Earthy, flavorful, and savory, stir-fried fernbrake, or gosari-namul, has always been one of my favorite sidedishes. I always have it in my bibimbap and I regularly have it as a side dish to rice. Recently I went to Goun temple in Uiseong, North Gyeongsang Province in Korea to learn about Korean Buddhist temple cuisine, and this dish was at the top of my list to learn. Korean temple cuisine forbids the use of garlic and onion, so I was curious how they would make it delicious without them.
At the temple I met the nun and chef Wonhae and she showed me her method of preparing gosari-namul. What I learned was the boiled and softened gosari must be blanched one more time before cooking to remove its fishy smell. If you have ever made or tasted gosari-namul before I’m sure you know what I mean. It has a slightly fishy smell that I always thought was natural, but Wonhae showed me how to remove the smell and expose the real natural smell of gosari. Even before we started filming, she said: “We have to boil some water to blanch this gosari!”
I’m happy to share this tip with you, my readers, as I love the taste and will probably follow this recipe forever!
- 11 ounces soften gosari (or 1 ounce dried gosari (fernbrake) (See how to soften dried gosari below)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon perilla seed oil (or toasted sesame oil)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, ground
How to soften dried gosari
- Rinse 1 ounce dried gosari (30 grams) in cold water a few times and add to a large heavy pot.
- Add 4 quarts (16 cups) water. Cover and cook for 1 hour over medium high heat.
- Open and stir the cooked gosari a few times with a wooden spoon and cover.
- Turn off the heat and let it sit in the hot water for 3 hours with the lid closed.
- Drain and rinse in cold water, changing water a few times. The gosari will expand to 11 ounces.
- Soak in a bowl of cold water for least 1 hour, up to overnight, and drain.
- Your gosari is ready to be used!
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Blanch the softened gosari for 30 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon to remove any fishy smell. Drain and cut the gosari into bite size pieces.
- Transfer the gosari to a bowl and mix with the soy sauce and perilla seeds oil.
- Heat a frying pan or a skillet. Add the vegetable oil and swirl to coat evenly. Add the marinated gosari. Gently stir it with a wooden spoon or long chopsticks for about 5 to 6 minutes until almost all of the liquid is evaporated. Stir it gently and be sure not to damage the stems or break them apart.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil and ground sesame seeds.
- Transfer to a plate and sprinkle more sesame seeds over top. Serve with rice.
- You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.