaging you by the green beans comparison.

    Yeah, thanks. I had no idea what your username signified until now.

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Casey73 (View Comment):

    Korean food, in general, is quite pungent (holding my tongue a bit here) with rather strong flavors of hot pepper, sesame oil and garlic. (And anything that can be fermented WILL be fermented.)

    I spent three years (73-75) stationed in South Korea while in the Army. I recognize dotorimuk, but never partook. I did develop an affinity for some Korean food that I enjoy to this day if I can find a Korean restaurant that still prepares more traditional Korea fare like bulgogi and pork ribs with fermented kimchi and other side dishes called banchan.

    Street vendors sold fried dumplings called mandu, containing pork (we hoped) and vegetables. These were deep fried so in theory anything that might make us ill was cooked to death. I never got ill from any food I ate there. Mandu was usually served up in paper cones made from discarded army documents, often containing American soldier’s names, units and social security numbers. This was long before identity theft.

    However, there were things I avoided. Makgeolli is an alcoholic beverage made from rice that looked like skim milk and left many an American GIs stumbling and puking their way back to base. The only alcohol I drank much of was beer and I could see through that.

    Dried squid was everywhere vendors sold food, hung in bundles and it resembled beef jerky in texture. The smell was enough for me to stay away. In the fish markets live squid was sold and eaten. It is still popular today in Korea.

    Beondegi, Korean silk worm larvae, was also popular with Koreans and more adventurous or drunk GIs. I don’t eat bugs.

     

    If an Air Force Base or a Naval Air Station is present in an area, the very best foreign food restaurants will be near at hand. The kimchi at the little hole in the wall across the road from Dobbins AFB was outstanding.

    • #7
  8. Andrew Troutman Coolidge
    Andrew Troutman
    @Dotorimuk

    Casey73 (View Comment):

    Korean food, in general, is quite pungent (holding my tongue a bit here) with rather strong flavors of hot pepper, sesame oil and garlic. (And anything that can be fermented WILL be fermented.)

    I spent three years (73-75) stationed in South Korea while in the Army. I recognize dotorimuk, but never partook. I did develop an affinity for some Korean food that I enjoy to this day if I can find a Korean restaurant that still prepares more traditional Korea fare like bulgogi and pork ribs with fermented kimchi and other side dishes called banchan.

    Street vendors sold fried dumplings called mandu, containing pork (we hoped) and vegetables. These were deep fried so in theory anything that might make us ill was cooked to death. I never got ill from any food I ate there. Mandu was usually served up in paper cones made from discarded army documents, often containing American soldier’s names, units and social security numbers. This was long before identity theft.

    However, there were things I avoided. Makgeolli is an alcoholic beverage made from rice that looked like skim milk and left many an American GIs stumbling and puking their way back to base. The only alcohol I drank much of was beer and I could see through that.

    Dried squid was everywhere vendors sold food, hung in bundles and it resembled beef jerky in texture. The smell was enough for me to stay away. In the fish markets live squid was sold and eaten. It is still popular today in Korea.

    Beondegi, Korean silk worm larvae, was also popular with Koreans and more adventurous or drunk GIs. I don’t eat bugs.

     

    It’s pretty safe to drink the tap water and eat the street food here now, although I’ve still yet to develop a taste for much of it.

    • #8
  9. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Native Americans made use of acorns as well. After you’ve leeched out the tannin (which makes acorn meats bitter) you can grind them up into meal. Add some dried meat and dried berries ground into powder plus a little fat and you have pemmican, which keeps forever.

    We tried leaching out California live oak acorns once (not the urine part). Even after a week or so soaking, then grinding up and toasting, it was still very bitter. Edible, but only just. I’m guessing it wasn’t the first choice for the natives.

    • #9
  10. Andrew Troutman Coolidge
    Andrew Troutman
    @Dotorimuk

    Locke On (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Native Americans made use of acorns as well. After you’ve leeched out the tannin (which makes acorn meats bitter) you can grind them up into meal. Add some dried meat and dried berries ground into powder plus a little fat and you have pemmican, which keeps forever.

    We tried leaching out California live oak acorns once (not the urine part). Even after a week or so soaking, then grinding up and toasting, it was still very bitter. Edible, but only just. I’m guessing it wasn’t the first choice for the natives.

