Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dropwort ( or Komprek in my dailect) Delicacies

 Dropwort Delicacies  : Acombination of Manipuir and Korean taste

Recently I have come across that Hanjae Village in Cheongdo, North Gyeongsang Province, of South Korea is famous for producing dropwort, a perennial herb with a range of health benefits. Every spring, the village is bustling with people from all over the country who head there to sample the plant, known in Korean as "minari."
Just like in my home state Manipur we called this particular herb   "Komprek". We eat Dropwort or Komprek either in fry, raw or in boiled form. Once I have encountered at Seoul , it was in a resturant called "Phada Sarang or Sea Lover". It was a simple boiled fish curry with dropwort. I was so amazed to taste it. All of sudden it make me feel like home .

In Korea localite knew dropwort as a vegetable that helps restore people's appetite and wards off fatigue in spring. Even though it is usually grown in marsh-like environments -- its name literally translates as "plant from water" . Specially in Cheongdo it is cultivated in soil, which is more labor-intensive. For 50 days, farmers must water the soil overnight and drain it by day.

Unlike the conventional method of cutting the stems two or three times in the early stages of sprouting, farmers here only make one cut. This complicated nurturing process pays off later as it results in a more crunchy texture, bitter flavor and long-lasting sweet aftertaste.

The popularity of the herb in Cheongdo has led to a special local treat as locals cook it together with pork belly, which eliminates the odor of the meat while making it taste more succulent.

Dropwort also helps reduce cholesterol, cleanse the blood and enhance liver functions, while its detoxifying properties help remove harmful heavy metals from the blood. The dropwort flavor becomes stronger as the meat is chewed, giving it a bittersweet aftertaste.

Drinks and pancakes using dropwort extract are also worth a try. The former can be enjoyed in a range of guises and can even be diluted in drinks, while the latter serves as a great side dish to alcoholic beverages. Dropwort is now in season, making this a perfect time to head to Cheongdo to detoxify.

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