The original name of the premium delicacy sinseollo is “yeolguja-tang,” which translates to “a dish that delights the mouth.” Originating from Qing Dynasty royal cuisine, sinseollo developed independently with a touch of the unique features of the local food culture during the Joseon era and became the nation’s ultimate specialty dish for banquets. Cooked and embellished with various delicious ingredients and arranged in a special cooking vessel called the sinseollo, the dish itself can be regarded as a miniature feast. As a dish that pleases one’s palate with diverse tastes and offering a wealth of nutrients in a unique presentation, sinseollo showcases the quintessence of Korean traditional cuisine.
Main Ingredients :
Beef broth: 200 g beef brisket, 100 g white radish, 30 g scallion, 5 cloves garlic
Meatball: 50 g minced rump beef, 20 g tofu
Pollack fillet: 50 g pollack fillets (1 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp ground pepper)
Pan-fried water parsley: 20 g water parsley
Others: 5 g Jew’s ear mushrooms, 7 eggs, 40 g carrot, 2 tbsp flour, cooking oil
Garnish ingredients: 3 walnuts, 5 gingko nuts, 20 g pine nuts
Seasonings for cooked beef: 1 tbsp soup soy sauce, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp refined rice wine, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1/4 tsp ground pepper
Seasonings for minced beef (meatballs): 1 tsp aged soy sauce, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1/8 tsp ground pepper
Spices for beef broth: 1 tbsp soup soy sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp minced garlic
Soak beef in cold water for about 5 minutes to draw out the blood. Cook the meat in 1 liter of water. When foam starts to form, turn off the gas, take out the beef, and rinse twice in cold water. In a pot, pour 1.5 liters of water and add beef, white radish, scallion, garlic and simmer for 20 minutes over high gas. Remove white radish, scallion, and garlic and boil for 30 minutes over medium-high flame and for 10 additional minutes over low flame. Sieve the cooled beef broth through a hemp cloth and flavor with seasonings. Cut the beef into 2-cm wide, 5-cm long, and 0.5-cm thick slices. Slice the leftover beef into bite-sizes and season. Cut the white radish into 3x3-cm, 1-cm thick pieces. Wipe off blood from the minced beef with a kitchen paper and finely mince again. Mash the tofu as well. Knead the beef and tofu thoroughly; mix with seasonings; and form into 1.5-cm diameter meatballs. On a wide tray strewn with 1 teaspoon of flour, gently roll the meatballs to coat with flour. Beat 1 egg and dip the flour-coated meatballs. Scoop them out with a sieve and remove excess egg coating. Cook them by rolling them in an oiled pan over medium-high heat. Prepare pollack fillets into 2-cm wide, 5-cm long, and 0.5-cm thick slices. Sprinkle salt and ground pepper and let them marinate for about 10 minutes. Coat them with flour and beaten eggs. Panfry both sides in a well-heated frying pan over medium-high flame. Remove the leaves of water parsley and hold down the stems with a large skewer into 3-cm wide pieces. Skewer the bottom as well to keep the shape. Coat both sides with flour and with egg whites. Panfry both sides in an oiled pan over low heat and cut into 2-cm wide, 5-cm long pieces. Soak Jew’s ear mushroom in warm water and clean them by rubbing by hand. Remove water and chop finely. Mix with egg white and panfry in an oiled pan to prepare 0.5-cm thick jidan. Likewise, prepare egg white and yolk jidan and cut into 2-cm wide, 5-cm long pieces. Cut carrot into 2-cm wide, 5-cm long, and 0.5-cm thick slices. Preparing garnish: Blanch walnuts in boiling water for about 20-30 seconds and remove the skin with a toothpick; stir-fry gingko nuts quickly with a pinch of salt in an oiled, heated pan and remove the film by rubbing them in kitchen paper; and clean the pine nuts with kitchen paper. First fill the sinseollo vessel with white radish and extra beef slices, and smooth out the top. Arrange 5 slices each of beef, pollack fillet, pan-fried water parsley, jidan, and carrot around the vessel according to complementary colors. Alternately place gingko nuts and meatballs around the vessel’s hole. Garnish with walnuts and pine nuts and pour beef broth and simmer.
☑ First boil beef to remove impurities before preparing the broth.
☑ White radish, scallion, and garlic that are cooked together to flavor the broth will become too soft if overcooked, so cook for about 20 minutes.
☑ Finely chop minced beef one more time to prevent making meatballs with meat lumps.
☑ Knead minced meat and mashed tofu well so that meatballs won’t have cracks when formed.
☑ Cut ingredients into the same size (2-cm wide, 5-cm long, 0.5-cm thick) to fit the width of a sinseollo vessel.
☑ Fill the receptacle’s furnace with hot coals and place the upper part of the vessel on top before serving. The dish will be kept warm throughout dining.
Kim Su-jin: Hansik Researcher
- Director of Association for Research on Taste of Korea
- Head Director of Food & Culture Korea Academy
- Nation’s First Film Food Director
(Major works: “Ssanghwajeom”, “The Painter of Wind”, “King and the Clown”, “Best Chef”)