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[Temple to Table] Temple food captures the spring within: Vegetable jangajji

Vegetable jangajji (Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
Vegetable jangajji (Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
I live at Baengnyeonsa Temple in Gangjin, located on the southernmost coast of South Jeolla Province. Baengnyeonsa is renowned for its “Baengnyeon Practice Movement” and is also known as the “beautiful temple of tea and camellias.”

The path from the temple’s main entrance gate to the temple compound is bordered on both sides by a grove of camellia trees. Camellias begin to flower sparsely in early November, flower all through the winter, and come to full bloom in late March.

In April, the flowers drop to the ground, seeming to bloom one last time on the bosom of the earth.

Baengnyeonsa is bathed in different colors every month of the year.

By the time the first batch of tea leaves are picked, a variety of other foods has become available at Baengnyeonsa. In addition to various lettuces and spinach cultivated in the temple’s vegetable garden, a feast of mountain herbs can be added to the menu, including fatsia shoots and ailanthus. Jangajji can refer to a variety of spring vegetables or mountain herbs that have been pickled. They provide a variety to the monastic diet throughout the year.

Today’s recipe involves making of jangajji.

Depending on the variety of soy sauce used, the ratio needs to be adjusted a little.

Sweet and sour jangajji requires a 2:1:1 ratio of soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.

Mix these three ingredients, bring them to a boil once and let cool. Pour the cooled liquid over pre-trimmed vegetables in a pot and let them sit for a few days. Then pour out the liquid, boil it again, cool and return to the original pot.

Vegetable jangajji

Ingredients

- 2 cucumbers, 500 grams white radish, 3 celery stalks, salt

- 3-4 dried chili peppers

Seasoning

- Soy sauce marinade : 2 cups soy sauce, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup vinegar

Direction

1. Cut cucumbers in 5 centimeter lengths. Quarter each piece lengthwise and remove the seeds.

2. Julienne radish in 5 centimeter lengths.

3. Julienne celery stalks in 5 centimeterlengths.

4. Sprinkle salt on cucumber and radish and let them sit for 30 minutes.

5. Rinse the salted cucumbers and radishes in water and remove the water with strainer. Wrap the mixture with cotton cloth to remove remaining moisture.

6. Tear off bits of dried chili peppers and add to soy sauce marinade. Boil it without stirring, just to the point the sugar melts, and let it cool.

7. Put the cucumbers, radishes and celeries into a pot, mix well, and pour the cooled marinade into it through a strainer.

8. After three days, pour the soy marinade into another pot, bring it to a boil once, cool and pour it again into the original pot.

Written by Ven. Hongseung

Provided by Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism

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Temple food is food of the ascetics who express gratitude for all forms of life and wish for peace for the whole world. The Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism operates the Korean Temple Food Center where guests can learn and experience temple food. -- Ed.

By Korea Herald (khnews@heraldcorp.com)
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