I made gosari namul today. This dish is really tasty and full of nutrients. There are many options to choose from at the Korean market. I personally prefer getting the dry gosari than the one packaged with water because I can taste more of the gosari flavor than the water with the dry ones.
The gosari in water is easier to use, but too watery for me.
I soak the dry gosari overnight to get a wet and plump consistency.
Some people eliminatedthe overly dry ones. Sometimes I do too, and other times, if they are still edible but dry, I just keep them. The particular package that I used had quite a few really dry pieces, but they were still edible…so I did not throw anything out.
I haven’t had gosari muchim in forever! I have no idea why. I mean, it’s usually in my bibimbap (depending on what kind of bibimbap), but I haven’t had gosari itself as a side dish in a while. And this was one side dish I grew up eating a LOT! Why? Because my family and I would go fernbrake picking and pick enough fernbrakes to practically feed the entire neighborhood. Okay, maybe not THAT much. But it was a lot, enough to be eating gosari namul everyday for a while..and that’s after sharing with SOME of our neighbors. We went fernbrake picking at, near, on the way from (can’t remember for sure) Big Bear. I just remember that our trips to and from Big Bear consisted of fernbrake picking.
I miss that RV. When I was in high school, my dad traded it in for a van because we became more “civilized” when going on road trips and started sleeping in hotels instead of the car lol. I have so many great memories of childhood family trips in, what my parents used to call, “the motor home”. Big Bear was probably the destination we visited the most. I still love going to Big Bear today. But I don’t go fernbrake picking anymore lol.
Oh and the food when you are in high altitude! Yum yum!! For some reason, the same food we ate at home tasted sooooo good when we were on the road, especially in the mountains. As I have mentioned in other posts, my mom is a terrible cook. But I did not dislike most of her cooking until I got a little older. When I was a little girl, my palate was probably not fully developed. The same ddukguk, kimchi jjigae…all tasted 10x better on the highways, in high altitude, at the rest stops, the lakes, etc… Kimchi jjigae and ddukguk were a couple dishes we’d pretty much ALWAYS pack for road trips. This here looks like a rest stop we pulled over to for some munch time.
Oh and freakin’ galbi…yum!! We had one of them little charcoal grills we’d bring with us. My grandma would marinade galbi for us to bring. This is a photo of me drooling and waiting for galbi. As you can see, I’ve been growing that “food baby” belly at a very young age. And it’s only gotten bigger.
I don’t think we really ate out on these trips. All the food was kept in the refrigerator and for what there was no room left for, we had this really huge ice box, red with a white lid. The ice was changed frequently to avoid spoilage.
If you grew up in a Korean family in LA, you probably know what I am talking about. My parents and their friends used to love going fernbrake picking. There were times when it was just the adults that would go, and other times, it would be family trips with the kids along. I remember a bunch of my parents’ friends and their kids (probably about ten families) stopped by at some location specifically to pick fernbrakes. Each had their own bags. They were really huge. My parents made their own bags out of the fabric they had at their factory. They made a little one for me too, with a GUESS logo. These grown ups got pretty competitive to see who can pick the most fernbrakes. The winner would always be beaming with pride and think they were the fernbrake picking master.
Fernbrake picking can get tiring! It’s like hiking in high elevation while carrying a bag that just keeps getting heavier and heavier. When one bag got too heavy, we’d go back down to rotate bags. We’d do this for hours. As anxious as I’d get each time we went to Big Bear and stopped by to go fernbrake picking, in the end, I’d be pooped. My little body would tire and I’d have my mom piggyback me back down because I couldn’t go on anymore. When everyone all got back down and compared who picked the most fernbrakes, it would always be Mr. and Mrs. Shin, whose kids were all grown up and they’d come on these trips solo. They had no kids with them to slow them down and they were speedy pickers.
But I’d forget all about that slightly embarrassing moment when it came down to eating the fruits of my labor. They sure tasted much better when I ate the ones that I picked. The fernbrakes would be dumped out of the bags and laid out in the sun to dry out. One side of our backyard was the fernbrake drying area where it was nothing but fernbrakes laid out to dry. My fernbrakes would be in a specific spot where I had dumped out my own bag. I would tell everyone not to mix my fernbrakes with the others. I told my grandma to make gosari namul with MY fernbrakes first. She’d laugh and say okay. Parents and grandma used to say that my fernbrakes tasted the best because I had picked them.