Royal fern (mazein) ideas?

binturong
Bento-ing from: Davis › California
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.

Hello everybody! I just got this bag of royal fern strips, cause I was at this Korean grocery and thought it looked interesting... I mean, come on, they're so pretty as house plants. Hem, I guess the idea of eating some just caught my fancy. However, I don't know what to do with them. I tried eating them raw, but that was honestly kind of gross. Anyone ever heard of or used them? Thanks.

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maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 1 day ago.
Re: Royal fern (mazein) ideas?

Any kind of fern shoots need to be de-bittered- just boil it in water for a few minutes, then drain. Then in Japanese cooking you usually cook it in a dashi/soy sauce/mirin/sugar mix. You could also sauté them in butter or oil (add garlic if you like) and season.

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binturong
Bento-ing from: Davis › California
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.
Re: Royal fern (mazein) ideas?

Thank you. I did what you said, and the weird smell and taste went away a bit... but in the end I think fern is not for me. It smells kind of like seaweed, and its looks are too reminiscent of worms to satisfy me. Actually, the ferns were pre-boiled, and I tried them by boiling them again and also by just stir-frying them... and it seems the more you cook them the weaker their flavor gets. Also, I got the name wrong, they're called zenmai.

another_amanda
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 47 weeks ago.
Re: Royal fern (mazein) ideas?

Is this the same thing as kosari/gosari? (http://www.maangchi.com/ingredients/kosari) I've not been able to get my hands on some yet, so I can't say, myself.

Gosari is a common ingredient in bibimbap (http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/bibimbap) and yukgaejang (http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/yukgaejang). I've yet to try both of these recipes, but if the bibimbap's spiciness level is anything like the other Korean food I've had, then the spice paste should help disguise weird tastes.

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 3 weeks ago.
Mmmm... kosari...

Thank you another_amanda!

I've had zenmai in Japan as part of meals when I've visited during the Spring (in this setting they've been green and looked very dainty) but I hadn't made the connection with Korean kosari.

I don't associate kosari with a weird taste, but I've only eaten it already prepared at restaurants and from refrigerated packets.
Still, I now feel inspired enough to try getting some dried kosari and seeing how it comes out when I prepare it myself - this recipe looks like a good place to start:
http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/food/la-fo-bibimbaprec9cjan...
Considering how much of this stuff we're capable of eating at a time (both my husband and I love kosari!) it would be great if this works out... it must be cheaper this way than getting it in pouches.

That bibimbap recipe on Maangchi's website doesn't look inherently spicy, it all depends on how much pepper paste you want to add to it.
Perhaps a little sesame oil in addition to the other ingredients suggested in the LA Times Kosari Namul recipe will make the fern brake more palatable?

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