Lunar New Years and ThanksGiving is a long holiday when Koreans feast, blessing the passed and devouring the remains of rite with relatives gathered from around the Peninsula . also a time when a hierarchical society exchange presents short of bribes, among which aside from down-right cash : local beef is the most prestigious . but not-the-richest-of-BLoggers like us have to do with other classical food like um, sweet potatoes . along with chestnuts and squid it is one of the oldest and easiest to cook from Korea’s humble days . ofcourse you can witness these LIVE at any popular college campus intersections like DaeHakRo, ShinCheon and HongDae . the open booths in the classic fashion mecca of MyeongDong smack in the middle of old downtown SEOUL are nouveau-riche versions and even fusion, as it has become to depict anything unconventional .
ofcourse there is the old grandma method of grilling in an oven but a pot dedicated to cooking sweet potatoes and chestnuts do it quicker and cheaper . it is so good that .. would you believe a street vendor actually recommended these ? like, we can cook at home and NOT buy from them any more . here I will introduce two models : from KitchenArt and a Chinese OEM see-through re-inforced glass cover one . both are 24cm diameter which is large enough for a family feast, and dirt-cheap at W5000 and W6000 respectively at larger On-Line discount outlets, so you have to add on W2500 shipping cost (individual next-day delivery would usually cost W4000 but these internet business get bulk discount).
KitchenArt from the first series of photos above also make 26 and 28cm diameter pans, plus another well-known local kitchen utensil maker NamYang KitchenFlower also manufacture 22 and 26cm full-cover models, although a tad more expensive .
the secret to just-rightly-burnt cooking ? these have holes in the bottom for fire to come up directly, which also means those tiny fragments will go straight down to your burner . recommended cooking time :
- sweet potatoes / grilled fish: 20~30 minutes under medium heat
- corn : 20 minutes under medium heat
also a note if you are purchasing fresh sweet potatoes for this : some producers will ship those just dug-out, so open the box for sufficient ventilation, and leave it at room temperature for a few days before digging-in 😉
– Cha Cha or ManBo, Korea Tech BLog –
( February 6th Update ) User Review : it’s a ney for me for you have to constantly turn-over the potatoes every five minutes because the fire comes directly up through the holes, compared to when you can neatly line-up your potatoes when using an oven and turn over about three time in the course of 30 minutes (highest setting for the first 10, then low-heat for 10 then turn-over the potatoes for another 10 minutes)
further-more the guey juice extruding down from the potato when you heat longer than sufficient time goes straight down to your burners ughhh for a messy cleaning session . I cannot believe the street vendor recommended this as perhaps he has made some sort of aluminum foil-padding around the burners ..