    I read somewhere that the traditional way was to soak them in a creek or river for a month. 

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Andrew Troutman (View Comment):

    Locke On (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Native Americans made use of acorns as well. After you’ve leeched out the tannin (which makes acorn meats bitter) you can grind them up into meal. Add some dried meat and dried berries ground into powder plus a little fat and you have pemmican, which keeps forever.

    We tried leaching out California live oak acorns once (not the urine part). Even after a week or so soaking, then grinding up and toasting, it was still very bitter. Edible, but only just. I’m guessing it wasn’t the first choice for the natives.

    I read somewhere that the traditional way was to soak them in a creek or river for a month.

    A creek or river would work. It varies between oak tree types, but doing it by hand can take days. Boiling water speeds it up a lot, but the starches in the acorns will start to break down.

    • #11
  12. Andrew Troutman Coolidge
    Andrew Troutman
    @Dotorimuk

    Percival (View Comment):

    Andrew Troutman (View Comment):

    Locke On (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Native Americans made use of acorns as well. After you’ve leeched out the tannin (which makes acorn meats bitter) you can grind them up into meal. Add some dried meat and dried berries ground into powder plus a little fat and you have pemmican, which keeps forever.

    We tried leaching out California live oak acorns once (not the urine part). Even after a week or so soaking, then grinding up and toasting, it was still very bitter. Edible, but only just. I’m guessing it wasn’t the first choice for the natives.

    I read somewhere that the traditional way was to soak them in a creek or river for a month.

    A creek or river would work. It varies between oak tree types, but doing it by hand can take days. Boiling water speeds it up a lot, but the starches in the acorns will start to break down.

    And nobody REALLY wants to soak them in pee, methinks.

    • #12
  13. QuietPI Member
    QuietPI
    @Quietpi

    Ha!  I started out wondering, “who is this apparent new poster disparaging one of our beloved members?  

    Re: acorns and California Indians – acorn flour and mush was a very important staple.  They were gathered and stored in small “granaries.”  My recollection from studies long ago was that the acorns were first ground ( the grinding rocks are important artifacts now), then boiled, changing the water several times during the process.  And of course they would have had the process down to an art.  I always wanted to try it, but never did.  I did try a bit of raw acorn once.  It was a memorable experience.

    I lived near the geographic center of California.  The Indians around there would have gathered mostly the Live oaks (coast, canyon and interior) and Black Oak.  The Live oaks are evergreen, the other oaks are deciduous.  

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    QuietPI (View Comment):

    Ha! I started out wondering, “who is this apparent new poster disparaging one of our beloved members?

    Re: acorns and California Indians – acorn flour and mush was a very important staple. They were gathered and stored in small “granaries.” My recollection from studies long ago was that the acorns were first ground ( the grinding rocks are important artifacts now), then boiled, changing the water several times during the process. And of course they would have had the process down to an art. I always wanted to try it, but never did. I did try a bit of raw acorn once. It was a memorable experience.

    I lived near the geographic center of California. The Indians around there would have gathered mostly the Live oaks (coast, canyon and interior) and Black Oak. The Live oaks are evergreen, the other oaks are deciduous.

    I’ve heard that Emery oaks which are found down on the Mexican border produce acorns that are okay without any leaching whatsoever. I’ve never tried any acorn, though.

    • #14
  15. Andrew Troutman Coolidge
    Andrew Troutman
    @Dotorimuk

    QuietPI (View Comment):

    Ha! I started out wondering, “who is this apparent new poster disparaging one of our beloved members?

    Re: acorns and California Indians – acorn flour and mush was a very important staple. They were gathered and stored in small “granaries.” My recollection from studies long ago was that the acorns were first ground ( the grinding rocks are important artifacts now), then boiled, changing the water several times during the process. And of course they would have had the process down to an art. I always wanted to try it, but never did. I did try a bit of raw acorn once. It was a memorable experience.

    I lived near the geographic center of California. The Indians around there would have gathered mostly the Live oaks (coast, canyon and interior) and Black Oak. The Live oaks are evergreen, the other oaks are deciduous.

    That’s interesting info!

    • #15
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