Korean New Year Food You Should Try: Dongguan Teng (Korean flat meatballs)
Korea has celebrated Korean Lunar New Year, also known as Seollal, since the Three Kingdoms Period. There is written record in Samguk-sagi (The Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms) that the Lunar New Years in Shilla and Baekje were celebrated by giving New Year greetings to the king and holding festive gatherings. During this time, Lunar New Year was on January 1st by the lunar calendar every year. Since the Eulmi Reform in 1895, however, Korea began using a solar calendar. Thus, Korea’s New Year was divided into two; the solar new year on January 1st, ’Sinjeong;’ and the lunar new year, ‘Gujeong.’ Even in today’s modern times, both Sinjeong and Gujeong are designated as public holidays, following tradition.
Having two Seollals means that you get to enjoy delicioustraditional Korean food that much more.Korean New Year food is very different from theNew Year foods in the neighboring countries likeChina and Japan. Some classic examples of traditional Korean New Year dishes are Tteokguk, or rice cake soup, which was eaten since the ancient times; dumplings with meat, tofu, and mung bean sprout fillings wrapped in thin flour mix; Sujeong-gwa, a decocted punch made with minced ginger and cinnamon powder; and Sikhye, a traditional rice punch made by fermenting rice in water infused with powdered malt. Depending on the area or family culture, dishes like the sweet and spicyKorean braised short ribs, known as Galbi-jjim;Japchae, Korean style stir-fried glass noodles with assorted vegetables; or Yaksik, which is made by mixing glutinous rice with nuts and fruits, can be added as well. Donggeurangttaeng is another traditional Korean food that is vital to Seollal’s table setting. It is made by panfrying a mix of finely minced beef, pork, fish, or squid, and vegetables, such as tofu, scallion, and carrot, that is breaded with flour and egg beforehand. Beef and pork are usually preferred. The cooking method is similar to that of hamburger steaks, but donggeurangttaeng is different in that they are made in small, round, bite-size pieces. The round shapes resemble that of Korea’s old coin, Yeopjeon, which makes the sound ‘donggeurangttaeng’ when it falls on the floor, hence the name. Donggeurangttaeng is also enjoyed on other holidays and everyday life as well.
Because it has a variety of vegetables, it’s also apopular Korean food that is served ashealthy banchan for babies. A lot of families also buy donggeurangttaeng from anearby Korean restaurant or neighborhood market. But as long as you know the recipe, it’s fairly simple to make. Although not traditional, you can use a product of modern technology like the refrigerator to make the process even easier. Are you ready to find out how to make this menu with a long history and public familiarity, donggeurangttaeng?
Press the tofu in cotton cloth to drain out as much water as possible.
Mix the ground pork with tuna seasoning sauce, minced garlic, cheongju, and pepper.
Mince the onion, pepper, and carrots.
Mix and knead all the prepared ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Lay a piece of plastic wrap or vinyl over a sushi roller mat and place the kneaded ingredients on top. Roll everything up as if you were making sushi.
Put the now cylindrical roll into the freezer for about two hours.
Slice the frozen roll of ingredients into small pieces, each with a thickness of 1cm.
Dredge the sliced donggeurangttaeng pieces in flour, then into beaten eggs.
In a pan with plenty of cooking oil, thoroughly cook the donggeurangttaeng pieces over medium-low heat.
- Tuna seasoning sauce can be substituted with soy sauce for soup.
- Instead of rolling, freezing, then slicing the ingredient mix, you may make each of the flat round shape for each piece by hand.