Oct 6, 2017
Korea is having a major holiday this week — Chuseok
(or Hangawi)! It's a mid-autumn festival (or Korean Thanksgiving), celebrating the abundant harvest, and paying tribute to ancestors with a scrumptious holiday spread that shows off all sorts of traditional dishes such as galbijjim, japchae, jeon, gujeolpan, and so on. Almost always, a Korean holiday feast includes humble, yet essential vegetable side dishes in three colors — samsaek namul (삼색 나물)! Typically, this trio consists of doraji (도라지, bellflower roots), gosari (고사리, fernbrake) and
siguemchi (시금치, spinach). Today, I'll introduce !doraji namul
(도라지 나물), followed by the other two in separate posts! The shorter versions of them are in my bibimbap recipe.
Doraji refers to the bellflower plant and its root. It's also known as balloon flower or platycodon, which is native to Korea and other East Asian countries. To Koreans, doraji is much more than a common root vegetable. It's long been used in herbal medicine and as a home remedy for treating common colds, coughs, congestion, and other respiratory diseases.